Official Statement-Lima Group


The governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, member countries of the Lima Group:

1) Express their concern over the arrival of two Russian military aircraft to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and in this regard reiterate their condemnation of any provocation or military deployment that threatens peace and security in the region.

2) Renew their call to the nations that still maintain cooperative ties with the illegitimate regime of Nicolas Maduro, to help facilitate the search for solutions that open the way to the restoration of democracy and constitutional order in Venezuela.

Official Statement- European Union ratifies that Panama complies with global transparency and fiscal equity standards

Panama welcomes the decision of the Council of Ministers of Economy and Finance of the European Union (ECOFIN), to remove the Republic of Panama from Annex II of the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions in fiscal matters.

The European Union included Panama in December 2017 in this discriminatory list, due to the lack of understanding of the country's tax regimes. In January 2018, after technical and diplomatic efforts, this regional block removed Panama from this classification, moving it to an observation or monitoring list, which recognized that the country was dedicated to completing the legislative reforms needed to adapt the preferential regimes considered pernicious.

The Republic of Panama, through the Ministries of Economy and Finance, Trade and Industry, and Foreign Affairs and the Presidency, worked hand in hand with national institutions such as the Panama-Pacifico Agency, the private sector, and actors involved in the modernization process and adaptation of the legislative framework that governs the Call Centers, the Multinational Companies Headquarters regime, the intellectual property of the City of Knowledge, and the Panama-Pacific special economic area. In addition to pernicious tax regimes, the European Union assessed Panama's progress in terms of transparency and tax cooperation, assessing aspects such as the adoption of the automatic exchange mechanism consistent with Common Reporting Standard objectives, promoted by the OECD Global Forum; adherence to the Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, and the Inclusive Framework of the Project on the Erosion of Taxable Bases and the Transfer of Benefits (BEPS).

The Government of the Republic of Panama has undertaken a rigorous process of strengthening its financial platform and international services, within the framework of the High Level Commission for International and Financial Services (CANSIF), in which the public and private sector participate. Thus, the country has managed to adapt to global standards of fiscal equity, ensuring the country's competitiveness.

Panama will continue working hand in hand with the global community to ensure effective mechanisms of fiscal equity and international cooperation, as well as in the fight against money laundering and financing of illicit activities.

Official Statement- Panama and the Lima Group condemn the actions of the Nicolas Maduro regime.


The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela, members of the Lima Group, in their commitment to contribute to the process of democratic transition and the institutional, economic and social management of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, state the following:

  1. They condemn the deliberate actions of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro that, without considering the suffering of the population or the insistent calls of the international community, have prevented, on February 23, the entry of basic necessities and international assistance, through acts of violent repression that resulted in multiple injuries and deaths on the border with Colombia and Brazil, all of which have aggravated the risk faced by the lives, dignity and integrity of Venezuelans.

  2. They express their solidarity with the Venezuelan people and recognize their courage in their struggle to recover democracy, and reiterate the commitment of the Lima Group to continue supporting it actively in this effort.

  3. They denounce to the international community the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro for intentionally subjecting Venezuelans, and in particular the most vulnerable population, to a systematic deprivation of food and medicines, and access to basic services, to ensure their permanence in the power.

  4. They express their gratitude for the humanitarian assistance made available to Venezuela, and condemn the indiscriminate violence used by the security forces and armed groups at the service of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro to obstruct their distribution and to prevent the full exercise of the rights of the Venezuelans. As a result, they will collaborate to bring those responsible for these acts to justice.

  5. They decide to request the International Criminal Court to take into consideration the serious humanitarian situation in Venezuela, the criminal violence of the Nicolás Maduro regime against the civilian population, and the denial of access to international assistance, which constitute a crime against humanity , in the course of the procedures that it advances under the request submitted by Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru on September 27, 2018, and subsequently endorsed by Costa Rica and France, and welcomed by Germany.

  6. They decide to promote the designation by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations of an independent expert or of a commission of inquiry on the situation in Venezuela, following the deep concern over "the serious violations of human rights in the context of a political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis "in that country, expressed in Resolution A / HRC / RES / 39/1" Promotion and protection of human rights in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela "of September 26, 2018; and reiterate their call to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to respond promptly to the situation in that country, prior to the presentation of her comprehensive report at the forty-first session of the Human Rights Council.

  7. They state the irreversible nature of their commitment to democratic transition and the institutional, economic and social reconstruction in Venezuela, highlighting that the permanence of Nicolás Maduro and his illegitimate regime in power represents an unprecedented threat to security, peace, freedom and prosperity throughout the region, which is why they are promoting the discussion of the current situation in that country in the Security Council of the United Nations, and will continue to address it in the Organization of American States. Likewise, they will advance direct negotiations with the Secretary General of the United Nations Organization so that, in accordance with their competences, they can promote the activation of the United Nations System in relation to what is happening in Venezuela.

