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
1932 - 2017
1924 - 2017
Former Secretary General of the PSP, Lebanon
1937 - 2016
Member Party Congresses
1930 - 2016
1947 - 2016
2 April 2017
6 April 2017
9 April 2017
23 April 2017
11 June 2017
World Refugee Day
Report of the Secretary General
Resolutions and Decisions of the XXIV Congress
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...
16 JANUARY 2016
The Socialist International vigorously condemns the terrorist attack carried out last night in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, which has left 28 people dead from many different countries, responsibility for which has been claimed by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims. 126 hostages were rescued by security forces following an operation to reclaim the hotel where the attack happened, during which a number of terrorists were killed. The Socialist International expresses its wholehearted solidarity with newly elected President Roch Marc Kaboré who assumed office at the end of December...
20 NOVEMBER 2015
The Socialist International is deeply saddened by the barbarous terrorist attack in Bamako early this morning, which has resulted in the death of numerous civilians in a hotel in the capital. Our heartfelt thoughts and condolences are with all those who are suffering and grieving as a result of this cowardly act of terror against innocent people with no chance to defend themselves. This attack is also an attack against democracy and against the efforts of the government and people of Mali to move the country forward. President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita is a leader that has made us all proud in our International, for his statesmanship, courage and commitment to securing a way forward for peace, democracy and economic progress for all the peoples of Mali...
13 NOVEMBER 2015
The Socialist International warmly congratulates Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, NLD, on their historic victory following general elections held in Myanmar on 8 November. The results of these elections, in which close to 30 million people were eligible to vote, already show that with 80% of the contested seats now declared, the NLD have more than the two thirds needed to choose the President and put an end to more than 50 years of military rule. These elections, despite the role and influence of the military, has been seen as the first openly contested poll in Myanmar in twenty five years, when the NLD won by a large majority in national elections in 1990 but Aung San Suu Kyi was prevented from taking office by the military and spent several long periods under house arrest, which only ended in 2010....
14 NOVEMBER 2015
The Socialist International is deeply shocked and saddened by the horrific multiple terrorist attacks carried out last night in Paris by ISIS, which have left 129 dead and many injured. We send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the victims, our sympathy to all those who endured this heinous crime, and our solidarity with the entire French nation as it comes to terms with these events. The Socialist International underscores its firm support for and solidarity with President Hollande and his government as he firmly and decisively acts to confront this concerted scourge of terror that has hit France, and takes the necessary measures to protect its citizens...