Venezuela: Crisis Heightened

venezuela-protest

Youth taking part in anti-government protests. Photo: Reuters

CIPE’s partner CEDICE Libertad joins many other organizations in Venezuela and throughout the world in denouncing the Venezuelan government’s violations against human rights, extending from individual freedoms all the way to citizens’ property rights.

In the past, CEDICE warned in much of its analysis that a crisis might be inevitable if the country continued to implement its radical economic policies. CEDICE mentioned this in the following cost-benefit analyses: utility of popular power laws, the limitations of government profits and the government’s true incentives, public policies pertaining to the education sector, and the law project for territory management in Spanish, which clearly foreshadow the current situation.

On February 17, CEDICE published a press release denouncing the Venezuelan government’s violations of human rights and individual freedoms. Below you can find the English version of this document.

Attacks on individual freedom in Venezuela

 A government must guarantee the conditions of respect, recognition, and freedoms that allow the participation of all citizens in solving the country’s problems.

Caracas, February 17. We Venezuelans have been spectators and participants of a very troubling week. Students have taken to the streets to demand more public safety and that the government focus its efforts on solving essential problems that have to date been chronically neglected. The government responded to these pleas with excessive repression and detention of a group of students whose right to defense, due process, and the presumption of innocence were violated.

The demonstrations have been violently repressed. The regime in Venezuela has not respected the right to protest and has relied on the support of paramilitary groups, which are presented as part of the “armed revolution,” to roam the streets of major cities, intimidating and possibly infiltrating student demonstrations to generate violence and property damage.

The Venezuelan government, without respect for the rule of law or due process, has begun a persecution of opposition leaders. Leopoldo López, one of the leaders of the opposition, was issued an arrest warrant. The government threatens to strip Congresswoman Maria Corina Machado of her parliamentary immunity. Other leaders of the Bureau of Democratic Unity face potential sanctions and fines. In the meantime, the country’s problems continue to worsen. The economy continues to deteriorate and insecurity continues to plague our citizens.

CEDICE Libertad is an organization that promotes a free society based on the rule of law, individual freedom, and respect for property rights as a basis for a prosperous society. The demonstrations are not the cause of the problems but a result of the ongoing problems that the regime has not been willing or able to solve, such as increasing poverty and the lack of opportunity.

We have always reaffirmed that the dismal performance of the public administration would bring problems of governance and social conflict. We are now facing the realization of our forecasts. The regime has still not taken the hint; it is intensifying the crisis, drowning the economy with more controls, inflation, shortages, and economic problems without respecting property rights or economic freedom, and denying democratic citizens the right to dissent.

CEDICE Libertad demands respect for the freedoms and rights of the Venezuelan people and an end to repression and the criminalization of dissent. Government must guarantee the conditions of respect, recognition, and freedoms that allow the participation of all citizens in solving the country’s problems.

Contact: Rocio Guijarro  rociocedice@gmail.com

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