NEW YORK – Human Rights Foundation (HRF) welcomes a report published this week by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), calling on member states to suspend Maduro’s Venezuela from the OAS for violating…

Mar 17, 2017

…"every article in the Inter-American Democratic Charter;” this after months-long “diplomatic efforts … have resulted in no progress.” Almagro’s 75-page report further urged Venezuela to hold general elections that satisfy all international electoral observation standards without delay, to immediately release all political prisoners, and to return to the constitutional order with full respect for the separation of powers.

“The OAS Secretary General should be commended and celebrated for refusing to turn a blind eye to the many abuses perpetrated by the Chavista regime and its illegal, delaying maneuvers that aim to prevent a democratic transition in Venezuela,” said Thor Halvorssen, president of HRF. “Mr. Almagro has stood for democracy and liberty, as opposed to the immoral ‘neutrality’ taken by his predecessor, Chile’s José Miguel Insulza. Mr. Almagro is steering the OAS back to its intended path of defending democracy. Mr. Almagro is also sending a categorical message to the authoritarian presidents and would-be presidents in the continent: The OAS will no longer remain silent in the face of injustice,” said Halvorssen.

In 2008, HRF began a campaign of five open letters addressed to José Miguel Insulza, the former Secretary General of the OAS, calling on the organization to apply the democracy clause to Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. In 2010, HRF launched the website Insulza.no (now discontinued) to oppose Insulza’s reelection to the post of OAS Secreatary General due to his failure to invoke the democratic charter in situations of democracy erosion.

Mr. Almagro is confirmed to speak at the upcoming 2017 Oslo Freedom Forum, organized by HRF and taking place May 22-24.

Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

Contact: Prachi Vidwans, (212) 246-8486, [email protected]