Thirty-three countries from around the globe, including members of the Lima Group and the International Contact Group and some European Union member states, signed a joint declaration calling for democracy in Venezuela.
The declaration, released August 14, is a call “to put the interests of Venezuela above politics and engage urgently in support of a process shaped and driven by Venezuelans to establish an inclusive transitional government that will lead the country into free and fair presidential elections, sooner not later,” it says.
Its call for an inclusive transitional government reinforces proposals made by the Venezuelan Interim Government and the U.S. government’s proposed Democratic Transition Framework, released in March.
The framework calls for a transitional government to function as a temporary executive branch. This transitional government would oversee steps leading to a truly free presidential election, ensuring that no candidate has an unfair advantage, and set the country on a path to recovery.
The proposed framework won’t be “a way for Maduro to stay in power in perpetuity, which is what he’s looking for, but it’s a way for everybody around him to say, ‘Actually, we have a pretty good future if we just take it,’” said the State Department’s Michael Kozak at a press availability August 14.
The declaration was signed by a coalition of countries around the world. As of August 19, these countries had signed: Albania, Australia, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Republic of Korea, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and United States.
The declaration calls for all political persecution and acts of repression to end, especially those committed against:
- Human rights defenders.
- Humanitarian actors.
- Health workers.
- Members of Venezuela’s indigenous communities.
- Members of the National Assembly under the leadership of Juan Guaidó.
- The Venezuelan population at large.
“It is time for a peaceful, democratic transition in Venezuela,” said Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo on August 14. “The United States and the international community share an obligation to demonstrate and provide support for the Venezuelan people as they strive to reclaim their democracy.”