Ten Nobel Peace Laureates, including the human rights activist Tawakkol Karman, have called for putting an end to violence in in Venezuela and resolving the crisis through dialogue, stressing the need to take effective measures that allow the immediate restoration of the democratic order.
“Dialogue is the only way to solve differences. However, for dialogue to work, sincerity and cooperation are required, not just empty declarations intended to buy time and mislead the public”, said the Nobel laureates in a declaration on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela.
In addition to Tawakkol Karman, signatories to the declaration issued last Monday include Shirin Ebadi, Juan Manuel Santos, Desmond Tutu, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Leymah Gbowee, Jody Williams, Tawakkol Karman, Oscar Arias Sanchez, David Trimble and FW de Klerk.
The ten Nobel laureates pointed out that “violence cannot be accepted as a vehicle to solve differences and, even less so, as a tool to be used by one group of people to forcibly impose their convictions upon another group.”
Based on the statement, the repression against peaceful demonstrators, who are fighting for their democratic rights, cannot be tolerated by the international community.
“The government must put an end to the repression against peaceful demonstrations that includes the use of toxic gases, equipment and anti-riot weapons, and, as soon as possible, take effective measures that allow the immediate restoration of the democratic order,” they emphasized.
They also call upon Venezuela’s authorities to hold new general elections without any delay, restore the independence of the National Electoral Council of Venezuela and take necessary actions to avoid abuse of power by the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) in order to re-establish the separation of powers, and etc.
The international advocates for human rights warned of any violation of human rights, stressing that such violations - no matter where they occur - are a problem that affects all of humanity.
“One cannot argue non-interference in the internal affairs of a state or respect for sovereignty when the life and peace of a whole nation is in danger,” they added.
Venezuela has been gripped by near daily protests for the last 10 weeks, resulting in 69 deaths, 1,235 arrests and millions of dollars in property damage.
The government blames the crisis on an "economic war" being waged against it by "US imperialists and the Venezuelan oligarchy".
Critics, however, say the dire state of the economy is the fault of 18 years of mismanagement by the socialist governments of presidents Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro.