The Carter Center issued a statement on Thursday about the roundtable established in Venezuela between the government and the Venezuelan opposition. The organization “applauds the effort to open a channel of communication between the government and opposition sectors.”
Read the statement on the website of the Carter Center:
Carter Center Statement on Venezuela
The Carter Center applauds the effort to open a channel of communication between the government and opposition sectors, facilitated by representatives of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Vatican. Communication with respect, transparency, and third-party facilitation is the appropriate route to begin to address the current crisis and the underlying issues dividing the society. Without engagement of the parties in conflict, Venezuela risks an escalation of violence and ingovernability with unpredictable consequences.
To create a foundation for successful talks, a crucial first step is for the government to guarantee individual constitutional rights, including due process for students and political leaders detained or removed from their elected position, and to initiate investigations into alleged human rights abuses by public forces that have occurred in the last two months. Mutual recognition of the legitimacy of the contending political actors and their ideas is another important foundation for reaching agreements.
A set of minimum agreements resulting from the talks could begin to restore confidence in public institutions and heal the social wounds from the confrontations. First, the formation of an independent truth commission to investigate the deaths that have affected all sides can provide answers to grieving families and suggest the best means to prevent recurrence of such violence.
Second, strong and independent public institutions anchored in the constitution are fundamental for the long-term health of any democracy. The Carter Center salutes the initiation of the process to appoint the new members of the National Electoral Council, the Supreme Court, and the Citizen's Branch of government to replace those authorities whose terms have expired. The Center hopes that these appointments will comply with constitutional mandates to include the participation of different political and social organizations in the nomination and selection, and especially the provisions for authorities to exhibit independence and impartiality.
At the same time, Venezuelans are concerned about personal insecurity and economic shortages. The cooperation of multiple sectors of society is required to address these problems. President Maduro recently recognized the important role of the private sector for the health of the economy and has begun conversations with them to address problems of production. Likewise, the executive began a promising initiative last December with state and local governments to address the problems of crime and insecurity. Such cooperation is essential, along with renewed efforts to implement the Disarmament Law approved June 2013.
The Carter Center joins the expressions of solidarity and concern voiced by various international actors and hopes the national government, leaders of the opposition, students, and Venezuelan civil society can work together to achieve a consensus required to overcome the current situation.
"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.