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Message from the Secretary General on Venezuela

  June 24, 2017

At the national and international level we have established a set of values and principles that define us.

Enormous grief is caused when these principles are not adhered to when and where necessity dictates. It is a story the international community has seen before. Silence allowed for the rise of Hitler and the genocide in Rwanda.

As I have said before, “we have to be strong in order to be consistent”. The people draw strength from deep inside.

I know that when I speak out, it cause nightmares for those who murder people in the streets or torture in the deepest dungeons with impunity. I cause distress to those who violate fundamental freedoms and to those who want silence and calm in the face of these crimes.

I know that Venezuelans protesting with dignity in the streets causes nightmares for the Regime that oppresses them. It causes distress to those in the international community who prefer the “peace” brought by intimidation and the violation of the rights of the people.

One day this disquiet will end. That will be a day of joy and freedom.

There is no silence or complicity in the OAS. Twenty countries have called on the Regime to end the violence. Many of them condemned it in their own words at the General Assembly.

They are practically speaking in unison with the people of Venezuela.

They represent more than 90% of the citizens of South, Central and North America and the Caribbean who raised their voices to condemn the Regime and demand solutions. Obviously, we must also respect those who did not make their voices heard, because each country is sovereign and must take the decisions that they believe are pertinent to them.

And also because we all must continue working together to build peace and democracy, without impunity, on the continent.
I was publicly presented with a proposal, my resignation in exchange for Venezuela’s return to the OAS.

This is my response: I will resign from the General Secretariat the day that free, fair and transparent national elections are held without impediments and with international observation; when all of the political prisoners named by Foro Penal Venezolano are freed; when all of those in exile are allowed to return home; when the full authority of the National Assembly is returned; when a humanitarian channel is established to help the most vulnerable Venezuelans; and when all those responsible for murdering the protesters, including those in the chain of command are brought to justice.

Also when there is an independent Supreme Court; when there is independent National Electoral Council; and when the unconstitutional National Constituent Assembly is halted.

Unfortunately, there are many things necessary to bring freedom to Venezuela. I offer to resign in exchange for freedom in Venezuela.

Because we will never stop, never give up until we have freedom in Venezuela.

Reference: S-016/17