Canadian organizations condemn post-election violence in Venezuela

Dear Honourable Member of Parliament

We, the undersigned organizations respectfully request the Government of Canada to condemn the violence perpetrated by the Venezuelan opposition and to recognize the results of the National Electoral Council (CNE by its Spanish acronym), which proclaimed Nicolas Maduro as the president elect of Venezuela.

On Sunday April 14th Venezuelans went to the polls in a peaceful and democratic electoral process that saw more than 78% of the electorate partake. After proper audit checks had been undertaken, the president of the CNE, Tibisay Lucena declared Nicolas Maduro president elect by 50.8% to 49% – a difference of some 265,000 votes.

Hours prior the results were announced, Henrique Capriles, attempted to discredit the electoral process by claiming on his Twitter account that the government was planning to “change the results”.
Upon the release of the official results, Capriles held a press conference in which he claimed that the victory was “illegitimate” and refused to recognize Maduro’s victory until all ballots are manually audited.

The National Electoral Council has undertaken to audit 54% of the vote, “a statistical proportion that in any part of the world is considered excessive”[1], and carried out fourteen audits before and during the electoral process to safeguard the functioning of the system. Tibisay Lucena reminded Capriles to use the proper judicial processes open to him to clarify any doubts he has over the results.

The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) electoral accompaniment mission, present throughout the electoral process, has called for respect for the CNE’s official results. On Monday, government and military leaders on state television defended the official vote count and accused Capriles of trying to ferment violence.

Irrespective of all this, Capriles is refusing to recognize the results of the CNE and called on his supporters to take to the streets in protests. Capriles supporters took to the streets burning buildings of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), attacking government health clinics and even the house of electoral council President, Tibisay Lucena. Their actions have caused dozens to be injured and 7 killed.

We condemn the opposition-initiated violence against innocent supporters of President Nicolas Maduro as an attempt to destabilize Venezuela. In line with UNASUR we call on the opposition to respect the will of the people and to recognize the results of the CNE.

We call on the Government of Canada to condemn the violence perpetrated by the opposition and to recognize the results of the CNE, which proclaimed Nicolas Maduro as the president elect.

Comité pour les droits humains en Amérique latine
Common Causes
Common Frontiers
Council of Canadians
Canadian Union of Public Employees
Canadian Union of Postal Workers
Latin American Trade Unionists Coalition – National
Ontario Federation of Labour
The Latin American and Caribbean solidarity network

For more information please contact:

Raul Burbano
Common Frontiers – Program Director