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Senator Andreychuk concerned by continued lack of judicial independence in Venezuela

Senator Andreychuk today reiterated concerns that Venezuela’s justice system continues to be used to silence dissent amid a deteriorating political and economic situation.

“The arrest of opposition politician and metropolitan mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezema, is but the latest in a series of high profile and apparently politically-motivated detentions,” said Senator Andreychuk.

“Like opposition leaders Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado before him, Mr. Ledezema’s only offense appears to have been his disapproval of the policies of President Maduro’s government.”

The arrest comes at a time of increased tension as Venezuela marks the anniversary of violent protests that resulted in the deaths of over 40 people in 2014, and as citizens struggle to make ends meet amid soaring inflation.

“In order to overcome its current difficulties, Venezuela must separate politics form the institutions of state,” added Senator Andreychuk. “Reconciliation in Venezuela depends on citizens being able to rely on a democracy that is inclusive and founded on the impartial application of the rule of law.”

Background

On June 12, 1014, Senator Andreychuk moved the following motion in the Senate of Canada:

That the Senate of Canada take note of the ongoing tensions in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and that it urge the Government of Venezuela to:

1. immediately end all unlawful acts of violence and repression against civilians, including the activities of armed civilian groups, and

2. commit to meaningful and inclusive dialogue centred on the need to:

(a) restore the rule of law and constitutionalism, including the independence of the judiciary and other state institutions;

(b) respect and uphold international human rights obligations, including the freedoms of expression and the press; and,

(c) take swift and appropriate measures to curb inflation, corruption and lawlessness, and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all Venezuelans.

That the Senate of Canada further encourage all parties and parliamentarians in Venezuela to:

1. encourage their supporters to refrain from violence and the destruction of public and private property; and,

2. commit to dialogue aimed at achieving a political solution to the current crisis and its causes.

Contact

Shaughn McArthur 613-996-4600