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Venezuela: Will of People Demanding Democracy Must Be Respected
In response to the developments in Venezuela today, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Whatever the outcome of today’s developments, it is clear that continued rule by the Maduro regime will lead to further instability and a worsening of the country’s political and economic crisis,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “This is an illegitimate government, put in place through fraudulent elections, that has maintained its grip on power through acts of violence against the civilian population. It has attacked journalists from the national media and from international outlets. And once again, the Maduro regime has used the military not to defend Venezuelan territory, but to insulate an illegitimate leadership from the popular will. We support the restoration of democratic governance in keeping with the will of the people, and strongly urge the alliance of countries that has supported a democratic transition to remain firm in its demands until the regime either gives way, or agrees to internationally administered elections.”
In January, Venezuela’s democratically elected National Assembly declared its head, Juan Guaidó, to be Venezuela’s interim president as a constitutional response to former president Nicolás Maduro’s deeply flawed reelection bid. Guaidó has since received the backing of more than 50 countries, including the United States. Maduro has not yet ceded power to Guaidó.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.