CP/DEC. 51 (1957/14) corr. 1
7 March 2014
CP/DEC. 51 (1957/14)
SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT FOR DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, DIALOGUE, AND PEACE
IN THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELA 
(Adopted at the meeting held on March 7, 2014)
In relation to the recent events in the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela, the Permanent Council hereby declares:
Its condolences to and solidarity with the victims and their family
members, the people, and the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of
Venezuela, and its hope that the investigations can be brought to a
swift and just conclusion.
Its respect for the principle of nonintervention in the domestic affairs
of states and its commitment to the protection of democratic
institutions and the rule of law, in accordance with the OAS Charter and
Its emphatic rejection of all forms of violence and intolerance, while
calling on all sectors for peace, calm, and respect for human rights and
fundamental liberties, including the rights to freedom of expression and
peaceful assembly, freedom of movement, health, and education.
Its appreciation, full support, and encouragement for the initiatives
and the efforts of the democratically-elected Government of Venezuela
and all political, economic, and social sectors to continue to move
forward with the process of national dialogue towards political and
social reconciliation, in the framework of full respect by all
democratic actors for the constitutional guarantees of all.
Its interest to remain seized of the situation and dialogue under way in
Republic of Panama enters its reservations to this Declaration.
i. It does not agree with the inclusion of the word “solidarity” in the
title of the Declaration, because the point is to lend support to
dialogue, peace, and democracy.
ii. Moreover, it considers that support and encouragement of the
initiatives and efforts of the democratically elected Government of
Venezuela can be construed as partiality toward the Government,
vis-à-vis the other social actors. The reference to their continuing to
move forward in the national dialogue process could be construed in the
sense that we only support the current dialogue.
iii. With reference to the last paragraph, the Republic of Panama
considers that the OAS must take a more dynamic approach and keep track
of the situation and the dialogue in Venezuela and not just declare its
interest in staying abreast of the national dialogue already under way.
United States supports the call for peaceful resolution of the situation
in Venezuela based on an authentically inclusive dialogue. However, the
United States cannot support this declaration because
it does not adequately
reflect this Organization's commitment to promoting democracy and human
rights in the hemisphere. Furthermore, the declaration places the OAS in
a position of taking sides, something it cannot do.
Specifically, paragraph 2 suggests, incorrectly, that an alleged need to
maintain order and respect the principle of non-interference takes
priority over the commitments of all OAS member states to promote and
protect human rights and democracy. The declaration contradicts Article
two of the OAS Charter and the principles enshrined in the
Inter-American Democratic Charter.
While paragraph 4 mentions dialogue, it lacks a key element to resolve
Venezuela’s problems. To succeed, it must be a genuine dialogue
encompassing all parties. The declaration only offers one-sided support
to a government-sponsored dialogue which has been rejected by important
sectors of the opposition.
The United States believes genuine dialogue will require the
participation of a third party all sides can trust. It will also require
an end to attempts to suppress free speech and a release of political
prisoners. Unfortunately, the declaration does not sufficiently advance
these goals. The OAS cannot sanction a dialogue in which much of the
opposition has no voice and no faith. Only Venezuelans can find the
solutions to Venezuela’s problems, but the situation in Venezuela today
makes it imperative that a trusted third party facilitate the
conversation as Venezuelans search for those solutions.
Finally and most importantly, the United States cannot agree to the
declaration's call for "full OAS support" to a dialogue process
orchestrated by only one actor. The OAS has a responsibility to remain
neutral; it cannot take sides.