  8. They express their satisfaction at the growing number of States that have recognized the constitutional authority of the National Assembly and the President-in-Charge, Juan Guaidó, and invite those States and the international community as a whole to join the Lima Group's commitment to the transition democratic and with the immediate provision of humanitarian assistance, adhering to the Declaration of Ottawa by Venezuela. In this sense, they decide to intensify the efforts of the Lima Group at the international level, establishing all the necessary contacts and coordination, including special missions, to publicize the efforts and actions that the Group has undertaken to help restore democracy and democracy. the constitutional order in Venezuela.

  9. They resolve to maintain permanent coordination with the representatives of the government of the President-in-Charge, Juan Guaidó, both in their bilateral relations and in the international organizations to which they belong and in the multilateral forums in which they participate, with a view to the return of democracy, the reconstruction economic, and the immediate attention of the humanitarian crisis. As such, they will promote their recognition in international organizations and in multilateral coordination mechanisms, as legitimate representatives of Venezuela.

  10. They decide to advance in the recognition of the representatives of the President in Charge, Juan Guaidó, in accordance with their internal procedures.

  11. They reiterate their call to all members of the National Armed Forces to recognize the President in Charge, Juan Guaidó, as their Commander in Chief, and exhort them, faithful to their constitutional mandate to be at the exclusive service of the Nation and not to that of a person, cease to serve as instruments of the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro for the oppression of the Venezuelan people and the systematic violation of their human rights.

  12. Urge members of the Judiciary and the Venezuelan Justice System, including those who have been irregularly designated as such, to recognize the legitimate authority of the National Assembly and the President in Charge, Juan Guaidó, and to respect the full exercise of their constitutional powers , in order to facilitate the democratic transition and the restoration of the Rule of Law in Venezuela.

  13. They appeal to the nations that still maintain cooperative ties with the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro to help facilitate the search for solutions that open the way for democratic transition and the convocation of free, fair, transparent and credible elections.

  14. They offer their strong support to the Agreement for the promotion of the Country Rescue Plan, adopted by the National Assembly on January 29. In this regard, they express their willingness to convene an international conference, and request the Inter-American Development Bank to lead the accompaniment of the legitimate authorities of Venezuela in the implementation of the institutional and economic reforms they deem necessary to reactivate the economy and offer opportunities of social progress for all Venezuelans

  15. They reaffirm the right of all Venezuelans to live in democracy and freedom, and therefore, reiterate their support for the holding of free and fair elections, open to the participation of all political forces, with international accompaniment and observation, organized by an authority neutral and legitimately constituted electoral. For these new democratic elections to be held, they demand the immediate departure of Nicolás Maduro and the cessation of the usurpation, respecting the constitutional authority of the National Assembly and the President in Charge, Juan Guaidó.

  16. They reiterate their conviction that the transition to democracy must be conducted by the Venezuelans themselves peacefully and within the framework of the Constitution and international law, supported by political and diplomatic means, without the use of force.

  17. They agree to reaffirm and follow up on the measures adopted by the Lima Group previously; offer all its support to the design and execution of the electoral calendar established by the National Assembly and the President in Charge, Juan Guaidó; and to urge the international community on the urgent need to allow the entry of humanitarian assistance for the Venezuelan people

  18. They salute the offer of the Government of the Republic of Chile to host the next meeting of the Lima Group on a date to be determined.

Original statement in Spanish: https://www.mire.gob.pa/index.php/es/noticias-mire/14436-declaracion-del-grupo-de-lima-en-apoyo-al-proceso-de-transicion-democratica-y-la-reconstruccion-de-venezuela

Panama rejects the European Commission proposal that includes the country in a high risk list

The Government of the Republic of Panama strongly rejects the proposal of the European Commission to include the country in a list of jurisdictions of high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks.

Considering that the publication issued today by the European Commission must be submitted to the European Parliament for approval within a period of one month, the Government of Panama will continue its efforts to establish a communication channel to clarify the concerns of the European Commission.

Thus, the country reiterates the call to establish a frank and continuous dialogue, which values the commitment and dedication of Panama in the adaptation of its legislation and financial platform, to avoid money laundering and the financing of illegal acts.

While this communication channel is established, the Panamanian Government will call the Representative of Panama before the European Union, Ambassador Miguel Verzbolovskis, for consultations and will establish a period of 30 days to announce additional steps.

For Panama, the process carried out by this European body in preparation of the list has been opaque, since no interaction was done with Panama as the third party subject to analysis.

Despite enormous efforts from its Embassy and Representation before the European Union in Brussels and official visits from high authorities, Panama was not given the opportunity to inform or respond on the actions taken in legislation and practice, to address any deficiency perceived by the Commission.

