Published On: Tue, Dec 20th, 2016

OAS calls for restoration of civil order in Venezuela

oas-venezuelaWASHINGTON - The General Secretariat of the Organization of American States (OAS) on Monday called for calm and the reestablishment of civil order in Venezuela amid serious incidents of public unrest in at least 12 states, with reports of demonstrations, disturbances and/or looting in 27 cities.

The OAS expressed its solidarity and unconditional support for the people of Venezuela in relation to the recent wave of violence, looting, and desperation sparked by the monetary measures adopted by the government that restrict the circulation of cash and as a corollary prevent the purchase of the most basic needs.

Added to this is the alarming and ongoing situation of the denial of civil and political rights, institutional rupture and social and humanitarian crisis.

The critical situation has resulted in a wave of unrest that has led to an increase in the already high levels of insecurity in the country and, according to local media, has led to the unfortunate death of a 15-year-old boy during looting in Callao.

In line with what has been previously expressed on a number of occasions, the OAS General Secretariat urged the Venezuelan government to meet its obligations and use all necessary means to restore the institutional order in the country, and to meet the urgent needs of the people, while restoring citizen security.

As established in international human rights conventions, it is the responsibility of the state to ensure the right to life, security, social and economic rights, as well as the basic needs of its inhabitants.

In the same way, it is the direct responsibility of the government to ensure the restitution of the political rights and the right of the people to elect their leaders and to be elected by the citizens.

In this context of political, economic, and social degradation, the OAS General Secretariat called on those responsible and those party to the dialogue taking place in the country to urgently take into account the severe humanitarian situation of the Venezuelan people.

“No people can place their hopes in an attempt at dialogue that does not lead to concrete agreements and their unrestricted fulfillment in good faith, just as citizens cannot believe in a dialogue so far removed and distant from their real interests and so inefficient that it has not been able to solve the basic problems of the Venezuelan people after so many months,” the OAS said in a press statement.

The OAS called on the government of Venezuela and the members and facilitators of the dialogue to reach, with the urgent timeliness the situation warrants, the effective agreements that provide solutions in Venezuela and which involve:

• The opening, without delay of a humanitarian channel;
• Solutions for the people in terms of food and medicine;
• The expeditious restitution of the right to vote and elect the people, to ensure a peaceful change;
• An end to repression and violence against the people;
• The release of all political prisoners;
• The restoration of the proper independence of powers, including restitution of powers to the National Assembly, a new Supreme Court and a new National Electoral Council;
• Restoration of social peace;
• A return to institutional and democratic normality in the country; and
• Accountability by government officials for their political and legal responsibilities.

The OAS reiterated its dedication to cooperating and supporting the people of Venezuela in the present situation and its offer of collaboration to restore institutional, political, democratic and civil and humanitarian rights in Venezuela.

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