15 November 2014
José Antonio Viera-Gallo, a prominent Chilean lawyer and socialist, with broad experience in public service in his country, where he has served as a parliamentarian, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Senator, Minister Secretary General of the Presidency, as well as Minister of the Constitutional Tribunal of the Republic of Chile, accompanied by the lawyer, Professor of Law at the University of Chile and collaborator of the Socialist International Secretariat, Claudio Herrera, are in Caracas from 13 to 16 November as representatives of the SI to gain information about the circumstances under which the leader of the Voluntad Popular party, Leopoldo López, continues to be imprisoned along with numerous other political prisoners, and to make representations for their early release.
Today, 15 November, the SI representatives tried to visit Leopoldo López, who has already spent nine months under arbitrary detention in the Military Prison of Ramo Verde. The envoys were accompanied by the wife and parents of the detained politician.
The prison authorities denied them access under the pretext that Leopoldo López was affected by a disciplinary measure that prevented him from receiving visitors because he, together with the other political prisoners, had hit their cell bars with their cutlery in protest at the lack of resolution by the judge assigned to their case to respond to the request for freedom made by the UN Special Group on Arbitrary Detention.
While access was being requested, Leopoldo López and his comrades lifted a written sign between the bars of their cells regarding their imprisonment and exchanged greetings with their families, highlighting the infringement of their rights. In reply, the guards sounded the siren of a military vehicle to silence their voices, provoking a deafening noise.
Faced with the impossibility of entering the prison, the SI special envoy José Antonio Viera-Gallo, declared the following to the members of the media who were present:
“Irrespective of the political situation in Venezuela, the SI has sent this mission to learn first-hand about the detention of Leopoldo López, which was qualified as arbitrary by the United Nations Special Group, calling on the Venezuelan authorities to release him”.
He regretted the decision of the court judge to deny the United Nations’ request for his release, and the impossibility of making direct contact with Leopoldo López. He also pointed out that this situation is a serious violation of human rights. “There is no reason whatsoever to keep Leopoldo López in prison. The charges against him have no legal basis. Neither are there any motives to justify the refusal of visitors”.
Viera-Gallo said that it would have been desirable to have been able to express the views of the SI directly to the authorities of the Venezuelan Government, for which numerous attempts were made at the highest level without any reply.
In addition, during their visit to Caracas the mission held meetings with the SI member parties, representatives of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática, the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference and other relevant actors in the public life of the country.
All these developments will be reported to the world Council of the Socialist International which will meet on 12-13 December in Geneva.
Report to the XXV SI Congress
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXV SI Congress
Member Party Congresses
26 September - 1 October 2017
23 August 2017
Report of the Secretary General
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress
International Women's Day 2016
Planet 50-50 by 2030:
Step It Up for Gender Equality
22 FEBRUARY 2016
In recent years the people of Africa have continued advancing and moving forward democratic governance in an important number of countries of the region. Today, more and more people in that continent enjoy freedoms and rights, a precondition for progress, development and peace. Members of the Socialist International in a good number of countries in Africa have been protagonists and actors of an era of change that has been bringing new opportunities and a new face to the political life of the continent. Nevertheless, authoritarianism, oppression and other evils of the past still linger in the political life of some of the countries in the region...
28 March 2016
The Socialist International expresses its solidarity with the people of Pakistan as they come to terms with the horrendous terrorist attack carried out yesterday near Lahore. Over 70 people lost their lives as they enjoyed a Sunday afternoon in the park, including numerous women and children, and over 300 were injured. We strongly denounce this violent act, as we have other such terrorist attacks in Pakistan and elsewhere. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of the deceased and our sympathy is with all those injured and suffering as a result...
12 April 2016
The Socialist International denounces the grave disregard of the sovereign will of the Venezuelan people and the usurpation of powers by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) of the country, which yesterday declared as unconstitutional the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law that had been approved by a majority in the National Assembly on 29 March this year. The resounding electoral victory in the elections to the National Assembly at the beginning of December 2015 was based on a clear proposal...
CIS, Caucasus and Black Sea
04 APRIL 2016
The Socialist International has followed with great concern the hostilities and attacks that have taken place in the last 48 hours between Armenians and Azerbaijanis with a regrettable loss of numerous lives. Our International calls for an immediate ceasefire and for an end to these hostilities, and at the same time reiterates the urgent need for a resumption of dialogue within the framework of the Minsk Group, a body accepted by both Armenia and Azerbaijan and recognised by the multilateral organisations, to resolve through negotiation and in accordance with the principles of international law...
15 JULY 2015
The Socialist International vigorously condemns the despicable terrorist attack carried out last night during the Bastille Day celebrations in Nice that took the lives of at least 84 men, women and children, and left scores seriously injured. This horrific attack continues the path of successive acts of terrorism against innocent people in France and in other countries across the world, as extremists seek to generate a climate of fear and undermine democracy and the rights and freedoms people everywhere have fought to achieve.....