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LIMA May 11 Venezuela's opposition is asking
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 Maduro's
most vocal critics among Latin American leaders.
He said the humanitarian crisis and strong protests against
Maduro's socialist government had crossed Venezuela's borders
because of a wave of refugees across the region.
"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 told Reuters.
Venezuela has suffered through more than five weeks of
violent anti-government protests in which 39 people have died.
The opposition has decried Maduro as an autocrat who has wrecked
the OPEC member's economy, and demanded elections to resolve the
Peru recalled its ambassador to Caracas in late March.
Appearing together with Borges in the Presidential Palace
later on Thursday, Kuczynski said he had "no desire to interfere
in the internal matters of other countries" but that countries
in the region must support the wellbeing of Venezuela's people
and provide "humanitarian assistance."
Kuczynski said he told Borges that "we're prepared to help
with this, to help as part of a group of American countries that
are worried about an important neighbor. Venezuela is the number
one issue in America."
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.
He told Peruvian reporters after his speech to Peru's
congress that he would travel to Brazil next week to convene a
summit with congressional leaders from across the region to push
for a "democratic transition" in Venezuela.
Socialist Venezuela has lost many regional allies as several
Latin American countries have moved to the right in recent
"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
(Reporting by Reuters TV and Marco Aquino; Writing by Luc
Cohen; Editing by Alistair Bell and Grant McCool)