Group of 28 countries seeks support for democratic transition in Venezuela
A group of 28 countries, including the United States, various members of the Lima Group, the International Contact Group, the European Union and others such as Israel and South Korea, on Friday issued a joint statement calling for support for the democratic transition in Venezuela.
The text calls upon “all Venezuelans, of all ideological tendencies, … whether civilian or military” to commit “urgently” to support a process to establish an inclusive transitional government that will “lead the country into free and fair presidential elections, sooner not later.”
It says that this process should allow the National Assembly (Parliament) to fully fulfill its functions, and should restore “the independence” of the Supreme Court of Justice and the National Electoral Council. And it notes that the progress made in negotiations facilitated by Norway in Barbados last year should “inform the way forward.”
In addition, it reiterates the willingness of the countries maintaining economic sanctions on Venezuela to discuss the lifting of those measures. The United States, in particular, has issued a battery of sanctions to encircle the government of Nicolás Maduro.
“The current pandemic and Venezuela’s overwhelmed public health care system have added urgency to the need to end the status quo,” the document reads.
At the same time, it demands “an end to all political persecution and acts of repression,” pointing to “increased repression” in general and against human rights defenders, health workers, journalists, members of indigenous communities. and members of the National Assembly under the leadership of Juan Guaidó.
The US State Department released the joint statement without specifying the signatory countries, but the Peruvian Foreign Ministry gave the list.
They are Albania, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Estonia, Georgia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Panama , Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia and Ukraine.
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