Pro-democracy network Latin American and Caribbean Network for Democracy (REDLAD) and Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, spoke out against the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s recent attempt to strip the National Assembly of its power and called upon President Nicolas Maduro to respect democracy and human rights in the country.
After backlash from governments, civil society, and the OAS, Maduro instructed the Supreme Court to retract their unconstitutional decision, but public demonstrations continued in and around Caracas, Venezuela. Demonstrators called for the removal of the Supreme Court judges, and have criticized other elements of the ruling that gave Maduro the ability to “negotiate oil deals without congressional approval.”
Meanwhile, state authorities and Maduro supporters continue to attack pro-democracy protesters, two of whom – Jairo Ortiz (19) and Daniel Queliz (20) – were shot and killed four days apart. Their deaths are a reminder of the violent crackdown against peaceful demonstrators during protests in 2014, during which dozens of protesters died and were imprisoned. Learn more about activists of Venezuela who have become political prisoners at helpsetthemfree.org.