Lima, April 18 — Presidents of member countries of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) are holding a special meeting Thursday in Lima, the Peruvian capital, to discuss the election dispute in Venezuela and express the bloc’s support for president-elect Nicolas Maduro.
The objective of this meeting is to make a joint statement supporting elections held in Venezuela with Maduro as the new president, diplomatic sources stated.
Presidents of Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Peru have confirmed their attendance at the summit, according to the government of Peru, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the 12-member organization.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa will send a representative, as he is touring Europe, while Maduro has also confirmed that he will send a delegate. UNASUR also groups Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Guyana and Surinam.
Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, who is scheduled to be sworn in on Friday, won Sunday’s presidential election by a slight margin of less than two points over opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
But Capriles has rejected the results and demands a vote-by-vote recount, urging his followers to take to the streets, a situation that has led to escalating violence.
Venezuelan electoral authorities, however, have dismissed a recount, citing the reliability of the voting system.
On Monday, followers of Capriles staged violent protests in several cities around the country, which so far has left eight people dead, all supporters of Maduro, and 61 others injured.