Media Center


Message from OAS Secretary General on Elections in Venezuela

  May 21, 2018

The Day after the Farce

Yesterday was an infamous day for democracy in the Americas. Faced with the strength of democracy in the regional consciousness, the dictator Maduro tried – without success – to give a democratic veneer to his totalitarian regime.

And that is impossible. Totalitarianism and democracy cannot coexist. The elections of yesterday in Venezuela were an exercise without the minimum guarantees for the people. They were held with a generalized lack of public freedoms, with outlawed candidates and parties and with electoral authorities lacking any credibility, subject to the executive power. The elections were held with more than 300 political prisoners behind bars and with the State using all the resources at its disposal for the farce.

There can be no democracy without elections, but yesterday Nicolás Maduro showed that elections can be held without democracy.

We do not recognize Nicolás Maduro as the legitimate president of Venezuela. Venezuela needs a transitional government that can generate a legitimate electoral system, which in turn would allow for solutions for the country.

But yesterday was also a day of hope for Venezuela. In spite of all the noise made by the state machinery at the service of Nicolás Maduro, the democrats of Venezuela made their voices heard loud and clear by abstaining massively. So much so that not even the electoral authorities of the regime could deny it. The people who left blood in the streets defending their rights are the increasingly clear and evident majority, and their triumph will come with the return of democracy to Venezuela.

The worst thing that can happen to Venezuela is the prolongation of the dictatorship. The humanitarian crisis resulting from the lack of food and medicines is growing more severe, as shown by the thousands of Venezuelans who leave the country every day.

The institutions lack any legitimacy or credibility. The political system, its authorities and its president, are a fraud. We are going to respond to the lack of democracy in Venezuela. We cannot be indifferent and we will not be. We will continue fighting for stronger sanctions against the regime, we will continue struggling for the end of the Venezuelan dictatorship.

Reference: S-019/18