Canada calls on Venezuela to cancel Constituent Assembly


July 26, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the situation in Venezuela:

“Canada reiterates its serious concern with President Nicolás Maduro’s intentions to establish a Constituent Assembly on July 30, 2017. The process to create the Constituent Assembly is contrary to Venezuela’s constitution and seeks to usurp the democratic rights of its citizens. The plan for the Constituent Assembly is neither in keeping with democratic principles nor representative of the Venezuelan people. We call on the Venezuelan government to cancel the national Constituent Assembly and to take concrete actions, with the opposition, to restore democratic order.

“We welcome today’s statement by several OAS Member States as well as the third report on Venezuela issued by the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, and agree with its conclusion that ‘a course of action must be inspired by the principles and values of the Inter-American Democratic Charter that guide every step of the way.’

“Furthermore, Canada welcomes and supports the important actions taken today by the United States to target leaders of the regime. Individuals who are undermining democracy and human rights in Venezuela should be held accountable for their actions.

“Canada believes that to restore constitutional order in a manner that focuses on the legitimate concerns of the Venezuelan people, the government must enter into negotiations with the opposition. We also renew our call on the government to release all political prisoners and set an electoral calendar without delay.

“Only by respecting the sovereignty of the people can Venezuela protect the rights of its citizens, preserve social order and resolve this ongoing crisis.”

Quick facts

  • On July 5, 2017, the Venezuelan national assembly endorsed plans to hold a national plebiscite on July 16 to let Venezuelans have their say on the government’s plan to establish a Constituent Assembly.
  • On July 16, 2017, millions of Venezuelans voted overwhelmingly to reject the government’s proposal to establish a Constituent Assembly.

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