This Tuesday May 11th, the President in Charge of Venezuela proposed a way to achieve a solution to the country’s crisis: a National Salvation Agreement that must emerge through a process of negotiation between the legitimate democratic forces, the regime and international powers.
Said agreement should conclude with a schedule for the convocation of free and fair elections that includes presidential, parliamentary, regional and municipal elections with: international observation and support; the massive entry of humanitarian aid and vaccines against COVID-19, democratic guarantees for all the actors of the democratic forces and Chavismo; with mechanisms for the reinstitutionalization of Venezuela; the release of all political prisoners; the return of exiles and transitional justice; the commitment of the international community to achieve the recovery of Venezuela and offer incentives to the regime, including the progressive lifting of sanctions conditional on compliance with the fundamental objectives of the Agreement.
The Interim Government President spread through social networks a message where he said that “Venezuela is experiencing the worst crisis in its history” and that such a situation deserves seriousness, empathy for those who suffer the most, to act according to principles, and seek realistic and workable solutions.
“We are using all the mechanisms and capacities that depend on us, but we still have to achieve the fundamental objective: to recover our democracy. Not just any agreement or negotiation that keeps what there is today so that everything remains the same or exchanging mirrors for some government posts. Venezuela needs a National Salvation Agreement.”
The President in Charge stressed that such an Agreement “must be between the democratic forces represented by the Interim Government; the National Assembly and the Unitary Platform; the actors that make up and sustain the regime; and the international community, especially international powers.”
Once again, Guaidó called to unify efforts of all Venezuelans, every sectors, unions, civil society, to confront the regime.
“I call you all to unify our efforts around this National Salvation Agreement with the international community, which is the one way that today can guarantee real solutions to this crisis in Venezuela. The current path that the dictatorship chose out of arrogance, the same one that it chose in 2018 and 2020, will only deepen the crisis, its international isolation, the accusations of terrorism, drug trafficking, human rights violations, accusations of crimes against humanity which will involve all actors of the regime. They know, you know, that continuing to promote fraudulent elections does not solve the crisis, neither for you (the dictarship), and it only deepens it much more.”
Guaidó warned that the dictatorship will insist on “creating parallel and partial negotiations to give supposed concessions, divide the opposition and lower international pressure as it has done in the past.” He also said that they will also seek to divide the opposition “by calling regional and municipal elections, posing us a false dilemma with this imposed CNE that we do not recognize and that today they control. This scenario should find us united.”
“I must be very clear, nobody trusts the dictatorship, and this (the Agreement) will only be possible if we can count on greater pressure, both national and international, to guarantee a negotiation process that includes, together with our allies, guarantees for all, for all the actors, but also and most importantly, the mechanisms of accountability to avoid that the regime tries to evade a negotiated solution again. And we will only make it possible if we are united and mobilized.”
He recalled that as long as there is “no real pressure and negotiation with the international community, the dictatorship will continue to steal the elections, appoint ‘protectors’ and mock Venezuelans.”
“To all the leaderships and actors who for years have fought and sacrificed so much for this country and who see this milestone as an opportunity, I tell you that you can count on me to fight for true conditions that allow them to truly compete and the Venezuelan to choose, not to go to a trap, to be organized and mobilized in every corner of Venezuela, with a presence in each sector, so that together we can evaluate and decide in unity, in every scenario, that the regime presents us with. I am convinced that protecting and rescuing spaces is very important, but without falling for the lies of the regime.”
Free and fair elections
In the message that the President of the Interim Government gave to Venezuelans, he insisted that free and fair elections are the fundamental step to achieve the salvation of Venezuela.
“All the exits, in any time horizon or those that end by force, all inevitably lead to an Agreement and a presidential election. The question today is: At what cost will we do it? Meanwhile our mothers cry for our kids, our shipwrecked children or walkers, our kidnapped soldiers, or worse, murdered by guerrillas that Nicolás Maduro supports and finances.”
Finally, he sent a message to those who have “legitimate aspirations” in the country, including those who have already had the opportunity to lead the opposition for several years.
“Aspiring to leadership is legitimate and democratic. I am willing to build and participate in any mechanism that allows us to build the greatest and best unity possible and that legitimizes our struggle. But conspiring with the dictatorship to legitimize each other as a tyranny and the loyal opposition to that tyranny, does not lead to freedom, but rather to submission and the normalization of the worst tragedy that our country has experienced. For this reason, I call on everyone, once again, to unite to promote and reinforce the internal pressure, the international one and the unitary spaces to demand a National Salvation Agreement. The Salvation of Venezuela is the objective. Free and fair elections are the fundamental step to achieve this, and the National Salvation Agreement the mechanism to achieve it.”
He also called on Venezuelans to spread this message to overcome censorship and self-censorship, but also asked them to be attentive to the actions that will be called “to promote the route to save Venezuela.”