In addition, the inclusion is not consistent with the close bilateral and commercial relationship that Panama maintains with this regional bloc, nor with the great advances our nation has made in terms of strengthening and modernizing its financial platform and international services, governed today by robust legislation. and adequate to the highest standards, recognized by institutions such as the Financial Action Group of Latin America (GAFILAT) and the Global Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information of the OECD.

Panama urges the European Commission to reconsider the unjust action taken against a country with a clear commitment to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Panama Promotes Scientific Work for Inclusive Development

The Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, visited the headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), with the purpose of creating an alliance that allows collaboration to be maintained among the scientific community and national institutions.

Accompanied by Carmenza, Spadafora from INDICASAT, Claudia Guerrero from Senacyt, and José Fábrega from the UTP, the Vice President shared the role of the State in identifying relationships that relate to economic growth, human rights and more inclusive development. And in this line, she added, science plays a crucial role.

The Executive Director of AAAS, Rush Holt, offered the experience of the organization for this purpose, including training of foreign policy personnel. He offered tools to serve as a platform to promote scientific work in Panama.

In addition, the Panamanian diplomatic leadership expressed its interest in having the science, technology and innovation achievements of Panama be reflected in international publications. Finally, she recognized that the private sector could play a more active role by investing in scientific research that benefits the country. She proposed to learn more about the experience of the United States and other countries in which these type of partnerships have worked.

This Thursday culminated the work agenda of the Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Washington, DC, which served to strengthen the historic relationship between Panama and the United States, and has been an important impetus to the strategy of Scientific Diplomacy, Technology and Innovation.

Panama recognizes Juan Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela


The government of the Republic of Panama expresses its recognition of the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó as President Interim of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Likewise, it is expected that a peaceful process of democratic transition will be fulfilled, with the equitable participation of all political actors.

Panama is a country that promotes dialogue and peace, it rejects any type of violence and repression that attack the rights of Venezuelans and the security of this South American country and the region. Therefore, we reiterate the urgency of finding a peaceful solution to the social, political and economic crisis.

Panama and Lima Group Declaration

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru express the following:

  1. They recognize and express their full support to the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, who has assumed the position as President Interim of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in compliance with the constitutional norms and the illegitimacy of the Nicolás Maduro regime.

  2. They support the beginning of the process of democratic transition in Venezuela within the framework of its Constitution, in order to hold new elections, in the shortest time, with the participation of all political actors and with the international guarantees and standards necessary for a democratic process .

  3. They condemn the acts of violence that occurred in Venezuela and urge that the rule of law, the fundamental rights of the people and social peace be guaranteed, while the government's transition takes place.

  4. They confirm their decision to continue firmly supporting the recovery of democracy in Venezuela.

Source: https://mire.gob.pa/index.php/es/noticias-mire/14257-comunicado-del-grupo-de-lima-5

Panama and the Lima Group condemn the arrest of National Assembly President, Mr. Juan Guaido

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, declare the following after the serious events that ocurred in Venezuela this morning:

  1. They condemn the arbitrary detention of deputy Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) that occurred the morning of today.

  2. They express their strongest rejection of any action that affects the physical integrity of the members of the National Assembly of Venezuela, their families and collaborators, and any pressure or coercion that prevents the full and normal exercise of their powers as a constitutional body and legitimately elected in Venezuela.

Original Statement in Spanish here: https://mire.gob.pa/index.php/es/noticias-mire/14197-declaracion-del-grupo-de-lima-5

Panama and the Lima Group reiterate their position on Venezuela

Faced with the start of the January 10th, 2019 start of the illegitimate presidential period of the Nicolas Maduro regime, the government of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, express the following:

  1. They reiterate that the elections that took place in Venezuela on May 20, 2018 are illegitimate because they did not count with the participation of all the Venezuelan political actors, nor the presence of independent international observers, nor the the international standards and guarantees necessary for a free, fair and transparent process. Consequently, the governments do not recognize the legitimacy of the new presidential period of the Nicolas Maduro regime that begins on January 10th, 2019.

  2. They reaffirm their support and recognition of the National Assembly, which was legitimately elected on December 6, 2015, as the democratically elected constitutional body in Venezuela.

  3. They urge Nicolas Maduro to not assume the presidency on January 10, 2019, respect the attributions of the National Assembly, and to transfer it executive power in a provisional manner until new democratic presidential elections can take place.

  4. They highlight the importance of respect for the integrity, autonomy and independence of the Supreme Court of Justice legitimately conformed, in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution, for the full exercise of the rule of law in that country.

  5. They reaffirm their unequivocal and firm condemnation of the rupture of the constitutional order and of the Rule of Law in Venezuela, emphasizing that only through the full restoration of democracy and respect for human rights, can the causes of the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis that the country is going through be addressed.

