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Venezuela Banned from Summit of the Americas

By Stephen Lendman

This year’s 8th summit of Western Hemisphere leaders is scheduled for April 13 and 14 in Lima, Peru.

Washington exerted heavy pressure on 14 so-called Lima Group countries to exclude Venezuela from this year’s session.

They shamefully bowed to US will. Peru’s foreign minister Cayetana Aljovin said Maduro “will longer be welcome” at the summit - days before Venezuela’s April 22 presidential election.

A joint Lima Group statement urged Maduro to set a later date -irresponsibly meddling in Venezuela’s internal affairs, breaching international law.

Aljovin claimed banishment of Venezuela is justified by the 2001 Quebec summit text, stating any alternation of the democratic order of any participating state is grounds for expulsion.

By that standard, Venezuela is one of the few hemispheric states qualifying for participation. America, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and others should be excluded.

Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said he decided to “reconsider” Venezuelan participation after a National Constituent Assembly was created - failing to say it was established according to Venezuelan constitutional law.

The Lima Group also slammed the country’s electoral process,  the world’s best - open, free and fair each time elections are held, shaming America’s sham process, rigged elections in Mexico, Honduras, and elsewhere in the hemisphere.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert expressed support for banishing Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas - laughably claiming the decision “upheld the high democratic standard for Summit participation.”

She slammed Venezuela’s April presidential election - solely because Maduro is favored to win another six-year term.

“Our hemisphere is speaking with one voice,” she blustered. It emanates from Washington with echoes from most other hemispheric capitals.

“Free and fair elections in Venezuela must include the full participation of political parties and political leaders, a proper electoral calendar, credible international observation, and an independent electoral authority.”

“Our hemisphere is united in our commitment to promote and defend democracy, consistent with the Inter-American Democratic Charter,” she added.

Precious little hemispheric democracy exists, none in America, Venezuela the most notable exception. No one is excluded from its electoral process provided the nation’s democratic laws are observed, the issue discussed in earlier articles.

Nauert claiming “(t)he United States stands with…the Venezuelan people” is a typical US bald-faced lie - raping and destroying countries to control them, their resources and people.

Maduro’s administration and leading opposition MUD agreed on April 22 for the presidential election, along with other issues after months of talks.

The opposition then failed to sign the deal agreed on, Washington likely urging rejection, falsely blaming Maduro for things breaking down.

Days earlier, Nikki Haley disgracefully said MUD rejected the Maduro administration’s proposal for excluding “the most basic elements for guaranteeing credible elections” - a bald-faced lie, Haley adding:

“The Venezuelan opposition stood strong for their democracy…(Maduro) was not serious, and it’s clear the government never had any intention of negotiating in good faith or allowing the Venezuelan people the free and fair elections they want and deserve.”

It’s clear why only likeminded neocon extremists and media scoundrels take her seriously. Other UN envoys have to put up with her, a painful experience.

Fascist regimes in Brazil and Colombia massed troops on Venezuela’s border, a hostile threat to its security.

Bolivian President Evo Morales called for an emergency Union of South American Nations meeting to address what’s going on, tweeting:

“I want to take this opportunity to express our solidarity with Venezuela, given the constant threats of intervention. The US must stop threatening us.”

“UNASUR should call an emergency meeting and make the sovereignty of our brother country respected.”

No meeting so far was scheduled, US pressure likely to prevent it.

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