Press Release regarding talks facilitated by Norway: June 19th, 2019

In view of the last developments and of the role Norway has assumed in the Venezuelan crisis, below we share our position on the talks.
We support the efforts of acting President Juan Guaidó to implement his proposed 3-step strategy for recovering democracy: 1) End of the usurpation, 2) Transitional Government, 3) Free, fair and transparent elections.
In our view, “end of the usurpation” goes beyond merely removing Maduro ́s de facto presidency and extends to other illegitimate bodies, including notably, the illegal and fraudulent constituent assembly.
We see these talks as one of several tools President Guaidó is using to deliver on the above strategy and we thank Norway for its good efforts. However, we are unfortunately skeptical and wary of this initiative for the following reasons:

➢ Talks/dialogues are a well-known technique used by the Regime many times before in order to buy time, ease pressure (protests) and divide/weaken the opposition. These negative effects are already visible.
➢ The criminal nature of the Regime, which is supported by illegal (criminal) stakeholders, means that those stakeholders will ultimately have the last word when it comes to respecting (or not) any agreement resulting from the negotiation. The process therefore is flawed and provides no guarantees.
➢ The Regime has unequivocally expressed in many occasions their lack of intent to give up power or to have free, fair and transparent elections, which warrants the question: what is there really to negotiate?
➢ The lack of transparency of the process may have worked for Norway in other conflicts but, in the Venezuelan case, for the above reasons and after various failed attempts, it seriously undermines the trust of civil society and challenges the unity of the opposition risking what can be our last hope to recover democracy;
➢ The imminent humanitarian catastrophe (at least ca 11 million at risk as per UN figures counting both emigrants and domestic needs) call for expedite and efficient solutions and support by all friendly countries. Time is critical, and Norway should set a deadline for the completion of the talks.
➢ This is not a classic political conflict between two” parties”. This is a whole nation under attack by a ruling, repressive, corrupt and criminal elite -linked to drug trafficking and terrorism- that intends to perpetuate itself in power by force.

We, Venezuelans, do not want to start a war, but we are desperately crying for help to STOP the war that the Regime has declared against us. We ask for support to recover our freedom, regain ownership of our own destiny and stop being preys of international organized crime and victims of geopolitical games.

We believe Norway should use their diplomatic expertise in seeking consensus across the globe and leading a coordinated, efficient, multilateral pressure strategy supporting our goal of freeing ourselves from the dictatorship, restoring democracy and the Rule of Law and putting an end to the suffering of millions of Venezuelans without further delay.

The Norwegian Venezuelan Justice Alliance – Oslo, June 19th, 2019

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