Venezuela at the centre of concerns of democrats the world over

14 January 2017

As 2017 begins, it is more evident than ever that the political, social and economic situation in Venezuela is becoming increasingly serious and urgent for millions of its inhabitants, and the international community cannot remain indifferent or absent in face of the critical circumstances of a nation which, thanks to the efforts of a whole generation some decades ago, was able to rise up and follow the path to democracy.

Along with with the highest international records for inflation in existence today in a national economy and the largest number of deaths caused by homicides and criminal acts, this situation multiplies the human suffering, the poverty and desperation of citizens who cannot rely on the protection of the institutions which do not respond to the many emergencies that afflict the Venezuelan people and which reflect the characteristics of a failed state.

In this context, the expectations generated last year by a dialogue initiated between the opposition forces and the government headed by President Maduro have not materialised in significant results, contributing to the dramatic situation in the country due to the government’s non-compliance with the agreements reached between both parties, including the liberation of all political prisoners, the recognition of the sovereignty of the National Assembly, appropriate responses to the humanitarian crisis and the establishment of an electoral timetable. This has prevented the continuation of the process of dialogue.

Moreover, 2017 has begun with a lack of recognition by the Supreme Court of Justice, today in the hands of a pro-government majority, of the powers of the legislators in the National Assembly in regard to decisions recently adopted by this body, and the flagrant refusal to acknowledge the right of parliamentary immunity, as shown in the case of the arrest of the legislator Gilber Caro of Voluntad Popular, a member party of this International. We denounce both these actions, as they reveal a disregard of the fundamental rules of a democratic system.

Faced with this growing move towards authoritarianism that we see today in Venezuela, our International once again demands respect for the freedoms and rights of all Venezuelans, to whom we extend our deepest solidarity and support. We are convinced that the democratic spirit of the Venezuelan people will prevail and we will continue to stand by them from all the corners of the world.