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Venezuela: Statement of the OAS Secretary General in Support of the Declaration of 14 Countries

  March 24, 2017

I firmly support the Declaration on the Situation in Venezuela that –in the framework of the OAS Charter, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and the promotion, defense and protection of democracy and human rights- was issued yesterday by 14 countries of the Organization.

As I’ve outlined in my two reports, I agree completely that suspension is a measure to be contemplated only at the end of the process, and I view positively that the 14 countries leave this possibility open.

As the Secretary General of the OAS I underscore the signatory countries’ call to urgently, and as a matter of priority, free the political prisoners, respect the legitimacy of the decisions taken by the National Assembly, and the need to have an electoral calendar, given all the postponed elections which violated the electoral rights of the people, elements that show a clear alteration of the constitutional order.

There is no doubt that, as the Declaration says, "dialogue is the right path to achieve lasting solutions to the challenges faced"  by the country, and it is fundamentally important that, once the essential elements of democracy are reestablished, the Venezuelan people commit themselves to rebuilding their country in that framework.

It is very important that fulfilling the agreements reached during other good offices efforts be accomplished within the framework of the Constitution, as outlined in the Declaration; that means that only those agreements that are constitutional can be implemented.

In the report I presented last week I noted the severe deterioration in Venezuela of all of the political, economic, social and humanitarian variables which I had outlined in May, 2016. I did this with an emphasis on the loss of democracy, the loss of the civil and political rights of the people, and the deconstruction of the institutions of the country.

Once again I reiterate the willingness of the OAS General Secretariat to cooperate with Venezuela in order to put an end to the violations of civil and political rights and restore the economic and social rights of the people.

Rebuilding the democratic institutionality of Venezuela is the task of all of the countries of the region and of all those who believe in freedoms, values and principles.

In supporting the critical evaluation undertaken by the 14 signatory countries, I call on the governments of the region to unite in order to continue to deepen the collective effort to ensure that we have a democratic Venezuela in the OAS once again.

Reference: E-017/17