viernes, 31 de marzo de 2017

Press Release


On Saturday April 29th, 2017 - VENEZUELANS IN VANCOUVER are supporting a worldwide protest of Venezuelans all over the world and saying:   ¡NO MAS!  NO MORE!

Three weeks ago, Venezuela`s Supreme Court illegally ruled that it was taking over the opposition-led Congress' legislative powers, undermining the country's separation of powers. As this caused international criticism, President Maduro requested that the Supreme Court reversed its decision, which it (illegally) did.

This moved cause uproar in the population that started protesting and since then have not left the streets. The opposition's main demands are for immediate elections, the release of political prisoners, re-establish judicial independence and autonomy for the opposition-led congress.

President Nicolas Maduro response has been brutal, he put troops on the streets which have been violently repressing protesters, supplied guns to sympathetic civil militias and called for a simultaneous rally of his supporters against what he said was a United States-backed coup. The government announced on April 7th a 15-year ban from public office of main opposition leader Henrique Capriles.

From April 4th to April 22nd, the Foro Penal Venezolano, a non-profit organization promoter of Human Rights, reported that during the protests, 22 people have died, 1.365 people were arrested and 777 people remained detained.

However, the political crisis is not the only crisis in Venezuela, there are multiple interconnected crises: children are dying of malnutrition, people can’t access food or medication, hospitals do not have the necessary resources to care for patients, people are dying and there is no reason for it, except for a government that does not recognize the crisis and is not accepting help. According to David Grantham David, from TownHall: “This (Venezuelan) administration would rather starve its people than relinquish power. Maduro would rather dismantle government and assassinate opponents than keep the country viable. History tells us that such despotism and subsequent international inaction can lead to Assad-like levels of oppression”

Venezuelans are tired, hungry and sick, and are saying ¡NO MAS! (No More). On Saturday April 29th, Venezuelans from all over the world will be gathering to support their fellow countrymen on their quest for  no more: Human right abuses, fear, violence, hunger, injustice, prisoners… they just want peace…

Date and time:             Saturday April 27th, 2017 from 11 am to 1 pm

Starting location:          Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson Street, Vancouver



Friday March 31st 2017, the day after the Venezuelan Parliament was shut by the Supreme Court.  A sad day for Venezuelan democracy!  The government is now completely controlled by President Nicolás Maduro, as the parliament was the last independent branch of the government. Now, there is no separation of powers: Venezuela is now an official dictatorship, confirmed.

The Parliament, elected by overwhelming majority in December 2015, has over 75% of opposition members who have been fiercely criticising Nicolas Maduro’s grip of power. Maduro has continually disregarded the Parliament’s power. As reported by the Economist: “Nicolás Maduro, had the Supreme Court rubber-stamp his budget rather than submitting it to the national assembly, in violation of the constitution. The court stripped the legislature of its power to name members of the electoral council.” Maduro also has managed to postpone all scheduled elections for posts ranging from state governors to labor union heads.

Maduro’s power grab reached its peak when the Supreme Court, following its loyalty to the president, issued a ruling that in effect seized power from the country's elected legislature. Now president Maduro holds all the power to enact laws, assign contracts, incur foreign debt and persecute fellow Venezuelans.

International mandataries have voiced their concerns on the situation: Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Twitter: “If the separation of powers breaks down, democracy breaks down". Germany attacked Venezuela's socialist President Nicolas Maduro, saying: “It is intolerable how President Maduro is making the population of his country hostages to his own power ambitions”. The Secretary General of the OAS denounced “the self-inflicted coup d’état perpetrated by the Venezuelan regime against the National Assembly, the last branch of government to be legitimized by the will of the people of Venezuela”. And The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs issued the following statement: “Canada is deeply concerned by the Venezuelan supreme court’s March 29 decision to suspend the legislative powers of the democratically elected national assembly, we call on the Government of Venezuela to allow the national assembly to carry out its constitutionally mandated duties and to respect the parliamentary immunity of its members".

Venezuelans in Vancouver will voice their concern and support democratic principles in Venezuela.

We invite you to cover our demonstration and support democracy in Venezuela.

Date and time:  April 4, 2017 at 12 noon

Location: 1030 West Georgia Street, Vancouver

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