Canada concerned by Venezuela’s latest measures undermining democracy


July 5, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

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

“Canada is deeply troubled by today’s violence against the democratically-elected National Assembly, as well as the legal measures Venezuela’s supreme court is pursuing against Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz. These concerning measures take Venezuela further away from constitutional order and a return to democracy.

“Once again, Canada urges the Government of Venezuela to restore democratic governance and respect the independence of the office of the attorney general and of the national assembly. The selection of members of the national electoral council and the supreme court must follow constitutional procedures. Further, we renew our call on the Government of Venezuela to release all political prisoners and set an electoral calendar without delay.

“As Venezuelans celebrate their independence today, we urge the Government of Venezuela to respect democratic rights and bring back the independence of the very institutions that protect the rights of its people.”

Quick facts

  • On June 28, 2017, Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz had her assets seized by the Government of Venezuela and was banned from leaving the country after alleging human rights violations and decrying an erosion of democracy under President Nicolas Maduro. The supreme court opened trial proceedings against her on July 4 to consider a motion to remove her from office; the court announced that it will render a decision by July 9.
  • On July 3, the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (democratic unity round table) announced plans to hold a national, unofficial plebiscite on July 16 to let Venezuelans have their say on the government’s plan to rewrite the constitution and political future of the country.
  • On July 5, during a ceremony marking the Independence Day of Venezuela, armed civilians espousing support for President Maduro were allowed to enter the National Assembly where they physically assaulted elected representatives of the Venezuelan people.

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