_ Given the decay of the situation in Venezuela, they warn about the persecution of the press, the existence of political prisoners, elections and the humanitarian crisis
_ They urge the Venezuelan authorities to create a climate of dialogue and peace that reverse these trends
The former president of the Government and president of FAES Foundation, José María Aznar and many former Ibero-America heads of State who signed the Declaration of Panama last April, have come back together to denounce the worsening of the political, social and economic situation in Venezuela. At the moment, 27 former presidents have endorsed the Declaration of Caracas, in which they denounce the unstoppable deterioration of the democratic guarantees and human rights in Venezuela, after the former presidents of Colombia, Andrés Pastrana, and Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga, having travelled to the Venezuelan capital in order to verify the conditions in which the prisoners of the democratic opposition are, had their visit request to the imprisoned Leopoldo López and Daniel Ceballos denied.
The signatories of the Declaration also report the persecution of the independent press, the progressive restriction of the parliamentary elections and the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, and they reaffirm their call for the international community to remain attentive in view of the worsening situation.
In this regard, the former presidents demand “the revocation of the judicial measures against independent press; the end of the persecutions and the release of political prisoners and the respect for their human dignity; transparent and fair elections under an impartial electoral power and a qualified, convenient and independent international observation; and the regulation of economic measures for the immediate cessation of the humiliating rationing and political control measures which prevent the population from accessing food staples and medicines”.
CLIMATE OF DIALOGUE
With this Declaration, the signatories also urge “the Venezuelan authorities to create a climate of dialogue and peace that reverse the detrimental trends which can be seen and which affect the liberties and fundamental rights of the Venezuelan people”. Moreover, they call upon “the international public opinion and the public opinion of our countries’, our respective governments and, in general, international organizations responsible for providing their guardianship to the victims of human rights violations and for ensuring democracy as a right of peoples” to remain attentive.
Lastly, they point out that “democracy and its effective exercise, which lie at the foundation of solidarity among all States, consists of respecting and guaranteeing human rights, exercising power according to the Rule of Law, separating and making the public authorities independent, political pluralism, free and fair elections, freedom of expression and of the media, and government transparency and integrity, among other criteria”.
Up to this date, 27 former head of states from Spain and Ibero-America have adhered the Declaration of Caracas. Namely, the former presidents of Argentina, Fernando de la Rúa; of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga; of Chile, Sebastián Piñera and Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle; of Colombia, Andrés Pastrana, Álvaro Uribe and Belisario Betancur, of Costa Rica, Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Rafael Ángel Calderón, Laura Chinchilla, Óscar Arias and Luis Alberto Monge; of Ecuador, Osvaldo Hurtado, Lucio Gutiérrez and Sixto Durán Ballén; of El Salvador, Alfredo Cristiani, Armando Calderón Sol; of Spain, José María Aznar, of Mexico, Felipe Calderón and Vicente Fox; of Panamá, Mireya Moscoso, Nicolás Ardito and Ricardo Martinelli; of Paraguay, Juan Carlos Wasmosy; of Perú, Alejandro Toledo; and of Uruguay, Luis Alberto Lacalle and Julio María Sanguinetti.
All signatories of the document are grouped in the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas, IDEA, a nongovernmental high-level international forum specifically created for the promotion, defence and sustainability of democracy as a right of peoples that needs to be guaranteed by governments.