Pristina, August 14, 2020 - We, a group of concerned countries including members of the Lima Group, the International Contact Group, the European Union, the United States, and others, call upon all Venezuelans, of all ideological tendencies and party affiliations, whether civilian or military, to put the interests of Venezuela above politics and engage urgently in support of a process shaped and driven by Venezuelans to establish an inclusive transitional government that will lead the country into free and fair presidential elections, sooner not later. National Assembly elections alone do not present a political solution and instead may further polarize an already divided society.
We call upon all institutions of the Venezuelan state to participate in such a process. Venezuelans and the international community have put proposals on the table towards this goal. Such a process should include the ability of the National Assembly to fully carry out its functions and the restoration of the independence and of the Supreme Court and National Electoral Council. The discussions and progress made in the Norwegian-led talks in Barbados should also inform the way forward.
We reiterate the willingness of all those countries maintaining economic sanctions to discuss sanctions relief in the context of political progress.
The humanitarian, social and political situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, underlining the need for a peaceful and inclusive political process that will restore democracy and set the country on course for recovery. The current pandemic and Venezuela’s overwhelmed public health care system have added urgency to the need to end the status quo. We are committed to continue our efforts to assist Venezuelans facing the pandemic and the previously existing humanitarian crisis on the basis of need, not political affiliation.
We call for an end to all political persecution and acts of repression. Human rights defenders, humanitarian actors, health workers, journalists, members of Venezuela’s indigenous communities, members of the National Assembly under the leadership of Juan Guaido, and the Venezuelan population at large have all faced increased repression in Venezuela.
We call on all political parties and institutions in Venezuela to engage promptly in, or in support of, a process that will establish a broadly acceptable transitional government that will administer free and fair presidential elections soon and begin to set the country on a pathway to recovery. For a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the crisis, a transitional government is needed to administer presidential elections, so that no candidate has an improper advantage over others.
A swift and peaceful transition to democracy is the most effective and sustainable route to stability, recovery and prosperity in Venezuela. We remain committed to helping the Venezuelan people achieve a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future.