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UNASUR Praises First Accords Reached in Venezuela's Dialogue for Peace

Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, who is representing UNASUR in peace dialogues being held in Venezuela, praised the steps taken following the second meeting between the government and opposition.  They “condemn violence and commit themselves to respecting the Constitution,” Patiño noted, before then highlighting the significant progress made through this dialogue.

Following the meeting, Patiño tweeted: “I did not believe that in just three hours it would be possible to make such significant progress in the dialogues for peace. Gloria al bravo pueblo…!” Gloria al bravo pueblo, glory to the brave people in English, are the first lines of Venezuela’s national anthem.

Foreign Minister Patiño indicated that in the next few days, both parties will form a Truth Commission to study the violent events of the past months.  “UNASUR is proud to have contributed to the strengthening of a robust democracy in our beloved Venezuela.  The people deserve it,” he said.

The participation of foreign ministers in the dialogues was requested by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who has received support from the international community and wished to stress the democratic nature of the Bolivarian government.

Between March 25 and 27, the first committee of UNASUR foreign ministers visited Venezuela and met with diverse sectors of society, including the government, opposition, students, leading economists and clergy.

Accords following the Second Government-Opposition Meeting

•    The opposition commits itself to fully respecting the Constitution and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and they reject and condemn violence “no matter where it’s from.”
•    Expansion of a Truth Commission that will evaluate violent events promoted by factions of the extreme right-wing since January, as well as incorporating more people to this commission, to be determined by mutual agreement.
•    Designation of new representatives for certain branches of government.
•    Creation of a medical committee to discern the health status of Iván Simonovis, former Secretary afor Citizen Security of the Caracas Metropolitan Mayoralty in April 2002.  He was convicted for crimes against humanity for his actions during the massacre in Llaguno, where Venezuelans were killed by sniper fire.
•    Hold a meeting with and listen to the victims of the violent actions of 2002 for which Simonovis was convicted.
•    The government liaison committee asked the opposition coalition to join the economic section of the National Peace Conference.
•    The Maduro administration approved 148 special projects in 74 political districts led by the opposition, for a total of 1 billion bolivars.

TeleSUR / Press – Venezuelan Embassy in the US / April 16, 2014

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