SI Declaration on Venezuela

21 October 2016

The Socialist International deplores the decision adopted yesterday, Thursday 20 October, by the Electoral National Council (CNE) of Venezuela to postpone until a new judicial order the process of collection of 20% of signatures required to activate a recall referendum on the government of Nicolás Maduro scheduled for 26, 27 and 28 of this month. In its public declaration, the CNE bases its decision on compliance with the Constitution and observance of precautionary measures adopted by the criminal courts of Valencia, San Fernando Apure, Aragua and Bolivar, after accepting complaints for alleged electoral crimes against the political forces which are members of the Mesa de Unidad Democrática (MUD), an alliance which includes member parties of the SI, in the process to activate the recall referendum. 

The Socialist International strongly rejects this new delaying tactic by the Venezuelan electoral authority and calls on the CNE to assume its high responsibilities in the recall referendum and not to obstruct the process. At the same time, in the context of these electoral accusations, the SI condemns the issuing of restriction orders by the criminal courts of Valencia, the capital of the state of Carabobo, against eight political leaders who are members of the MUD, among them the ex-presidential candidate Henrique Capriles, preventing them from leaving the territory, and demands the annulment of this procedurally incorrect and arbitrary measure.

Finally, the Socialist International reiterates its determination to defend democracy and human rights in Venezuela and renews its call on the government to stop the daily misuse and undermining of the State institutions, and to stop acting against their nature and proper functioning.