Reactions to the 2014–17 Venezuelan protests

Reactions to the 2014–2017 Venezuelan protests have been declared by numerous domestic and international organizations, responding to events occurring throughout the years of protests. The reactions are listed below.

2014[]

Supranational bodies[]

Governments[]

  • President of the United States Barack Obama stated, "Rather than trying to distract from protests by making false accusations against U.S. diplomats, Venezuela's government should address the people's legitimate grievances." and called on Venezuela to release detained protesters.[57] President Obama also said, "Along with the Organization of American States, we call on the Venezuelan government to release protesters it has detained and engage in real dialogue."[58] In a personal letter to a resident of Miami, President Obama also said that "he was concerned for the Venezuelan people and is working behind the scenes to do what he can to support the people oppressed".[59]
  • Vice President of the United States Joe Biden called the situation "alarming", accused the government of, "Confronting peaceful protesters with force and in some cases with armed vigilantes; limiting the freedoms of press and assembly necessary for legitimate political debate; demonizing and arresting political opponents; and dramatically tightening restrictions on the media" and said that instead of working on dialogue, "Maduro has thus far tried to distract his people from the profound issues at stake in Venezuela by concocting totally false and outlandish conspiracy theories about the United States."[60]
  • United States Secretary of State John Kerry expressed grievances towards affected families of the violence and is "particularly alarmed by reports that the Venezuelan government has arrested or detained scores of anti-government protesters and issued an arrest warrant for Leopoldo Lopez".[61] Days later, John Kerry said, "The government's use of force and judicial intimidation against citizens and political figures, who are exercising a legitimate right to protest, is unacceptable and will only increase the likelihood of violence."[62]
  • John F. Kelly, United States Marine Corps general and Commander of the United States Southern Command, said to a Senate committee that in Venezuela, "It is a situation that is obviously just coming apart in front us, and unless there is some type of a miracle that either the opposition or the Maduro government pulls out, they are going down catastrophically in terms of economy, in terms of democracy,"[63] Kelly also wished that, "somehow Venezuelans resolve this themselves" and that, "larger U.S. government agencies are paying close attention" to monitor the cyber tools the Venezuelan government is allegedly using against its citizens.[64]
  • Members of the United States Congress pushed for the United States to place sanctions on Venezuela due to human rights violations during the protests.[65] However, President Obama only concentrated on imposing individual sanctions on Venezuelan officials.[66] On 5 March, John Kerry said that the United States was ready to place sanctions on Venezuela if the OAS did not get involved with dialogue.[67] On 8 May, the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations held a hearing discussing human rights violations by the Venezuelan government and proposals of sanctions by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that later passed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee.[68][69] The bill, called the Venezuelan Human Rights and Democracy Protection Act (H.R. 4587; 113th Congress), passed the House of Representatives in a voice vote on May 28, 2014.[70] The sanctions performed under the bill would be directed at Venezuelan government officials who were involved in acts that mistreated protesters and would result in those who were sanctioned having their assets frozen and being barred from entering the United States.[70]
  • On 30 July, the spokeswoman for the State Department, Marie Harf, stated that, "The Secretary of State decided to impose restrictions on travel to the United States a number of Venezuelan officials responsible for or complicit in human rights violations" and concluded stating "Our message is clear: those who commit such abuses will not be welcome in the United States".[71]
  • On 20 November, the US Deputy National Security Advisor of President Obama, Tony Blinken, stated that the Obama administration would work with the United States Congress to move forward and impose targeted sanctions on Venezuela after diplomatic efforts by Latin American countries failed to release opposition leaders and lead toward electoral changes.[72] A month later on 18 December 2014, President Obama sign the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 into law, granting targeted sanctions such as freezing assets or denying visas of those in Venezuela accused of violating human rights during the protests.[73]

Catholic Church[]

Coat of arms Holy See.svg Holy SeePope Francis asked for an end to violence and said, "I sincerely hope the violence and hostility ends as soon as possible, and that the Venezuelan people, beginning with the responsible politicians and institutions, act to foster national reconciliation through mutual forgiveness and sincere dialogue."[76]

Others[]

Demonstrators showing solidarity with opposition protesters on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

2015[]

Supranational bodies[]

2017[]

Supranational bodies[]

  • The European Parliament adopted a resolution with 450 votes compared to 35 and 100 abstentions, the parliament released a statement saying that it "strongly condemns the 'brutal repression' exercised by the Venezuelan security forces, as well as irregular armed groups, against the peaceful protests" and "denounce the continuing unconstitutional violation of the democratic order in Venezuela and the lack of separation of powers and independence of the branches of government", objecting "to the Supreme Court's recent decision to suspend the powers of the National Assembly". MEPs called for mediation actions that included the release of political prisoners and the approval of international humanitarian aid.[140]

Governments[]

  • President of the Congress of Colombia, Mauricio Lizano, stated "We are very concerned because democracy in that country is over", and said that congress stood in solidarity with the opposition-led National Assembly of Venezuela.[144]

Others[]

References[]

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