  6. They express their conviction that the solution to the political crisis in Venezuela corresponds to Venezuelans and, therefore, reiterate their permanent determination to support political and diplomatic initiatives that lead to the restoration of constitutional order, democracy and the rule of law in that country, through the celebration of a new electoral process with democratic guarantees.

  7. They express their determination to continue promoting initiatives in multilateral forums, particularly in the Organization of American States and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the restoration of democratic order and respect for human rights in Venezuela.

  8. They call on all OAS member countries to reaffirm their support for the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in order to contribute to the restoration of democratic order in Venezuela.

  9. They condemn any provocation or military deployment that threatens peace and security in the region. They call on the regime of Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan Armed Forces to desist from actions that violate the sovereign rights of their neighbors. In that sense, they express their deep concern over the interception carried out on December 22, 2018, of a seismic research vessel by the Venezuelan Navy within the exclusive economic zone of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

  10. They reiterate their deep concern over the serious political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which has generated a massive exodus of migrants and asylum seekers from that country, as a result of the anti-democratic, oppressive and dictatorial acts and policies practiced by the Nicolás Maduro regime, which can only be resolved through the full restoration of democratic order and respect for human rights. They also renew their commitment, to the extent of their possibilities, to continue providing assistance to migrants from Venezuela, as well as to promote and develop regional coordination initiatives in response to this crisis. In this regard, they welcome the inclusion for the first time of the crisis of migrants and refugees from Venezuela in the UN Global Humanitarian Appeal for 2019, as well as the appointment of the joint representative of IOM and UNHCR.

  11. They express their concern for the impact that the crisis in Venezuela has had on the economy and security of countries in the region.

  12. They urge the Venezuelan regime to allow the immediate entry of humanitarian assistance for the people of Venezuela, in order to prevent the aggravation of the humanitarian and public health crisis in that country and its transnational effects.

They agree on the following measures:

  1. To reassess the status or level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, based on the restoration of democracy and constitutional order in that country, and the need to protect their nationals and interests.

  2. As allowed by their domestic laws, to prevent the high officials of the Venezuelan regime from entering the territory of the countries of the Lima Group; prepare lists of natural and legal persons with which financial and banking entities of their countries should not operate or should have special due diligence, prevent their access to the financial system and, if necessary, freeze their funds and other assets or economic resources.

  3. To evaluate with restrictive criteria the granting of loans to the Nicolás Maduro regime in the international and regional financial organizations of which they are a part of.

  4. To suspend military cooperation with the Nicolás Maduro regime, including the transfer of arms in light of Articles 6 and 7 of the Arms Trade Treaty, as well as assess the overflight permits of Venezuelan military aircraft in cases of humanitarian assistance.

  5. Intensify contact with countries not members of the Lima Group in order to keep them informed of the actions of the Group, of the seriousness of the situation in Venezuela and of the need to work together for the restoration of democracy in that country.

  6. In relation to the request presented by Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru to the International Criminal Court to investigate the commission of possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela, urge other countries to support it and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to move quickly in the corresponding procedures.

  7. Urge other members of the international community to adopt measures similar to those agreed by the Lima Group against the Nicolás Maduro regime for the restoration of democracy.

Original full statement in spanish here: https://www.mire.gob.pa/index.php/es/noticias-mire/14175-declaracion-del-grupo-de-lima-4

PANAMA AT THE CENTER OF INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN AID

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During the Inauguration of the Regional Logistic Center for Humanitarian assistance, the Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, led the High Level Dialogue of Countries of the Americas on "Unified Actions of Good Governance to Face the Regional Challenges of Humanitarian Aid".

The Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs and International Cooperation, María Luisa Navarro, presented the origin and development of this initiative that today became a reality. It is a center for the collection and distribution of humanitarian aid that will allow necessary help to reach places affected by any humanitarian emergency in the shortest time possible.

Representatives of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Deposit, both as international users, and the national civil protection system, (SINAPROC) valued this contribution from Panama as a timely and effective response for the coordination of the delivery of aid and the rescue of victims of catastrophes.  The center will be used to coordinate the cooperation that the countries receive, and will be used as the base from which the aid will be transferred to the international community. 

In addition, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) led an open dialogue in which participants from different countries and regional organizations such as the Mesoamerica Project, the Central American Integration System and the Association of Caribbean States, praised Panama for placing itself at the center of international humanitarian aid.

To conclude the Vice President and Foreign Minister reiterated her gratitude to the countries and international organizations that contributed to the creation of the Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance in Panama. Panama offers to the world its geostrategic position, air, maritime and terrestrial connectivity, its dynamic logistics industry and its historical vocation as a country at the service of the world in developing this important initiative, a first of its kind in America.