The National Lawyers Guild joined the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), together with other organizations of jurists from around the world, social movements and trade unions, is a signatory of the following letter urging the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to denounce the coup d’etat that took place in Venezuela on January 23, 2019 and to assume a more impartial attitude in the performance of its mandate.
Commissioners Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Organization of American States
Attention: Paulo Abrao, Executive Secretary
The undersigned human rights organizations, social movements, trade unions and jurists’ association from around the world denounce the attempted coup d’etat in Venezuela on 23 January 2019, when Juan Gerardo Guaidó, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly (defunct) , proclaimed and designated himself “Acting President” of the Bolivarian Republic. This violates the most basic principles of the Rule of Law, the Constitution and, most fundamentally, the sovereign decision of a people that on 20 May 2018 expressed its will at the polls, when 9,389,056 people democratically exercised their right to vote. President Maduro won with a wide margin, obtaining 6,248,864 votes or 67.84 percent.
We are very concerned about how this Commission has granted a precautionary measure, identified with number 70-19, in favor of Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez and his family members on 25 January 2019, as a person who has incited violence in the country and is currently attempting to carry out a coup d’etat. The Commission does not proceed with the same speed in relation to other requests that various organizations have made regarding different situations occurring in Venezuela, such as the unilateral coercive measures dictated against the country which have caused the suffering of the Venezuelan people. We are also concerned that the Commission has issued a precautionary measure in favor of a leader of the opposition to the Venezuelan government but has made no pronouncement itself condemning the coup d’etat in Venezuela.
This commission cannot repeat the actions of the Secretary General of the OAS, who in 2002 failed to recognize and denounce the coup d’etat carried out by Pedro Carmona Estanga, President of the Fedecámaras employers’ association, against President Hugo Chavez. It also cannot legitimize the actions of the current Secretary General Luis Almagro to recognize an “interim president” in Venezuela, since this lacks any constitutional foundation and is carried out in contravention of the laws of the country. None of the circumstances that may allow the president of the legislative body to temporarily assume the presidency occurred within the country.
Members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, we cannot allow more coups d’etat in our continent or legitimize irregular actions in violation of the OAS Charter and human rights, due to disagreement with the government of a country or its leadership.
Therefore, we urge the Commission to adhere to the Charter of the Organization of American States and its mandate, to denounce the coup d’etat in Venezuela as it has done on other occasions in our continent, and to take an impartial stance according to international human rights standards, therefore revoking the precautionary measure issued in favor of the Venezuelan politician Guaidó.
- Organización SURES
- Fundación Intersaber
- Asociación Venezolana de Juristas
- Frente Bolivariano de Luchadores Sociales Francisco de Miranda (FFM)
- Embajada de Derechos Humanos
- Fundación Genero con Clase
- Fundación de Víctimas del Sicariato Campesino
- Red Ciega
- Asociación de Víctimas del Golpe de Estado del 11 de abril de 2002 (ASOVIC)
- Asociación de Víctimas del Caracazo y terrorismo de Estado Cuarto Republicano
- Asociación de Vivienda y Hábitat “Colectivo el Rosal”
- Centro Juvenil de Derechos Humanos
- Programa Venezolano de Investigación para el Desarrollo
- Movimiento Guardianes de Inquilinos y Pequeños Propietarios
- Comité de Solidaridad Internacional (COSI)
- Colectivo La Araña Feminista
- Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora
- Fundación Mundos Sin Fronteras
- Fundación Pueblo Libre
- Movimiento Periodismo Necesario
- Fundación venezolana por el derecho a la vivienda.
- Comité de Victimas de las Guarimbas y el Golpe Continuado
- Movimiento de la Diversidad Sexual Rompiendo la Norma
- Fundación Contraalmirante Manuel Ponte Rodríguez
- Movimiento de solidaridad Militar Hugo Chávez
- Voluntario de Participación y Activismo Social VOLPAS Círculos Bolivarianos Socialistas de Costa Rica (CBSCR)
- Red de Historia, Memoria y Patrimonio
- Movimiento de Mujeres Petroleras, Petroquímicas y Gasíferas
- Alba Movimientos
- Intersindical de Derechos Humanos. Argentina
- Frente Patria Grande. Argentina
- Comité de Solidaridad con Venezuela y la Revolución Bolivariana. Costa Rica
- Consejo Nacional e Internacional de la Comunicación Popular (CONAICOP/Capítulo Costa Rica)
- Comité Nacional de Enlace (CNE). Costa Rica
- Movimiento Alternativa de Izquierdas MAIZ. Costa Rica.
- Fundación Independencia. Costa Rica
- Partido Patria Nueva. Costa Rica
- Comité Campesino de Pavones de Golfito. Costa Rica
- Asociación de Comités de Vigilancia de los Recursos Naturales (COVIRENAS). Costa Rica
- Asociación de tierra para el Campesino (TIPAELCA). Costa Rica
- Asociación de Derechos Humanos (ACODEHU). Costa Rica
- Cooperativa de Trabajadores de Osa (COOTRAOSA). Costa Rica
- Comité Campesino de Lucha por la Tierra (Finca Changuena). Costa Rica
- Coordinadora Panameña de Solidaridad con la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Panamá.
- Alianza Internacional de los Habitantes
- International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
- Asociación Americana de Juristas (AAJ)
- African Bar Association (AFBA)
- National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL). United States
- National Lawyers Guild, United States
- Giuristi Democratici (GD). Italy
- The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL). South Africa
- Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers. United Kingdom
- Hellenic Union of Progressive Lawyers (HUPL). Greece
- Nouvelles Alternatives pour le Développement Durable en Afrique (NADDAF). Togo
- Lebanese Association of Democratic Lawyers. Lebanon
- Asociaciòn Portuguesa de Juristas Demócratas. Portugal
- Droit-Soidarité. France
- National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), Philippines *
- Democratic Lawyers Association, Pakistan *
- National Union of Jurists of Cuba *
*Signed following initial presentation of letter