Political Dialogue Urgently Needed in Venezuela

20 August, 2016

Today, Venezuelan citizens face triple digit inflation, daily shortages of basic goods, and an escalating crime rate.

The Democratic Unity Roundtable, Venezuela's opposition coalition, collected and validated enough signatures, one percent of the voting population, to move forward with a recall referendum process to remove President Nicolas Maduro from office. The National Electoral Council verified the signatures in early August, which concluded the first phase of the recall referendum process. The second phase involves collecting signatures from at least 20 percent of the electorate to allow the recall referendum process to move to the third and final phase of the process.

Over the past few months, dialogue efforts have been led by former Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero, former Panamanian President Torrijos, and former Dominican Republic President Fernandez.

On August 11th, the governments of Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the United States of America, and Uruguay issued a joint statement expressing support for a meaningful inclusive dialogue in Venezuela.

“We urge the Government of Venezuela and the opposition to hold as soon as possible a frank and effective dialogue, directly or with the support of facilitators, which allows the identification of long-lasting solutions in an environment of peace and mutual respect, encouraging them to continue to observe peaceful and non-violent forms of expression and influence,” said the statement.

“We call on the Venezuelan authorities to guarantee the exercise of the constitutional rights of the Venezuelan people and that the remaining steps for the realization of the Presidential Recall Referendum be pursued clearly, concretely and without delay, and thus contribute to the quick and effective resolution of the current political, economic and social difficulties in the country.”