Image: Map of Venezuela. (Google Map)
SulutPos.com, Washington DC – In response to Venezuelan authorities’ use of force against demonstrators protesting an unconstitutional election called by the government, irregularities at the polls, and the arrest of opposition leaders following the vote on rewriting the country’s constitution, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The sham election, and the violence and threats against critics of the government, show President Maduro’s regime to be a dictatorship intent only on maintaining its hold on power, without regard to the will of the country’s citizens or for human rights,” said Carlos Ponce, director of Latin America programs at Freedom House. “The United Nations Security Council, as well as the Organization of American States, should condemn the election, as well as the killing of 130 protestors, and the arrest of a least 5,000, including 498 political prisoners, since April 1. The arrests of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and Mayor Antonio Ledezma of Caracas, who were abducted from their homes, as well as continued threats against Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz, an outspoken critic of the regime, should be addressed before the International Criminal Court.”
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.