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Press Release

OAS Secretary General Appeals to the Responsibility of Political Actors in Venezuela to Avoid further Violence

  February 17, 2014

The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, today expressed his concern over the possibility that new protests in the streets of the capital of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela “could lead to more acts of violence that would only further separate the positions of the government and the opposition and polarize to an even greater degree the sensitive political moment the South American country is going through.” Insulza appealed to "the responsibility of the government to avoid the use of force by police or related groups, called on the opposition to demonstrate peacefully avoiding provocations, and warned that, in that sense, the presence of certain leaders could set off incidents that everyone would later regret.”

In addition, Insulza emphasized the need for authorities to “respect the freedom of expression and for the media to be conscious of the influential role it plays at this political juncture.”

The OAS leader said that during recent days he has been in contact with foreign ministers in the region and that “there is full agreement as to the urgent need for a dialogue between the Venezuelan government and the opposition, to define points of convergence and to allow political actors to discuss the most serious problems facing the country.” “It is crucial that all sectors understand that dialogue is the only tool in democracy to settle differences, however deep they may be,” he added.

Secretary General Insulza said that only through this path can Venezuelan society distance itself from a spiral of violence that would bring further pain and instability to the country. “No one gains from death and violent confrontations,” he added.

Reference: E-050/14