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Thursday 23 May 2019
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Human rights centre looks to ‘credible elections’

Diana Mahabir-Wyatt
Diana Mahabir-Wyatt

The Caribbean Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) is calling for the start of “an immediate political process” which, it believes, will lead to “free and credible” elections in Venezuela.

The organisation said it also supports any attempts at mediation to resolve the country’s socio-political turmoil.

In a statement yesterday, the organisation’s president Diana Mahabir-Wyatt said such a process will ensure the rights of the Venezuelan people to peacefully demonstrate, choose their leaders and decide their future.

“In so doing, the dire humanitarian situation in Venezuela must be recognised and identified for what it is, and condemned by all stakeholders, including by Caricom,” Mahabir-Wyatt said.

“There is no space in democratic governance for violence, the excessive use of force by security forces or government policies that cause starvation and suffering.” She said the protection of the human rights and safety of all Venezuelans must be paramount in any actions going forward.

“We join the European Union and others in fully supporting the national assembly as the democratically-elected institution whose powers need to be restored and respected. “

Mahabir-Wyatt, in the statement, said while the organisation recognised Nicolas Maduro may hold the reigns of power in Venezuela through the backing of the military and other stakeholders in that country, it also respected the results of the democratically legitimate elections of Juan Guaido as head of the National Assembly and the constitutional implications that determine his leadership role in guiding the country to a peaceful resolution, including through dialogue with his opponents. She stressed the organisation cannot support any foreign military intervention into the affairs of Venezuela.

“As such, CCHR supports fully any attempts to resolve the current situation in Venezuela through mediation, and in that vein, we strongly urge that efforts at peace making must be genuine, professional and pro-active.

“Any politically expedient efforts to propose mediation that are not made in good faith or from a position of neutrality can only harm the potential for a non-violent solution and jeopardise the human rights of the people of Venezuela.”

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