The governments of Brazil, Estonia, Guatemala and Kosovo joined the democratic nations, including those that make up the Lima Group, the International Contact Group, the European Union, the United States, on Friday to demand truly free and fair presidential elections in Venezuela.
In the joint communiqué, the countries’ foreign ministries asked to include the ability of the National Assembly to fully carry out its functions and the restoration of independence of the Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council.
They also called on all Venezuelans, of all ideological tendencies and party affiliations, whether civilian or military, to put Venezuela’s interests above politics in order to restore the democratic system and freedom to the country.
The following is the full statement from the Governments of Brazil, Estonia, Guatemala and Kosovo:
We, a group of interested 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 Venezuela’s interests above politics and to urgently engage in support of a process formed and driven by Venezuelans to establish an inclusive transitional government that will lead the country to free and fair presidential elections sooner rather than later. National Assembly elections alone do not present a political solution and can instead further polarize an already divided society.
We call on all Venezuelan State institutions to participate in such a process. Venezuelans and the international community have put on the table proposals 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 of the Supreme Court and the 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 countries maintaining economic sanctions to discuss the easing of sanctions in the context of political progress.
The humanitarian, social and political situation in Venezuela continues to deteriorate, underscoring the need for a peaceful and inclusive political process to restore democracy and put the country on the path to recovery. The current pandemic and Venezuela’s overwhelmed public health system have added urgency to the need to end the status quo. We are committed to continuing 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 Guaidó, and the Venezuelan population at large have all faced increasing repression in Venezuela.
We call on all political parties and institutions in Venezuela to quickly engage in, or support, a process that will establish a broadly acceptable transitional government that will administer free and fair presidential elections soon and begin to put the country on the road to recovery. For a peaceful and sustainable resolution of the crisis a transitional government is needed to administer the presidential election so that no candidate has an undue advantage over the others.
A rapid 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.