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Message from the Secretary General on Venezuela

  July 18, 2017

The consultation held on Sunday represents a true example of civic duty and of direct democracy exercised by Venezuelans, despite the crimes of state repression.

The brave people have been absolutely clear in breaking the chains and asking for freedom.

The people expressed themselves in favor of recovering their basic freedoms and the rule of law.

The people delivered a profound lesson to both rulers and opposition. It´s up to them to find the ways to bring Venezuela out of the political, social and economic crisis in which it finds itself.

We are all – the international community and the Venezuelan political system - bound by that statement: the voice of the people can never be ignored.

The sovereign statement ordered an end to the process for a National Constituent Assembly. There is no doubt about it.

For the government to try to push ahead to July 30 would be an undemocratic act.

The international community must uphold the July 16 results.

The people asked that the armed forces and state officials respect the Constitution. There is no mandate more simple than this, given that the respect for the Constitution demanded by the

people is the ethical minimum that can be naturally demanded of the state.

We regret that the people must raise their voices to claim such a basic and essential principle. The responsibility to fulfill this mandate falls to those who control the government of Venezuela today.

The responsibility to obey the voice of the sovereign falls to those who exercise the leadership of the armed forces today. The decisions of the National Assembly also come from the sovereign, expressed in December 2015.

Respect for the decisions of the representatives of the people is fundamental for the exercise of rights in a democratic country.

There is no other way to designate the members of the public powers aside from compliance with the Constitution. The people have mandated the holding of free and transparent elections and a National Unity government. It is the duty of everyone, government and opposition, to make this happen.

It has become clear to us in the international community that the true protagonist, the only hero at all times is the Venezuelan people: mediators, facilitators, guarantors, friends, those who denounce, those who demand the democratization of the country are bound by that voice.

Reference: S-019/17