Socialist International denounces illegitimate elections in Venezuela
7 December 2020
The Socialist International once again raises its voice to express its resolute support for and solidarity with the people of Venezuela, and with its democratic forces that have once again seen their freedoms and rights seriously violated by the dictatorial regime of Nicolás Maduro, this time with the illegitimate elections that were held yesterday.
The International rejects these elections carried out without effective and independent international observation, with an electoral power under strict and total official control and with a system of political parties that the Maduro regime has for years been dedicated to attack, co-opt and destroy. Both the call, and the preparation and holding of these elections, have been rejected by a significant number of countries in the region, as well as by the Lima Group, the Organization of American States and the European Union, among others. The main actors of the international community consider that the minimum standards required to carry out a fair, competitive and transparent election have been far from fulfilled, and this can only be described as an unacceptable affront to democracy.
The Venezuelan people have also understood this and have reacted to the electoral farce with massive abstention. With an electoral roll of close to 20.7 million voters, the participation figures on the day reveal an approximate 70 percent abstention. Compared to the previous legislative election, when the opposition won a clear victory, turnout this time fell 40 points. It is paradoxical to note that on the illegitimate day that we have just witnessed, the PSUV and other parties of the official Gran Polo Patriótico coalition who proclaim themselves as winners, obtained two million fewer votes than in the 2015 legislative elections in which they were defeated.
The Venezuelan opposition, led by Juan Guaidó, made a call to not validate the electoral fraud and to not participate in the elections. After the results were published, the president-designate stressed that the majority of Venezuelans had turned their backs on Nicolás Maduro. From the beginning of January 2021, the National Assembly, currently the only public body with democratic legitimacy in the country, could have a new composition as a result of a process called into question both nationally and internationally as spurious.
The Socialist International condemns this new attack on Venezuelan democratic actors and reiterates its deep concern at the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis affecting women and men, which continues to deteriorate by the day. The SI strongly supports its member parties and the opposition forces in Venezuela, and will continue to support their tireless efforts for a country in which the rule of law and respect for the freedoms and rights of all its citizens prevail. In view of the millions of Venezuelans who have had to leave their land for political or economic reasons and go into exile, the SI renews its call to the international community to remain active, mobilised and committed to defending full respect for human rights, freedom and democracy in Venezuela.