Canada to host Venezuela summit to support anti-Maduro forces: Freeland

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OTTAWA — Canada will host a meeting of Western Hemisphere countries next Monday to see what can be done to ease the crisis in Venezuela.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland confirmed on Parliament Hill today that the meeting of the Lima Group will be in Ottawa.

She says Canada needs to play a leading role in the Lima Group, which includes more than a dozen countries in the Americas, minus the United States, because the crisis in Venezuela is unfolding in Canada’s global backyard.

The group has recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president, saying President Nicolas Maduro’s continuing dictatorial rule is creating an economic and humanitarian crisis that has swelled beyond his country’s borders.

Freeland praised the role of Canadian diplomats in Caracas, who helped get the country’s opposition parties to coalesce behind 35-year-old Guaido.

The Canadian Press interviewed senior Canadian government officials who have described Canada’s role in aiding democratic forces to help rescue the once oil-rich country from the economic and political spiral that has forced three million Venezuelans from their homes.

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