WILLEMSTAD – On 23 January the people of Venezuela have gone en masse to the streets for the restoration of democracy. A very understandable call that cannot be simply ignored.
During the demonstrations, the people were confronted with arbitrary violence by the authorities and this even led to the tragic death of countless people and many more wounded and arrested. Curaçao condemns all forms of violence and calls on the Venezuelan authorities to guarantee the security of the population and to respect all human rights and in particular the right of demonstration. Curaçao is deeply concerned about the political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the consequences we are currently experiencing in our own society.
Nicolás Maduro was sworn in on January 10 for a second term. Curaçao did not recognize him as president, because the elections of May 2018 were not free, fair and credible and lacked democratic legitimacy. Reason why Curaçao was unable to recognize the election results. That is why Curaçao was not present during the inauguration.
Curaçao has expressed its support for the “Asamblea Nacional” (Parliament of Venezuela) and the president of this parliament, Juan Guaidó. This parliament is currently the only legitimate and democratically elected institution of Venezuela. In the meantime, Juan Guaidó has declared himself the interim president of Venezuela. Contrary to Maduro, Guaidó has shown the willingness to call new elections. Curaçao is prepared to recognize Guaidó as the interim president if this will lead to new, democratic elections in Venezuela. After all, it is up to the Venezuelan people themselves to choose a government of their own choice democratically and through free and fair elections.
Curaçao has from the outset been in favor of a peaceful solution, involving all Venezuelan parties to restore peace, stability and democracy in Venezuela. Therefore, Curaçao appeals to all parties to stop the unnecessary violence, to return peace and quiet, to proclaim new democratic elections, and to allow humanitarian aid to enter the country. Curaçao is even prepared to act as a humanitarian hub.
The Government of Curaçao continues to closely monitor developments in Venezuela. There is also regular contact between the various government departments to exchange information and to draw up appropriate plans. There is also close contact within the Kingdom about the situation in Venezuela, both at official and political level.
Venezuela is and will always remain an important neighbor of Curaçao, given the historical, cultural, social, economic and family intertwining between the two countries. The Government of Curaçao will at all times stand up for the interests of the people of Curaçao, both within the Kingdom and in Venezuela.
We know that our neighbors in Venezuela are very passionate people who are very proud of their country. That is why Curaçao sincerely hopes that there will be a peaceful solution in which peace and tranquility will return, so that the people of Venezuela and Venezuelan citizens who live abroad will look forward to better times.