Canada condemns fraudulent presidential elections in Venezuela


May 21, 2018 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement in response to the presidential elections in Venezuela:

“Yesterday’s presidential elections in Venezuela are illegitimate and anti-democratic. Both in the run up to yesterday’s election and on Election Day, the Maduro regime has shown itself unwilling to make any serious attempt to ensure the elections meet international democratic standards of freedom and fairness.

“The Maduro regime has once again failed its people by restricting Venezuelans’ rights and liberty and by preventing the free participation of opposition parties.

“Canada rejects the Venezuelan electoral process—and its results—as not representing the democratic will of Venezuela’s citizens. Canada and its partners in the Lima Group, as well as other international partners such as the European Union, have repeatedly called on the Maduro regime to release all political prisoners, appoint a new and independent National Electoral Council, end restrictions on a free press, and allow all political actors to participate freely and fully.

“The Maduro regime has not made any serious attempts to fulfil these conditions, let alone allow its people to have a voice in their own governance.

“In response to the Maduro regime’s attacks on Venezuelans’ democratic and human rights, Canada is today taking steps, effective immediately, to downgrade its diplomatic relations and restrict its engagement with Venezuela.

“Canada stands by the people of Venezuela and will continue to oppose the Maduro dictatorship. For centuries, the people of the Americas have fought for their democratic rights, and they expect their governments to do the same. The Maduro regime’s caricature of democracy and abuse of human rights do not serve Venezuelans; they deserve better.”

Quick facts

  • Canada will immediately downgrade its diplomatic relations and restrict engagement with Venezuela. Interactions with Venezuela will be limited to advancing key Canadian objectives in this country, such as promoting democracy and respect for human rights. Actions will include:
    • downgrading Canada’s diplomatic relationship with Venezuela; as a result, the Embassy of Canada to Venezuela will be headed by a chargé d’affaires rather than an ambassador;
    • maintaining the existing ban on Canada’s support for Venezuelan candidacies to multilateral and international organizations;
    • imposing a ban on formal bilateral military cooperation;
    • instruct Government of Canada officials not to attend international or multilateral meetings and events hosted by or in Venezuela; and
    • restricting the issuance of invitations to senior Venezuelan government and military officials to attend events in or hosted by Canada, except where directly relevant to Canadian policy priorities.
  • Canada has imposed two rounds of targeted sanctions to date and continues to coordinate with international partners to pressure the Maduro regime to restore democracy in Venezuela.
  • Canada is providing more than $2.21 million to directly help meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations affected by the crisis.
  • Additionally, Canada is providing $4 million in funding for regional humanitarian assistance channelled through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Associated links


Adam Austen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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