The political leader, Leopoldo López, participated this Tuesday, April 6th, in a meeting with the Madrid Business Forum in which he reiterated the importance of articulating national and international efforts until reaching the necessary democratic conditions to go to free, fair and verifiable elections in Venezuela.
“There are many necessary conditions to have free, fair and verifiable elections and we are proposing the five most elementary ones, which are: The first condition is an electoral schedule with regional, parliamentary and presidential elections, the last two being the ones that have unified the criterion of democratic countries with respect to Venezuela, because they all agree that both the 2018 presidential elections and the 2020 parliamentary elections were fraudulent. The second condition is to have an impartial CNE, that is, an electoral referee. Until now, that instance has been managed by fanatics of the dictatorship. For example, the one who presides over the CNE today was before a magistrate in the Supreme Court who had the responsibility of the ruling that annulled the functions of the democratically elected National Assembly in 2015. The third condition is that they return the political parties to their legitimate authorities. Political parties in Venezuela were expropriated. The dictatorship took the initials and the party leadership from its rightful authorities and handed them over to its militants. The fourth condition is that the dozens of disqualifications for Venezuelan political leaders be eliminated. And the fifth condition is that there be international electoral observation and that, Europe knows about. The best international observation for elections is done by the EU and the OAS. We could make a list of 15 or 20 conditions, but these are the elementary five,” he explained.
López insisted that in order to achieve these conditions, unity of action within and outside of Venezuela is necessary. “To achieve free elections, the first thing we must do is keep Venezuelans enthusiastic and committed to freedom and democracy in Venezuela and for this, we are making great efforts to articulate political and civil society structures around one common and shared goal both inside and outside of Venezuela and thus, make use of the tools to exert pressure and to give guarantees. That is why we propose concrete and personal individual sanctions to the corrupt and violators of human rights in Venezuela,” stated López.
These human rights violations, López assured, are evident in all sectors of the population, even in the military structure. “We are talking about a power structure that is maintained with repression and with the incentives they give to the high command. An example of this is the case of Captain Acosta Arévalo, whom the dictatorship pointed out as being involved in an alleged military movement. They arrest him, they disappear him, for months no one knew about him, he appears, they torture him and so they take him in a wheelchair to the audience, with broken legs, full of bruises, with one eye almost detached, he tries to get up from the wheelchair and falls. They take him out and within half an hour, he dies. They took him there, under these conditions, with treachery, so that it would be known throughout the military structure that anyone who disagrees with the dictator can end up like Captain Acosta Arévalo, murdered after torture. That is the reality of the Venezuelan military structure and the repression of the dictatorship. Today there are about 400 political prisoners, of which almost half are soldiers who are also tortured and this has been presented to the ICC and the UN. And both have concluded that there are sufficient elements to determine that Nicolás Maduro commits crimes against humanity. That is the structure that we are facing,” assured López.
Another flagrant violation of human rights in Venezuela is the situation of COVID-19 vaccines. “The first to get the vaccine was Nicolás Maduro and he boasts of that. Then the Cuban collaborators and they boast of that. And then he has the gall to say they don’t accept the AstraZeneca vaccine. What I mean by this is that the level of impunity, criminality and impudence of the dictatorship headed by Maduro is killing people,” López denounced.
Finally, López thanked the support of the democratic countries of the world and made a call not to lower our guard in this fight. “Supporting the cause for the Freedom of Venezuela is supporting the cause of the defense of human rights throughout the world.”