OAS Declaration - Democracy In Venezuela
CP/RES. 833 (1348/02)
16 December 2002
CP/RES. 833 (1348/02)
SUPPORT FOR THE DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE IN VENEZUELA AND THE FACILITATION EFFORTS OF THE OAS SECRETARY GENERAL
THE PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES,
HAVING HEARD the presentation of the Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the Organization of American States regarding incidents that could destabilize the democratic constitutional order in Venezuela;
HAVING HEARD the oral report by the Secretary General on his role in the facilitation efforts concerning the situation in Venezuela;
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the serious political situation confronting the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and deploring the acts of violence in that country;
CONSIDERING that the Charter of the Organization of American States recognizes that representative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace and development of the region;
CONSIDERING that Article 1 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter proclaims that “The peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it”; and taking into account the provisions of Articles 2, 3, 4, and 7 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter;
RECALLING resolution CP/RES. 811 (1315/02), “Situation in Venezuela,” of April 13, 2002; resolution AG/RES. 1 (XXIX-E/02), “Support for Democracy in Venezuela,” of April 18, 2002; declaration AG/DEC. 28 (XXXII-O/02), “Declaration on Democracy in Venezuela,” of June 4, 2002; resolution CP/RES. 821 (1329/02), “Support for the Process of Dialogue in Venezuela,” of August 14, 2002; and the press release of the Chair of the OAS Permanent Council of December 9, 2002, which reiterate the willingness of the OAS to provide the support and assistance that the Government of Venezuela requires to consolidate its democratic process;
CONVINCED that the Forum for Negotiation and Agreement and the facilitation by the Secretary General constitute urgent, important and constructive efforts in the search for a constitutional, democratic, peaceful, and electoral solution, with all due urgency as warranted by the situation; and
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the Venezuelan Government’s initiative of promoting and conducting a process of dialogue, without exclusion, and the facilitation efforts of the Organization of American States, the United Nations Development Programme, and the Carter Center to find a constitutional, democratic, peaceful and electoral solution,
1. To fully support the democratic and constitutional order of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, whose government is headed by Hugo Chávez Frías, and to reject categorically any attempt at a coup d’état or unconstitutional alteration of the Venezuelan constitutional regime that seriously impairs the democratic order.
2. To lend resolute and unequivocal support to the Secretary General of the Organization of American States in his efforts to facilitate dialogue, which include cooperation with the Carter Center and the UNDP, with a view to finding, as soon as possible, a peaceful solution to the crisis, with respect for the constitutional order and in the framework of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
3. To urge the Government of Venezuela and the Coordinadora Democrática to use good-faith negotiations to bring about a constitutional, democratic, peaceful, and electoral solution in the framework of the Forum for Negotiation and Agreement, with the facilitation of the OAS Secretary General.
4. To support the right of the Venezuelan people to elect their government officials in accordance with constitutional norms and to express categorically that any situation that violates the rule of law and the democratic institutional structure in Venezuela is incompatible with the inter-American system and, especially, with the Inter-American Democratic Charter.
5. To urge the Government of Venezuela to ensure respect for, and to urge all sectors of society to preserve, the free exercise of the essential elements of democracy to promote a constitutional, democratic, peaceful, and electoral solution.
6. To call upon all sectors in Venezuela to respect the principles enshrined in the Inter-American Democratic Charter, including, inter alia, respect for human rights, the rule of law, and transparency and good governance.
7. To urge the Government of Venezuela to ensure full enjoyment of freedom of expression and of the press and to exhort all sectors of Venezuelan society to contribute to promoting peace and tolerance among all Venezuelans and all social actors to refrain from encouraging political confrontation and violence.
8. To reiterate the determination of the member states to continue applying, without distinction, and in strict accordance with the letter and spirit of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the mechanisms provided therein for the preservation and defense of representative democracy, and the rejection of the use of violence to replace any democratic government in the Hemisphere.
9. To request the OAS Secretary General to continue to report to the Permanent Council on his facilitation efforts concerning the situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and bearing in mind the existence of other mechanisms in the inter-American system, such as the Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.