Venezuela
AMLO's Ideology on Venezuela Makes Headway in Latin America: Vizcarra and Fernández Say Nay to Intervention
The president of Peru and the Argentine presidential candidate support a neutral position, adding them to the ranks of countries rejecting military intervention.

This Friday, Peruvian president Martín Vizcarra met with Argentine presidential candidate Alberto Fernández and confirmed that he would not support armed intervention in Venezuela to overthrow Nicolás Maduro, following president Andrés Manuel López Obrador's (AMLO) lead. AMLO has been maintaining a no intervention position regarding external affairs, in spite of pressure from other countries that make up the Lima Group.

As explained by LPO, Vizcarra's diplomats rejected applying the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) as requested by self-proclaimed Venezuelan president Juan Guaidó. Section 8 of the treaty devised by the United States in 1947 authorizes the deployment of military forces to hostile areas.

Vizcarra brought up Venezuela on his own account and confirmed his revised opinion. "I agree that the way out belongs to Venezuelans, and in supporting the entire region," he stated, which was also confirmed by LPO sources in the delegation. Vizcarra stressed his concern for the approximately one million immigrants from Venezuela who have fled to Peru in recent years.

His position creates a rift between him and the Lima Group - 14 countries that in July 2017 met in Lima to seek a "peaceful solution" to the crisis in Venezuela. But in January 2019 the bloc started to splinter when AMLO began to distance himself from the group, considering that the positions being laid out constituted an intervention into Venezuela's internal affairs.

Similar motions have been made in recent years by other presidents such as Uruguayan Tabaré Vázquez and Bolivian Evo Morales, the latter who this Thursday received Fernández at Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the neighboring country's eastern city.

Alberto Fernández, who according to polls is the unanimous favorite for president of Argentina in the October elections, also favors a non-intervention stance. His line is that Maduro's government is not a dictatorship because he was elected, but he did describe Maduro as "authoritarian" and said he had committed "abuse" as pointed out by Michelle Bachelet in her report for the UN. In Maduro's eyes, any critique is poorly received and in an interview with Folha de San Pablo he called those accusing him of being a dictator "stupid" and did not exclude his running mate Cristina Kirchner.

Fernández arrived at the Lima airport at noon and his delegation was surprised at being received with "presidential pomp" even though he has not yet been officially sworn in as president. He lunched with the main Peruvian business chambers, among them oil and industrial companies that dominate the local economy and that in July accounted for 3.1% growth - the highest index in Latin America.

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At the meeting in the stately Peruvian government, looking out on the Plaza de Armas, Fernández arrived with his campaign manager Santiago Cafiero and Felipe Solá, candidate for the Department of Foreign Affairs in Argentina. Vizcarra greeted him with his Secretary of State Néstor Popolizio and minister Salvador del Solar.

The remainder of their talk focused on delving into connections between the two countries, and the Latin American unit that, "respects the identity of each nation." For the last eight years Peru has been part of the Pacific Alliance - a regional bloc created along with Mexico, Colombia and Chile that promotes free trade and distinguished itself from the protectionism of Mercosur (the Southern Common Market) and Unasur (the Union of South American Nations) at that time.

Perhaps owing to his clash with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, Fernández is promoting full inclusion for the continent. He attempted to end his tour in Mexico, but AMLO preferred to stick to protocol and said he would receive him once he had won the election. 

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