MIL OSI Translation. Region: Spanish / Latin America / UN –
Source: Republic of Colombia
Bogotá (Oct. 19/20). In the framework of the General Assembly of the OAS, Colombia and Brazil convened a panel on “The multidimensional crisis in Venezuela, beyond the parliamentary elections.”
Minister Blum was in charge of setting up this meeting, which was attended by representatives of the Governments of Brazil, the United States, Canada, Venezuela, Haiti, Ecuador, Guatemala and the Secretary General, Luis Almagro.
The Chancellor highlighted that “while the world struggles to contain the impact of the pandemic, the illegitimate Maduro regime deepens the erosion of democratic institutions and the usurpation of the popular will; continues to host international terrorist and criminal organizations; systematically violates human rights; and annihilates the productive system, taking poverty to unprecedented levels ”.
“It is a regime that openly ignores the values of the Inter-American System and that is causing a humanitarian disaster in our own Hemisphere,” he added.
The Foreign Minister emphasized the need for international justice to advance in the investigations into the violations of rights and systematic attacks against the population, which independent reports from the UN and the OAS have identified as allegedly responsible for the illegitimate regime.
Regarding the upcoming elections in the neighboring country, Minister Blum said that: “It is urgent to forcefully reject the electoral farce of a regime that only seeks to seize the last surviving democratic institution in Venezuela.”
The agenda of Chancellor Blum in the framework of the 50th General Assembly of the OAS will continue tomorrow with the inaugural session of the General Assembly, the dialogues of Foreign Ministers, and the respective plenary sessions.
Remarks by Foreign Minister Claudia Blum in the Dialogue on the multidimensional crisis in Venezuela, beyond the parliamentary elections
We are going to start this dialogue on the Multidimensional Crisis in Venezuela, beyond the parliamentary elections.
Dear ministers, heads of delegation,
Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro,
All of you receive a fraternal greeting and my thanks for joining us in this meeting that we have convened with Brazil and with the support of various countries present here.
I give a special welcome to the panelists who join us today: Foreign Ministers Ernesto Araujo from Brazil, Luis Gallegos from Ecuador and Julio Borges from Venezuela, Canadian Development Minister Karina Gould, Undersecretary Michael Kozak from the United States, Vice Minister Carlos Martínez from Guatemala and Ambassador Leon Charles of Haiti. Likewise, to the journalist Idania Chirinos, moderator of the panel, to whom I express my gratitude for being with us.
Today we will have the opportunity to continue the dialogue on the multidimensional crisis suffered by the citizens of Venezuela, a sister country with which we have deep historical ties.
During this year, as the world struggles to contain the impact of the pandemic, the illegitimate Maduro regime deepens the erosion of democratic institutions and the usurpation of the popular will; continues to host international terrorist and criminal organizations; systematically violates human rights; and annihilates the productive system, taking poverty to unprecedented levels. It is a regime that openly ignores the values of the Inter-American System and that is causing a humanitarian disaster in our own Hemisphere.
The only way out of this crisis is the return of democracy and the recovery of the rule of law. It is imperative that the OAS prioritize attention to Venezuela, and summon the world to join forces for the return of freedom for the Venezuelan people.
Gentlemen ministers, special guests,
The extreme gravity of recent developments in Venezuela demands that they be urgently addressed by the international community.
First, there are the fraudulent parliamentary elections that the regime intends to hold on December 6. The world knows that there is no independent electoral referee and judicial system in Venezuela; nor does an updated electoral roll, security for voters, freedom of expression and, even less, conditions for the plural exercise of political activity.
The countries committed to democracy must defend the Inter-American System and announce that these illegitimate and unwarranted elections should not be recognized. We must encourage other actors in the international community, multilateral organizations and civil society organizations to carefully analyze the circumstances of these elections so that they do not open any space for their legitimacy. It is urgent to forcefully reject the electoral farce of a regime that only seeks to seize the last surviving democratic institution in Venezuela.
In 2.019, the OAS resolved not to recognize the legitimacy of the new term of dictator Nicolás Maduro. We made then, and we have reiterated, our call to call Presidential elections in a free, transparent, legitimate process and with all the necessary guarantees. This is the first step for the solution of the Venezuelan multidimensional crisis.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The presentation of the Report on Venezuela, by the UN Independent Mission, is another crucial development on the very serious situation in that country. This report is in addition to previous documents contributed by non-governmental entities, world leaders, and the Organization of American States itself.
As is well known, the UN Mission found reasonable grounds to affirm that, since 2014, the illegitimate regime has committed serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, torture, and sexual violence and of genre. The systematic and widespread nature of the violations would indicate the commission of crimes against humanity.
The States and international organizations committed to the defense of Human Rights must take decisive action, especially before international justice.
In this context, on September 24, President Iván Duque sent communications to 55 Heads of State, inviting them to denounce and condemn these atrocious crimes.
Given the facts, it is urgent that the Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court advance in its examination of the situation in Venezuela.
Additionally, as several countries stated in the special session of the OAS Council on September 29, it is pertinent to analyze the application of universal jurisdiction. Under this framework, courts in the region and other countries could claim jurisdiction over the crimes against humanity reported.
Gentlemen ministers, special guests,
The crisis in Venezuela has additional dimensions with regional and global impact.
The increasingly evident links of the Maduro regime with corruption networks and organized transnational crime and its laxity in the face of terrorist organizations that remain in Venezuela, generate serious security risks. The international community must thoroughly investigate these connections, and activate the political and legal mechanisms necessary to avoid impunity for these actions.
On the migration side, about 5.5 million Venezuelans have been forced to leave their country. This diaspora is the second largest in the world, and it has occurred in approximately three years. The Covid-19 pandemic temporarily slowed the exodus, but migratory flows to the countries of America will regain their rhythm. Cooperation is of greater importance to address this migration, particularly in times of pandemic.
Ministers, Secretary General and Delegates:
At different times in the recent history of the world we have known the tragedies that take place when the civilian population is left unprotected in the face of totalitarian regimes that use force and repression to stay in power.
As an international community, we must act together to stop the suffering and humanitarian disaster that Venezuela is experiencing and ensure that justice condemns those responsible.
With concern we see how the illegitimate regime continues to take advantage of the goodwill of some actors that still give credibility to a dictatorship that does not cease to threaten the people and stability in our region.
The OAS must work to continue making the crisis in Venezuela and its impacts visible at the global level; and to increase political, judicial and diplomatic pressure on the illegitimate and oppressive regime. This regime must receive an unequivocal message from the OAS: we will never be indifferent and we will not stop supporting Venezuelans in their yearnings for democracy and freedom, and for the institutional and economic reconstruction of their country.
I invite you to take advantage of this space for reflection to promote new actions that allow solutions to this serious crisis, and to renew our unwavering commitment in defense of the inter-American values that guarantee progress and stability in America.
Thank you very much.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.