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Now is the Time for Action in Venezuela


Venezuela protests. (June 23, 2016)

The U.S. calls on the Maduro government to release all political prisoners, and to respect freedom of expression and assembly.


As a member of the Organization of American States, the United States is committed to promoting and defending democracy throughout the hemisphere, including in Venezuela. At a recent speech on Venezuela before the OAS Permanent Council, U.S. Interim Permanent Representative Michael Fitzpatrick noted, in signing the Inter-American Democratic Charter in 2001, that all OAS member states "made a solemn commitment to pursue liberty and social justice, and to ensure that our citizens would be able to realize their aspirations for democracy."

In an effort to address the political, social, humanitarian, and economic conditions in Venezuela, the U.S. supports efforts of the OAS Secretary General in his May 30 report. These include a call for national dialogue and for the government to honor Venezuela’s own constitutional mechanisms, including a recall referendum. This process, said Mr. Fitzpatrick, belongs to the Venezuelan people under their constitution, but it must happen in a timely manner.

The U.S. also joins the OAS in calling on the Maduro government to release all political prisoners, and to respect freedom of expression and assembly.

The United States is concerned that almost every measure the National Assembly has passed has been blocked by the Supreme Court.

The United States will continue to support regional efforts to promote dialogue and cooperation within Venezuela as a way of guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the people, respect for the rule of law and representative democracy, including the essential elements of the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government in that country.

As an active member and strong supporter of the OAS, the United States looks forward to taking additional steps to help Venezuela strengthen its democracy and move toward national reconciliation.

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