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Senator Andreychuk concerned by charges against Venezuelan opposition leader

Senator Andreychuk today reiterated concerns that Venezuela’s justice system be allowed to function independently.

“Judicial impartiality is critical for upholding Venezuelans’ human and civil rights, and the integrity of the state institutions that underpin Venezuela’s democracy,” said Senator Andreychuk.

Her statements came as Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado prepared to appear before prosecutors on December 3, to be formally charged in connection with an alleged plot to kill President Nicolas Maduro.

The prosecutor’s order did not disclose any evidence against Ms. Machado, who could spend 30 years in prison if found guilty.

“Venezuelans need to be able to rely upon their courts to uphold the rule of law,” added Senator Andreychuk, who called upon Venezuelan authorities to ensure that charges are not politically motivated and that the Venezuelan judiciary is able to function independently.

Allegations of intimidation of political opponents and the politicization of state institutions have continued to emerge as the government struggles under economic and social challenges that sparked violent protests last spring.

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