Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe, has said that the violent protests in Venezuela, which have led to three deaths, have little domestic support.
He stated that the vast majority of Venezuelans are committed to the democratic process and the organisers should heed President Maduro’s call for dialogue.
Deputy Crowe said:
“Since the victory of President Maduro in free, fair and transparent democratic elections in April 2013, right-wing reactionary forces have tried to undermine Venezuela’s democratic process and destabilise the country.
“This week these right-wing forces took to the streets to incite violence, encourage discontent, and bring down the democratically elected Government.
“Their violence has targeted Government and public buildings, and bears all the hallmarks and patterns of previous actions in 2002, which led to a military coup.
“This coup failed and Hugo Chávez, with his democratic mandate, was reinstated.
“Media and independent reports are now suggesting that this latest violence has resulted in the death of at least three people, with the authorities reporting that twenty three people were also injured.
“The opposition in Venezuela is still clearly incensed by the results of last year’s independently monitored, free and fair election, and they need to respect the democratic outcome of that election.
“If they want to bring about a change of Government then they can do this by trying to win the support of the majority of the population in democratic elections.
“They have failed to do this in the last election and in numerous elections before that.
“The protesters have very little international support for their violent actions and even less support among the vast majority of Venezuelans who are committed to a democratic future.
“These protesters need to rethink their strategy and the dangerous societal divisions they are sowing.
“The leaders of the protests need to pause and listen to the sincere call of President Maduro for dialogue.
“While peaceful protests are of course legitimate, the opposition need to accept President Maduro’s democratic mandate, and to cease their senseless violence immediately.”