This Friday, October 16th, Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó, accompanied by Ambassador Antonio Ecarri Bolívar, diplomatic representative of the legitimate government of Venezuela in Spain, as well as a group of Venezuelan deputies in exile, met with representatives of the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV), with the intention of thanking that political organization for its support of the Venezuelan democratic struggle.
In addition to President Juan Guaidó, Ambassador Antonio Ecarri and the Minister Counselor of the Embassy, Aldo de Santis, the following Venezuelan parliamentarians participated in the meeting: Franco Casella; Ramón López; Winston Flores; Auristela Vásquez; María Mulino; and Mariela Magallanes, in her capacity as coordinator of Venezuelan Deputies in Exile. And for the Basque Nationalist Party were virtually present: Andoni Ortuzar, president of the Basque Nationalist Party; Aitor Esteban, PNV spokesperson at the congress; and Mikel Burzako, Secretary of International Relations of the PNV.
During the virtual meeting, Andoni Ortuzar, president of the Basque Nationalist Party, reiterated his support and that of his organization to President Juan Guaidó and to the proposals of the legitimate government for the reestablishment of democracy in Venezuela. Furthermore, he expressed that Venezuelans had nothing to thank the PNV for because it is the responsibility of the democratic parties of the world to fight and defend the values that advocate freedom and democracy, as they have always done in Spain, and as they will always do in favor of democracy in Venezuela. He also expressed his support to the administration of interim president, Juan Guaidó and reiterated that they can always count on the PNV to be a voice that rises in favor of freedom and democracy in Venezuela.
Congressman Franco Casella expressed his deepest gratitude to the PNV, with which we have historical ties, and mentioned that the defense of human rights should be a priority for the democratic world. Casella, as President of the Sub-Commission of Human Rights of the National Assembly, wishes to express his deepest rejection to the serious violations of human rights that occur in Venezuela as was stated in the report of the Commission for the Verification of Facts requested by the United Nations.
For her part, Deputy María Concepción Mulino, highlighted that it is of vital importance that free and transparent Parliamentary and Presidential elections be held in Venezuela with democratic guarantees, to ensure that the serious humanitarian crisis that Venezuelans are living finally ends. Likewise, she thanked the Basque Nationalist Party for its support to the interim government, especially for approving the Law ‘Proposition No’ in favor of democracy in Venezuela before the Congress of Deputies.
Ambassador Antonio Ecarri expressed his gratitude to the PNV and commented that the historical ties between the Basque Country and Venezuela are enormous: “a symbol of our friendship through time was the reception by President Romulo Betancourt in 1959 of Lehendakari José Antonio Aguirre as head of state. On that same occasion, the Presidents of the Senate and the Congress of the Republic of Venezuela, Raúl Leoni and Rafael Caldera, respectively, also received Lehendakari Aguirre. On that occasion, the leaders of the PNV thanked Venezuela for this gesture. Today, we are the ones who must thank you”.
Finally, President Guaidó celebrated the presence of the president of the PNV, its spokesman and the person responsible for international relations and expressed, on behalf of the entire Interim Government, his deepest gratitude for the support they have immeasurably given to freedom and democracy in Venezuela. He also stressed that the only way to end the crisis in Venezuela is through parliamentary and presidential elections and that is why a popular consultation has been designed, to ratify through the will of the people, what the next steps are to change the course of the serious crisis occurring in Venezuela.