Ambassador Carlos Trujillo
Resolution on Venezuela
OAS General Assembly
October 21, 2020
The United States is very pleased that the OAS will approve a strong resolution on Venezuela. The facts on the ground clearly show that the OAS must take a strong stand for democracy and human rights in Venezuela.
When we look at Venezuela, we need to be realistic, and recognize the situation for what it is, not for what we wish it to be.
We know that the illegitimate Maduro regime has conducted fraudulent presidential elections, destroyed democratic institutions by usurping control of the Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council, and unleashed security forces to undermine the freedom of expression. We know that the regime is committing human rights abuses on a mass scale, with the very top regime actors complicit.
We know that the Maduro regime has infiltrated opposition parties to co-opt them too, and stopped legitimate opposition candidates from running. We know that the Maduro regime has used the worsening humanitarian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic to tighten its control over the people of Venezuela, including by the partisan distribution of food supplies.
Finally, we know that the Maduro regime is now coming for the only remaining democratic institution in Venezuela, the National Assembly. The Maduro regime, which was never serious about addressing the necessary conditions for free and fair elections, is going ahead with the fraudulent National Assembly elections right on schedule December 6th..
Given these circumstances, the United States is very proud that the OAS is holding firm to its core principles. This is the time to demand democracy and human rights in Venezuela, and to accept nothing less. We are pleased that the Venezuela resolution condemns the illegitimate regime for undermining the democratic system and usurping the powers of the Supreme Court and National Electoral Council.
The resolution demands investigations of human rights abuses, and specifically calls for the protection of the brave members of the legitimate National Assembly. The resolution calls out the regime for acting contrary to the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the humanitarian principles, which are both important, non-legally binding instruments.
The resolution insists on holding free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections as soon as possible. Finally, the resolution wisely accepts the current representatives of the democratic National Assembly until new free and fair presidential elections are held, leading to a democratic government.
The OAS can, and should, be proud of the stand that we have taken today.
The resolution was approved with 21 votes in favor (Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia, Uruguay, Venezuela); 4 against (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Nicaragua, St. Vincent and the Grenadines): and 9 abstentions (Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Mexico, St. Kitts and Nevis, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago.)