Resolution on Venezuela

Meeting of the SI Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean in Montevideo, Uruguay, 17-18 May 2018

Original: Spanish

The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, meeting in Montevideo on 17-18 May 2018, expresses that:

The Socialist International has been closely involved for many years in the situation of Venezuelan and has been witnessing with concern the deterioration of its democracy and the growing authoritarianism in the exercise of different public functions in the country. The International has repeatedly reaffirmed through its different organs, and in particular within the Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, its commitment to democracy in Venezuela and the concerns about its decline. Along with this, the International has consistently denounced the violations of the human rights of Venezuelans, the restrictions on their freedoms and political rights, the worsening of the living conditions of the people and the polarisation of society.

The SI has always believed that the challenges to democracy must be responded to with more democracy. For this reason we welcomed the results of the 2015 elections. Nevertheless, as from the installation of the National Assembly in January 2016, the government of president Maduro has been intent in ignoring the sovereign will of the people, making accusations of disrespect, blocking initiatives and finally, convening the election of a Constituent Assembly, which violates the legitimate powers of the National Assembly.

On the eve of the presidential elections called for Sunday 20 May, the Committee expresses that in Venezuela there does not exist today an independent authority in charge of the electoral process. The date for the elections was set and then changed in a unilateral and arbitrary manner, establishing deadlines that made impossible the nomination of competing candidacies. There are political leaders who are prevented from presenting their candidacies because they are in prison, banned or in exile. There is no free access to the media to carry on campaign activities, while it is evident that on a daily basis the government abuses public resources to ensure its re-election. There are no credible international observation and the system of automatic voting facilities, since the elections for the Constituent Assembly in August 2017, has been questioned by the same enterprise that provides technology support. Therefore, the Committee refuses to recognise any legitimacy of these elections due to the lack of the minimum guarantees for them be considered as free and fair.

Once again, the Committee declares its confidence in the efforts and hopes of the Venezuelan people that will open the way to restore democracy in that country, making possible a future of freedom and dignity for the people of the sister country of Venezuela.

The Committee reiterates its call for the liberation of all the political prisoners; for respect for the National Assembly and all its prerogatives, and for the recognition of the powers and immunities of parliamentarians in the exercise of their duties; for the nomination of independent electoral authorities and for the establishment of an electoral calendar that ensures free, fair and competitive elections as soon as possible, with a real and broad participation of parties and candidates.

The Committee, taking into account the serious economic crisis facing the country and the shortages of food, medicine and basic necessities, calls on the government, the civil society, the international organisations and the international community to immediately mobilise all the humanitarian aid possible to Venezuela.

Our International will not rest in its support for the struggle of the Venezuelan people for freedom and democracy and to whom today we send our full solidarity from Montevideo.