Foreign Ministers from the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples’ Trade Treaty (ALBA–TCP) have ended a meeting here declaring support for embattled President Nicolas Maduro, who is facing opposition protests to step down.
The ministers, who met here for the “Sixth Extraordinary Meeting of the Political Council” also congratulated Venezuela on last weekend’s Constituent Assembly elections and rejected mounting international attacks against the country.
“We reiterate that the unilateral economic sanctions imposed against the Venezuelan people are a flagrant violation of international law and human rights, as well as an unacceptable interventionist implementation, whose only purpose is to directly hinder the Bolivarian people and government of Venezuela in order to change the regime,” the declaration stated.
The meeting also re-affirmed support for the position adopted by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders where they called for all parties to commit to engage in renewed dialogue and negotiation leading to a comprehensive political agreement with established time tables, concrete actions and guarantees to ensure its implementation for the well-being of the nation.
“We reaffirm our support to the initiative issued from the 38th Meeting of Heads of Government of CARICOM, held on July 6th, 2017, where they offered to accompany a process of dialogue between the government and the opposition in Venezuela, in order to revitalize and relaunch this peace seeking initiative in the country,” the declaration noted.
ALBA’s Secretary-General David Choquehuanca said the declaration represents the wishes of the people of Latin America and the Caribbean who want “peace and solidarity.
“Our people seek harmony, integration and here we have a declaration of total unconditional support to Venezuela’s democracy to its democratically-elected president and to the people who have been valiantly defending their rights and sovereignty,” he said.
The declaration made reference to what it termed “the continuous direct and indirect efforts to attack the peace and sovereignty of the people and government of Venezuela, the international media smear campaign and unilateral actions which contravene the international law, thus negatively affecting the Venezuelan economy today”.
The foreign ministers recalled the March 2017 declaration that states “the defense of Venezuela and its revolution does not only concern Venezuelans. It is a matter involving all of us who fight for the real independence of Latin America and the Caribbean.
“We reject the arbitrary and illegal sanctions imposed by the Government of the United States against Venezuelan citizens… The ALBA -TCP countries warn that the same mistakes that once led to failure are being made again.
“We demand the firm and immediate condemn to violence, which has caused regrettable deaths and numerous losses to the Venezuelan people. We reiterate the call to establish a constructive and respectful dialogue with a view to further political and economic stability in Venezuela.”
On July 30, Venezuela staged an election to choose a 545-member constituent assembly with the power to rewrite the constitution and dissolve state institutions.
The polls were boycotted by the opposition and criticised by many western countries, but Maduro said he assembly would help bring peace to the country where more than 100 people have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded since the street protest began in April.
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