Petition to the Commonwealth to support democratic changes in Venezuela.
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The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC
Dear Baroness Scotland,
We, the undersigned citizens living in the Commonwealth, are deeply concerned with the ongoing political, economic and social crisis in Venezuela; a crisis that threatens to spill beyond the Venezuelan borders, considering that:
• The promotion of democracy, rule of law, human rights, good governance and social and economic development is part of the mandate of this institution.
• The following nations in the Caribbean and Americas are members of the Commonwealth of Nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
• Venezuela holds a key strategic influence in the region and is confronting an acute social, political and economic crisis derived from the gross mismanagement and corruption of the current regime.
• Its economy has collapsed and has sent its inhabitants in a massive exodus seeking better life opportunities elsewhere.
• The political situation in Venezuela has spiraled into a dictatorship where public institutions have no autonomy, freedom of the press is under severe attack, and dissent is severely punished, including the imprisonment of 431 political prisoners.
• High-ranking government officials and their families have been linked to drug trafficking by international jurisdictions.
• The people in Venezuela have constitutionally and tirelessly demanded the return to democracy and have and peacefully been on the streets for over 100 days.
• The response of the regime has been to unleash its brutal violence against citizens and has caused to date almost 100 deaths, over 15,000 injuries and 2815 arbitrary detentions, all of the above for exercising their peaceful right to protest.
We respectfully request your support as a potentially affected party in the region to help stop the escalation of conflict in Venezuela and help Venezuelans safely regain their return to democracy in cooperation with international and regional organizations by asking the regime to:
1. Support their democratic plight to set the political prisoners free
2. Restore the Legislative Assembly's powers
3. Open a humanitarian channel to allow for food and medicines
4. Call for national free and transparent elections, and
5. Reject the proposed unconstitutional regime led re write of the Constitution.
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