LIMA May 11 Venezuela's opposition is pushing
other Latin American countries to pressure President Nicolas
Maduro's government into implementing a "democratic agenda,"
opposition leader Julio Borges said on Thursday.
Borges, the president of Venezuela's opposition-led National
Assembly, traveled to Lima to meet with Peruvian legislators and
President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who has been one of the most
vocal critics of Maduro among Latin American heads of state.
He said the humanitarian crisis and strong protests against
Maduro's socialist government had crossed Venezuela's borders
due to a wave of refugees across the region.
"The request I'm bringing to the Peruvian congress and
president is that they help us, together with other presidents
who we've spoken with, to create a large group of presidents who
are friends and proponents of democracy in Venezuela," Borges
Venezuela has suffered through more than five weeks of
violent anti-government protests that have left at least 39
dead. The opposition has decried Maduro as an autocrat who has
wrecked the OPEC nation's economy, and demanded elections to
resolve the political crisis.
Peru recalled its ambassador to Caracas in late March.
Borges said the aim of the strategy of street protests and
calls for international pressure was to "break the conscience of
the armed forces and the political groups" that still support
Maduro, and to avoid more deaths.
"It's important - fundamental - that we get several
governments in the region to unite in the short term to make
sure in Venezuela there exists nothing other than a popular and
democratic agenda," Borges said upon exiting an interview with
local radio station RPP.
He declined to specify which other countries he had visited
or planned to visit, but had told RPP that he would seek support
from Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil. Socialist
Venezuela has lost many regional allies as several Latin
American countries have moved to the right in recent years.
"There's a new map in Latin America that I'm sure will
strongly support this democratic agenda for Venezuela," Borges
Last week, Borges met with U.S. President Donald Trump's
national security advisor H.R. McMaster, where they agreed on
the need to bring Venezuela's crisis to a quick and peaceful
The meeting came after Maduro announced the creation of a
new popular assembly, which foes decried as a power grab aimed
at sidelining the National Assembly.
(Reporting by Reuters TV and Marco Aquino; Writing by Luc
Cohen; Editing by Alistair Bell)