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Montevideo, June 20th 2018 - 13:24 UTC

OAS Secretary General open letter regarding Venezuela's pre-electoral climate

Monday, November 30th 2015 - 07:32 UTC
Full article 33 comments
It does not make one 'garbage,' Mr President Nicolas Maduro, to condemn the killing of a politician and call for an end to the ongoing violence, said Almagro It does not make one 'garbage,' Mr President Nicolas Maduro, to condemn the killing of a politician and call for an end to the ongoing violence, said Almagro
It is not 'garbage' to refer to “other attacks against other opposition political leaders in a strategy to intimidate the opposition” It is not 'garbage' to refer to “other attacks against other opposition political leaders in a strategy to intimidate the opposition”
“The killing of a political activist, moreover, leaves us all more vulnerable, and signals that we are all real victims, not just potential victims.” “The killing of a political activist, moreover, leaves us all more vulnerable, and signals that we are all real victims, not just potential victims.”
“And if the fear and insecurity of the opposition is not enough, Mister President of all Venezuelans, you should listen to them so they can tell you directly”. “And if the fear and insecurity of the opposition is not enough, Mister President of all Venezuelans, you should listen to them so they can tell you directly”.

The following open letter from the Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro was addressed to president Nicolás Maduro regarding the pre-electoral climate in Venezuela, which is holding legislative elections next Sunday in very questionable and controversial conditions for opposition candidates.

 Maduro has called Almagro a former Uruguayan foreign minister, (and no longer a friend of former president Jose Mujica), 'traitor', 'corrupt', 'lackey of imperialism' and the latest, 'garbage'.

Other Venezuelan officials have criticized the OAS as the “most corrupt organization ever created” and claim it's at the sole service of US 'imperialism' and openly conspiring with Washington against the Bolivarian revolution.

Today, one week before the December 6 elections, I reiterate my call for peace and an end to the violence in Venezuela. The insults and impunity, whatever their source, cannot be an answer to the national and international clamor for equal rights and electoral justice.

It does not make one 'garbage,' Mister President Nicolas Maduro, to condemn the killing of a politician and call for an end to the ongoing violence in the country, or to say that “the violent death of any person is a heinous act that we cannot accept. The killing of a political activist, moreover, leaves us all more vulnerable, and signals that we are all real victims, not just potential victims.” 'Garbage' would be to say anything else.

In addition, it is not 'garbage' to say that “the killing of a political leader is a deadly wound to democracy and a succession of violent acts in an electoral process can be a mortal blow to nearly any kind of democracy.”

Similarly, it is not 'garbage' to refer to “other attacks against other opposition political leaders in a strategy to intimidate the opposition,” and to note that “the entire society is affected by fear and it has shaken the entire international community.”

Insecurity and Fear Cannot Dominate the Campaign.

And if the fear and insecurity of the opposition is not enough, Mister President of all Venezuelans, you should listen to them so they can tell you directly.

I only ask that every activist and every student - from any political affiliation - be able to express themselves peacefully, and be sure that they can return to their homes in peace; that any politician, from the best to the worst, be protected, be safe from any attack whatever the motive. To be 'garbage' would be to ask for anything else.

It is not 'garbage' to ask that “the government act now,” to call for “an end to all violence;” to ask that “the electoral process be transformed into a celebration and not an exercise of force, violence and fear;” and to call for “the most absolute guarantees for everyone.” It would be 'garbage' not to demand these rights.

Disarmament of civilian groups, a civic imperative.

It is not 'garbage' to urge the immediate reestablishment of a climate of peace and respect for the law, nor to urge an end to “speeches filled with threats and dark forecasts and for the disarmament of any armed civilian group, in particular those that depend on the government or the party of the government.” And my request refers specifically to these, because I suppose and I hope that you have influence and power in these cases, Mister President. In any case it would be good for the country to put aside the politics of weapons and crime.

It is not 'garbage' to say that “there should not be one more death, one more threat,” and that it is “time to put an end to the fear,” and that “every death in Venezuela today hurts everyone in the Americas.”

It would be 'garbage' to allow violent death, threats, and the logic of fear; it would be 'garbage' if the deaths in Venezuela did not cause us pain. Every death should hurt us, whether the name is Eleazar Hernández or Pablo Sussoni, Génesis Arguisone or past cases such as those of Robert Serra and his partner or Eliezer Otaiza, or more recently, Luis Manuel Diaz, who died during a campaign event.

Principles Must Not Divide Us

Regarding the case of Luis Manuel Diaz it is urgent - due to the nature of the political crime - to carry out an investigation of the killing and that the investigation result in irrefutable conclusions, just as it is necessary to investigate and resolve the pending cases of the 43 people killed in past demonstrations and other still unresolved cases. This would bring security.

I hope these principles, Mister President, do not divide us and put myself on one side and yourself on the other. And I do not make this response today to keep myself safe from insults, but because I prefer to hear arguments.

I care about the happiness and the peace of your country. And I want the Venezuelan people to achieve their happiness during your mandate, because the happiness of the people, “does not allow for the slightest delay,” nor do its causes, in the initial meaning of the words of General José Gervasio Artigas (Uruguay's national hero).

Top Comments

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  • Troy Tempest

    Good for Almagro, and good for the OAS for speaking out and breaking ranks!

    I don't know why he didn't do it earlier, but glad he finally did.

    It is clear what differences are with Pepe Mujica!

    Perhaps he heard the shrieking of the defeated Harpy as flew out of the Casa Rosada and realised now was the time.

    Nov 30th, 2015 - 10:15 am 0
  • Klingon

    Sending Maduro that letting is kinda like petting an enraged Baboon.
    Unless you want to get bit, it is probably best to shoot it.
    Where's the rest of Latin America? All I hear is crickets.

    Nov 30th, 2015 - 10:28 am 0
  • Brasileiro

    OAS is useless. An organization created by the 5 eyes, headquartered in 5 eyes and defends intyeresses of 5 eyes.

    We will be against the OAS in all that the OAS intends to negotiate or do.

    And we support that South America will withdraw this scam.

    Nov 30th, 2015 - 10:28 am 0
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