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Senator Andreychuk Calls on the Government of Venezuela to end Political Violence

Senator Andreychuk condemns escalating violence in Venezuela two weeks prior to the Parliamentary elections.

 The death of regional opposition leader, Luis Manuel Diaz, marks the most recent incident of political violence in Venezuela. Mr. Diaz, Secretary General of the Acción Democrática party, was shot at a campaign rally on November 25, 2015.

“When violence escalates and a political opposition leader is killed, a fair democratic process is severely threatened,” stated Senator Andreychuk.

A number of other high profile Venezuelan opposition leaders have reported incidents of violence and intimidation. Lilian Tintori, wife of imprisoned national opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, reported the plane carrying her from last week’s campaign rally had been sabotaged. Earlier this month, opposition candidate Miguel Pizarro reported a confrontation with armed men in East Caracas, while Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles, was reportedly attacked by a group of men in Yare.

“It is essential that the people of Venezuela are able to exercise their democratic right without fear or intimidation,” added Senator Andreychuk. “The Government of Venezuela must ensure the safety of everyone during their electoral process so that the goals of a democracy can be realized on December 6.”

Background

  • In early 2014, thousands of Venezuelans assembled to protest deteriorating security conditions, inflation, corruption, and food shortages in Venezuela.  Violent clashes between the government and opposition protestors culminated in the death of 43 people and the injury and arrest of hundreds more.

 

  • On June 12, 2014, Senator Andreychuk moved a Motion to Urge the Government of Venezuela to Immediately End all Unlawful Acts of Violence and Repression against Civilians. The motion was ultimately adopted by the Senate of Canada on March 12, 2015.

 

  • In August 2015, the Venezuelan Electoral Council and Comptroller General banned five members of the political opposition from running in the upcoming elections. Among those banned was former National Assembly member Maria Corina Machado.

 

  • In September 2015, Leopoldo Lopez, leader of the Popular Will party, was sentenced to serve nearly 14 years in prison for inciting violence during the 2014 protests. No credible evidence has been provided to substantiate these charges. He has been imprisoned since February 2014.

 

Contact: Darlene Van Dusen, 613-947-2239