After 14 years outside the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó announced that the interim government he leads is resuming the process for the nation’s return to the Community.
The announcement was made during the 20th Meeting of the Andean Presidential Council, where the Pro Tempore Presidency was transferred from the Pluri-national State of Bolivia to the Republic of Colombia, held on Thursday, and where Guaidó was a special guest. Present at the meeting were the Presidents of Janine Áñez of Bolivia, Iván Duque of Colombia, Martín Vizcarra of Peru and Lenín Moreno of Ecuador, as well as the Secretary General of the Andean Community of Nations, Jorge Pedraza.
“As the legitimate government of Venezuela, we again take up the flags of regional integration, we again take up the process of integration to the Andean Community of Nations and we assume it with historical responsibility, as a historical challenge in the midst of a pandemic, as a historical challenge confronting a dictatorship”.
He said that Venezuela’s exit from the CAN should never have happened, and that it happened in 2006, at the request of the Executive Branch headed by then President Hugo Chávez, “because of ideological solidarity and interests in monopolizing the integration of a region, which must be sincere as it is at this time, in favor of democracy and of course, our economic freedoms.
He said that Chapter XVII, Article 133 of the Andean Subregional Integration Agreement (Cartagena Agreement) establishes that “there are no fixed parameters for the accession of new members to the CAN, but that this process is at the discretion of the Commission of the Andean Community.”
“The fact that there is consensus on the re-entry of Venezuela on the basis of President Ivan Duque’s proposal is something favorable to democracy, to the people of Venezuela, to integration and to the countries of the Andean Community”.
Likewise, Guaidó pointed out that “it is evident that until the usurpation ceases completely Venezuela could not fully assume the obligations set forth in the Cartagena Agreement, especially in the economic, commercial and institutional areas. However, we could agree on the progressive incorporation of Venezuela as a full member of the Andean Community”.
The President in charge of Venezuela took the opportunity to thank once again his counterparts for their support to the interim government, the national parliament and the Venezuelans in their fight against the “tyranny of Nicolás Maduro”.
In Guaidó’s intervention that had him as special guest of the 20th Meeting of the Andean Presidential Council, where the transfer of the Pro Tempore Presidency from the Pluri-national State of Bolivia to the Republic of Colombia took place, he said that the need for integration implies democracy and freedom of our countries, and also goes through a healthy trade, respectful of the laws and aimed at empowering the citizen.
“As is well known, the process initiated with the Cartagena Agreement was aimed at creating a structure to achieve integral, balanced and autonomous development of its member countries through integration. Integration that must be in the interest of its citizens”.
He stressed that the interim government and the National Assembly would be in a position to: immediately reverse the decision of the regime, under the presidency of Hugo Chávez, to leave the CAN; set up a high-level technical commission for Venezuela’s new entry into the CAN, which would also include members of the Plan País, in order to turn it into a “State policy”; and from the political and social sphere, make progress in effective government acts in support of the Venezuelan diaspora, starting with Venezuela’s accession to the CAN.
“From here, from the Platform offered by the CAN, we can undoubtedly together promote an extraordinary meeting to define new integration policies that coordinate the actions of the bodies that are part of the Andean Integration System in order to: firstly, reverse the act by which Hugo Chávez excluded Venezuela from the CAN; secondly, taking advantage of the support of Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, promote an Andean alliance for the defense of democracy, welfare and progress.
He recalled that “in Venezuela there is not a struggle for power,” but a struggle to be able to live with dignity, to recover democracy.
Taking into account the rules and decisions of the CAN that offer protection to Venezuelan citizens in exile thanks to the free transit of member citizens and through the Andean Passport, the President (e) of Venezuela proposed “support for definitively promoting the acceptance by the block of expired passports as a result of the vulnerability of institutions in todays Venezuela.
He also raised the need to promote social and labour policies with agreements that define and coordinate policies with respect to the promotion of employment, training and labour migration; as well as the creation of the Border Integration Zones (BIZ), “an important element to be discussed.”
It should be noted that Decree No. 459 of 25 May 1999 of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs establishes as objectives “to facilitate the free movement of persons, goods, capital and services.”
“Today we ratify that commitment on behalf of Venezuela for a harmonization of national immigration and foreign affairs regulations based on the commitments of the Quito Conferences on Venezuelan migration and their Plan of Action”.