Mourão: Brazil may adopt “small sanctions” on Venezuela

Brazilian vice-President Hamilton Mourão said today (Jan. 31) that Brazil may adopt “small sanctions” against Venezuela, adding that freezing the assets of Venezuelan officials “is a solution worthy of consideration.”

The idea is to increase pressure so that action is taken to prevent the crisis in Venezuela from aggravating. He reiterated, however, that Brazil will not intervene in the politics in the neighboring country.

In Mourão’s view, the solution to the crisis in Venezuela is around the corner. Proof thereof is the decision made today by the European Union to recognize congressman Juan Guaidó as the legitimate president of Venezuela and recommend countries in the region to follow suit.

“Pressure is mounting and the country is closed in itself. I think they understand they’ve reached a limit. We military all across the world understand there’s a limit we can’t overstep,” he declared.

Bilateral commissions

Mourão also announced the resumption of the work of bilateral commissions such as those with China and Russia. He pledged to visit the Asian country in the first half of this year for the first time since the High Level Sino-Brazilian Commission (Cosban) was suspended.

“It was paralyzed because the law stipulates that the vice-president must spearhead the proceedings. Since President [Michel] Temer became president and there was no vice-president, it [was suspended],” he said.

The talks with Russia will be resumed in the second half-year, with a meeting taking place in Brazilian territory, Mourão said. The dates will be fixed with President Jair Bolsonaro.

International engagements at his office lasted the whole morning today. The vice-president welcomed head of the European Union delegation Cláudia Gintersdorfer, then Canadian Ambassador Riccardo Savone.

Lima Group recommends restrictions in talks with Maduro regime

Representatives from the Lima Group gathered Monday (Jan. 4) in Ottawa, Canada, and released a declaration proposing restrictions to the business and trade with the government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

In its last paragraph, the text makes an appeal. “[The countries] call on members of the international community to take measures to prevent the Maduro regime from conducting financial and trade transactions abroad, from having access to Venezuela’s international assets, and from doing business in oil, gold, and other assets.”

New member

Under Guaidó, Venezuela will join the group formed by Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru. Brazil’s Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo used his Twitter account to celebrate the move.

“The Lima Group is releasing a declaration backing the democratic transition process in Venezuela and opposing ‘talks’ that merely delay the matter even further. Venezuela, under the legitimate interim government of Guaidó, is now a member of the Lima Group. A powerful shift towards the restoration of democracy.”


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