SI denounces ruling against amnesty and reconciliation law in Venezuela

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 to the people: an amnesty law which would facilitate and enable the normalisation of political life in Venezuela and the reconciliation of its society. Three months after assuming their functions, the representatives in the National Assembly honour their commitment and at the same time they are prevented from complying with the wishes of the Venezuelan people by a strongly questioned TSJ whose powers appear to be dominated by the party in office.

The International also profoundly regrets that the regime of president Nicolás Maduro, rather that accepting the offer extended by the opposition to advance a dialogue starting with a law that sets free the prisoners of conscience and permits the start of a normalisation of the country, instead ignores this opportunity, and takes refuge in authoritarian institutional bodies which are favourable to the regime, delaying the gaining of a greater democracy, which sooner or later will happen in Venezuela.

To the great majority of Venezuelans who last December expressed themselves in favour of change in the country, the International reiterates its solidarity and unwavering commitment with the cause of Venezuelan democracy. Faced with situations like these, the response should not be one of alienation or scepticism. Democracy is the only way to build a Venezuela which is more free, more just and with better opportunities for all. We will always be on the side of the Venezuelan people in all their efforts to achieve these objectives.