AG/DEC. 28 (XXXII-O/02)
DECLARATION ON DEMOCRACY IN VENEZUELA
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session held on June 4, 2002)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
CONSIDERING that the Charter of the Organization of American States recognizes that representative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace, and development of the region, and that one of the main purposes of the OAS is to promote and consolidate it, with due respect for the principle of nonintervention;
CONSIDERING that Venezuela is a country with profound and proven democratic convictions;
CONSIDERING that on April 11, 2002, there was a serious alteration of the constitutional order and an interruption of democracy;
RECALLING that, at the twenty-ninth special session of the General Assembly, held in Washington, D.C., on April 18, 2002, in compliance with resolution CP/RES. 811 (1315/02), the General Assembly noted its “satisfaction at the restoration of the constitutional order and the democratically elected government of President Hugo Chávez Frías”;
RECALLING resolution AG/RES. 1 (XXXIX-E/02), which agreed to support the initiative of the Government of Venezuela to call for a national all-inclusive dialogue and to encourage all sectors of Venezuelan society to participate therein and to devote their best and most determined efforts to bringing about the full exercise of democracy in Venezuela, abiding fully by the Constitution and taking into account the essential elements of representative democracy set forth in Articles 3 and 4 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter;
CONSIDERING that Article 1 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter proclaims that “the peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it”;
CONSIDERING that the essential elements of representative democracy include, inter alia, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law, the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of the people, the pluralistic system of political parties and organizations, and the separation of powers;
CONSIDERING resolution CP/RES. 811 and the provisions of resolution AG/RES…. (XXIX-E/02) on the situation in Venezuela;
CONSIDERING that the institutions of the Venezuelan State are currently conducting a full investigation into the causes of the events that took place on April 11-14; and
ENCOURAGED even more by the Government of Venezuela’s expressed interest in and willingness to make progress with dialogue and reconciliation, in an effort to resolve the political crisis in Venezuela; we welcome all international collaborative initiatives that support that effort,
1. To reiterate the OAS’s willingness to provide the support and assistance that the Government of Venezuela requires to consolidate its democratic process.
2. To reiterate our determination to continue applying, without distinction, and in strict accordance with the letter and spirit of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the mechanisms provided for in the Inter-American Democratic Charter for the preservation and defense of representative democracy, reiterating the rejection of the use of violence to replace any democratic government in the Hemisphere.
3. To encourage the Government of Venezuela to explore the opportunities the OAS affords for promoting the national dialogue that is currently taking place in Venezuela and that was convoked by President Hugo Chávez Frías in the interests of furthering national reconciliation.
4. To acknowledge and welcome the unanimous decision of the National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to set up a Truth Commission to investigate the acts of violence, and the consequent loss of life, that occurred on April 11 to 14, 2002, in the conviction that such an exercise will contribute to the transparency of the democratic process.