Venezuela:on the brink of reaching a point of no return?

20 February 2015

Venezuela has begun to live in a climate arbitrariness, anguish and repression only comparable to the authoritarian regimes of the past.

At moments when the leader of Voluntad Popular, Leopoldo López, completes one year deprived of his freedom as a political prisoner of the government of Nicolás Maduro, and when other citizens and leaders of the opposition remain in jails and in other places of detention due to arbitrary decisions by the Venezuelan government behind a judiciary which is subservient to the Executive, the harassment, persecution and repression of leaders of the different democratic political forces of the opposition continue unabated.

Yesterday, Antonio Ledezma, leader of one of the opposition parties and metropolitan Mayor of Caracas, was violently arrested by a large number of agents of the State’s apparatus of repression, who took him to one of the jails of the regime, while the uncertainty and insecurity of his relatives and of other representatives of the political opposition was made evident before a population which today is vulnerable and unprotected, faced with the whims of the increasing and unacceptable authoritarianism of their government.

Venezuela is becoming increasingly unrecognizable in the world as a democracy, as its government loses legitimacy on a daily basis under the weight of its Human Rights violations and the inhuman and degrading treatment it inflicts on the leaders of the democratic forces and on its own citizens.

The Socialist International, representing progressive political forces throughout the world that stand for social justice and for societies with solidarity and inclusion, rejects and condemns these unacceptable and repressive policies of the Venezuelan government, which throw Venezuelan citizens into a state of helplessness and a step backwards in history, at a time when the only practice that is acceptable everywhere is democracy and respect for the freedoms and rights of all.

We make a fervent call for the immediate release of all the political prisoners, for an end to the persecution and repression of the leaders of the Venezuelan democratic forces by the government of Nicolás Maduro, for a halt to the erosion of the institutions and the legal order of the State, and for an urgent and decided response to the wants and needs of the people who today feel increasingly threatened by the violence and the climate of confrontation which emanates from their own government.

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