The events that transpired on April 14th in Venezuela are alarming. The current government has developed a need for survival so large, that it fails to accept the will of the Venezuelan people. This translated into over three thousand documented occasions of voting irregularities, inhibiting the people from exercising their inalienable right to vote.
In a democratic state, there is no reason why the government should refuse to do a recount when such a large portion of the population demands it. That is why I urge the Obama Administration to refuse to accept the results of the Venezuelan presidential elections up until there has been a full recount. I furthermore urge it to refuse to recognize the legitimacy of any government until there is no doubt that the democratic process was honored.
Response to Petition
Thanks for your petition. The United States is deeply concerned regarding heightened political tensions following the April 14 Venezuelan presidential election. On April 15, the White House issued a statement congratulating the Venezuelan people for participating in the presidential election in a peaceful and orderly manner, as well as urging the Venezuelan government to respect the rights of its citizens. The United States has also supported calls for a recount and urged for a credible and transparent review of alleged irregularities.
As the President has said on numerous occasions, every nation has the right to pursue its own path, but certain freedoms and rights are universal, among them the right of peaceful assembly and free speech. Nations that uphold these rights and freedoms are ultimately more prosperous and more successful. In nations that don't uphold these rights, where officials cannot be held accountable, corruption is more likely to endure, and people cannot live with the basic freedoms they deserve. These principles are not just the ideals of the United States of America; they are fundamental human rights, and all of our governments have a responsibility to uphold them. The charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) declares that "representative democracy is an indispensable condition for the stability, peace and development of the region." The Inter-American Democratic Charter states that "the peoples of the Americas have a right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote and defend it." Both Venezuela and the United States are signatories of both charters.
The international community has similarly spoken out about the need for political dialogue and for a democratic solution to the current political crisis in Venezuela. On April 17, the European Union encouraged all parties to engage constructively to promote good governance and transparency. On April 18, the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) called for “dialogue” in order to “contribute to and preserve a climate of tolerance, to the benefit of all Venezuelans.” On May 1, the Secretary General of the OAS expressed concern over acts of violence in the Venezuelan National Assembly and called for greater political dialogue. On May 10 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights expressed concern regarding acts of violence and called on the State to guarantee fundamental rights. Such a process would reassure the Venezuelan people regarding the election results and contribute to political dialogue and help advance Venezuelan democracy.
The ties between the American and Venezuelan people are strong and historic, and we will continue to stand with the people of Venezuela.