Declaration on Venezuela

Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bogotá, Colombia, 4-5 October 1999

Original: Spanish

The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Bogotá on 4-5 October 1999,

Acknowledges with satisfaction that the tension created between the Congress of the Republic of Venezuela, the Supreme Court of Justice and the National Constituent Assembly, has been resolved with respect for the rule of law.

Recognises the use of consensus and political accord as rational ways of conducting political activity aimed at achieving the stability and the strengthening of democracy, to which the Venezuelan Episcopate has decidedly contributed.

Reaffirms the need to apply democratic concepts and principles to strengthen and legitimise the regions, townships and municipalities, which are the fundamental tools needed to implement viable social projects.

Rejects any attempt to replace the rule of law in Venezuela and the country's democratic institutions with a militaristic state which intends to enshrine the military vote, which would be a fatal development for Venezuela.

Calls upon Venezuela's political institutions to avoid future governability crises which threaten freedom and endanger the country's democratic system.