MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, July 18th 2024 - 17:30 UTC



G7 insists Venezuela should hold free and fair elections

Saturday, June 15th 2024 - 09:57 UTC
Full article
“We are not alone,” opposition leader María Corina Machado said after the G7 declaration “We are not alone,” opposition leader María Corina Machado said after the G7 declaration

Leaders of the world's seven largest economies gathered at the exclusive Italian resort of Borgo Egnazia Friday and urged the Venezuelan regime of Nicolás Maduro to hold free and fair elections on July 28, which would entail allowing foreign observers to participate in the process. They also asked Caracas not to escalate the conflict with Guyana over the oil-rich Essequibo region.

The G7 Summit also agreed on the need for the Venezuelan government to “end the harassment” of other politicians, particularly “regarding the rights of the opposition within the electoral process and the decision to withdraw the invitation for an electoral observation mission” from the European Union (EU). It also demanded “the immediate release of all political prisoners.”

“We are deeply concerned about the current political, economic, and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the lack of progress in the implementation of the Barbados Agreement of October 2023,” read the G7's declaration signed by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

“We call on Venezuela to fully implement the Barbados Agreement and ensure competitive and inclusive elections on July 28, encompassing full and credible international electoral observation missions,” the statement went on after the National Electoral Council (CNE) decided last month to withdraw the invitation to the EU mission citing an alleged “hostile attitude.”

The G7 also said it was “closely” following the territorial dispute over the Essequibo and welcomed “with satisfaction” regional efforts to maintain dialogue between the parties while demanding Caracas to “refrain from further destabilizing initiatives” because “the matter must be resolved peacefully, in accordance with international law.”

This year's Summit under Italy's rotating presidency focused on the Americas with Presidents Javier Milei of Argentina and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil as guests. The G7 leaders also pledged to work together for the stabilization of Haiti and to fund the Kenya-led Multinational Security Support Mission (MSS) to “deploy as soon as possible” in that country, among other initiatives.

In Caracas, Maduro's Government rejected the G7 declaration: “Decadent imperialism has never had such poor and ridiculous leadership as the one exhibited today by the G7. Rejected by their own peoples, they pretend to resort to colonial practices and meddle in matters that do not concern them,” Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil wrote on X.

”Our revolutionary democracy will tell them this July 28, once again, that we are free and sovereign and that their lackeys (in allusion to the opposition grouped in the United Democratic Platform, PUD) will not return,“ he added.

On the other hand, opposition leader María Corina Machado, who has been disenfranchised and subsequently supports PUD candidate Edmundo González Urrutia, welcomed the G7's words: ”We thank the G7 leaders for their unequivocal support for democracy and free and fair elections in our country. The whole world must support this demand for the respect of human rights, the release of political prisoners, and the cessation of persecution of members of the opposition,“ she posted on X.

She added that Venezuelans were determined to ”make popular sovereignty be respected through the vote“ and underlined that the statement issued in Italy spelled ”that we are not alone” despite global fears of possible irregularities through which Maduro would seek another term in office.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!