Brussels · 30 March 2017

Due to the extremely grave situation. We, the political member parties of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI-IDC) hereby express our grave concern, before the entire international community, about the recent decision, by the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela, which under the control of the government of Nicolas Maduro, has, for all practical purposes, declared inexistent the National Assembly that was democratically elected on 6 December 2015. It has lifted the immunity of its chosen representatives and has instructed the government to exercise absolute power, including the use of military justice.

The above is all the more serious in that this coincides with the debate about the break-up of the constitutional and democratic order in Venezuela. Therefore the opposition has decided to bring this matter to the attention of the Organization of American States (OAS), in application of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, through a report presented to the Permanent Council of this organization and to its Secretary-General, Luis Almagro. As a way out of this constitutional impasse, the report is recommending the holding of general elections, the delay of which has already surpassed the limits of a normal alternation of power.

At the center of the report to the Secretary-General of the OAS  is a direct call on the government of the member states of the OAS and on the international community in general :

“The rule of law is no longer in existence in Venezuela. It has been eliminated by a Judicial Power completely controlled by the Executive, which has invalidated each and every law passed by the National Assembly as well as the constitutional rights of the people, especially their electoral rights. In today’s Venezuela, no citizen has the possibility to exert his rights. If the government desires to imprison someone, it does wo without judicial ado. The citizens are completely at the mercy of an authoritarian regime which negates the most elementary rights. These attempts have been fashioned and executed in parallel with a process of mediation which, for the reasons mentioned, lacks all credibility. Corruption is all-pervasive and the economy is in a free-fall. There is a lack of basic foodstuffs, health services are precarious and the profound humanitarian crisis is on an unseen scale in the Western hemisphere. Civil and political rights are ignored. All this is in the interest of preserving the wealth, the privileges and impunity of those in power.”

We cannot but sound the alarm bell and call on Secretary Almagro, to put into action a mechanism to allow a concerted dialogue between the government of Maduro with the Secretariat of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). Without the authorization or consultation with the chancelleries the government’s attempt to restructure the Venezuelan opposition has only served to aggravate the current tragedy in the economic, social, political and humanitarian field, with destructive consequences for the people. Furthermore, we draw attention to the connivance of the Venezuelan regime and its main beneficiaries, with drugs trafficking, terrorism and organized crime.

Consequently, we the CDI-IDC member parties welcome the decision by the majority of the OAS member states to support taking action in the search for avenues for the re-establishment  of democracy in Venezuela, and we regret that a minority of other states have not taken heed of the moral dilemma involving Venezuela, which are not a matter of a mere debate between democratically acceptable political or ideological options or alternatives in the region, but the demand – as formulated by Secretary Almagro – to hold general elections without tricks or smokescreens, so as to enable the Venezuelan people to dispose of, without violence, the militarized narco-dictatorship now cruelly oppressing it.

Malta, 30 March 2017