LIMA (Reuters) - Peru said on Thursday it will convene a meeting of the “Lima Group” next week to evaluate possible measures to be taken in reaction to Venezuela’s decision to call a presidential election in April.
The regional Latin American grouping includes Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. The meeting is set for Tuesday, according to a statement from Peru’s foreign ministry.
Venezuela on Wednesday set a presidential election for April 22 after mediation talks between the leftist government and an opposition coalition collapsed, setting the stage for the likely re-election of President Nicolas Maduro.
“Given the decision of the electoral authorities of Venezuela to call early elections which would not allow a fair, free, transparent and democratic process,” Peru invited members of the group to Lima for the meeting.
The meeting will be “to evaluate measures to be taken over Venezuela’s political situation,” the statement said.
Earlier on Thursday the United States condemned what it called Venezuela’s decision to proceed with the election without guarantees to ensure it is fair.
Reporting Marco Aquino; Writing by writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Chris Reese and James Dalgleish