In the run-up to the Venezuelan legislative elections on December 6th, 157 legislators from the United States, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru have sent a joint letter to President Nicolas Maduro:
Dear President Maduro:
Given the importance, both to your country and to the region, of the legislative elections that will take place in Venezuela on December 6 of this year, it is our strong desire that they take place under free, transparent and democratic conditions. Given that the National Assembly plays a vital role in making decisions that affect the everyday lives of citizens in the country, it is essential that the elections reflect the interests and will of all Venezuelans.
As legislators, we recognize the importance of ensuring the legitimacy of these elections and the National Assembly, and therefore respectfully request that you allow the participation of various international bodies, particularly the Organization of American States and the European Union, as electoral observers. As citizens go to the polls, the presence of qualified international observers would permit all Venezuelans to have the highest degree of confidence in the integrity of the process and the electoral results.
Additionally, we would like to take this opportunity to express our concern about reports detailing the disqualification of several candidates. In a country that features diverse political opinions, it is troubling that the disqualifications have only targeted members of opposition parties. This situation contributes to a public perception that the current electoral climate in the country is defined by political bias and an absence of full electoral safeguards.
Lastly, it is important to recognize that this election will not include the participation of several leaders that remain imprisoned. In this context, we echo the expressions of the various foreign dignitaries, representing diverse political ideologies, who have unsuccessfully attempted to visit the imprisoned political and student leaders and we call for their immediate release. We remain concerned about the possible impact that an issue of this magnitude will have in deterring electoral participation.
In closing, we reiterate our desire for a successful outcome in the upcoming elections in Venezuela and the need for your support in facilitating the participation of international election observers to guarantee the objectivity and credibility of the process.
To see the letter in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as the full list of signatories, please visit here.