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      Canada Must Respect the Democratic Decision of Venezuelan People!

      Letter to François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Foreign Minister

      Elections to choose a new enlarged National Assembly are underway in Venezuela and will be held on Sunday, December 6, 2020. A total of 107 political organizations are running for 277 Parliamentary seats for a five-year term beginning January 5, 2021. 14 400 candidates campaigned, taking the necessary precautions against COVID-19. More than 20 million citizens are eligible to vote.

      New electoral authorities have made an effort to secure an ample international mission to oversee the election, including the UN, CARICOM and the African Union. The European Union has turned down the invitation after its demand that the vote be postponed was rejected by Venezuela on the grounds that it is constitutionally bound to hold the elections before the end of 2020. More than 300 invitations have gone out to international personalities and regional multilateral organizations to observe the elections. The electoral process will be subject to 16 audits witnessed by party representatives and international observers.

      In spite of a terrorist arson attack which destroyed ninety-nine percent of Venezuela’s electronic electoral machines, these have been replaced by 49 539 new, more modern machines designed in Venezuela by Venezuelan technicians.

      No sooner were elections in the offing than US authorities stated that they will not recognize the elections, even before they are held. Juan Guaidó, former National Assembly President and self-proclaimed “interim president” of Venezuela, called for a boycott and rejected the elections. Guaidó also called for “street violence”, which, as the experience of the Venezuelan people shows, means acts of violence committed against the Venezuelan people and infrastructure. His calls are being rejected by the vast majority of opposition parties. The latter question the extremism of fractions of the opposition who call for abstentions and promote sanctions against the country to advance their political agenda. Most opposition formations are defending the electoral route as the only valid means to resolve political differences. Furthermore, Washington has levied sanctions against certain of these opposition leaders who decided to participate in the electoral process. On September 22, the Treasury Department sanctioned five opposition leaders, accusing them of “complicity” with the government.

      The object of this letter is to call upon the Canadian government to dissociate itself from all these condemnable, anti-democratic and illegal activities against Venezuela. What possible reason could there be for Canada not to recognize the Venezuelan December 6 elections? We call upon the Canadian government to side with democracy, the rule of law and respect for the sovereign decisions of the Venezuelan nation, free from foreign interference and aggression.

      ALBA Social Movements Canada, Ottawa Chapter.
      December 5, 2020.

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