Statement by Heather Nauert, U.S. State Department Spokesperson
July 30, 2017
Defending Democracy in Venezuela
The United States forcefully condemns the elections imposed on July 30 for the National Constituent Assembly, which is designed to replace the legitimately elected National Assembly and undermine the Venezuelan people’s right to self-determination. We will not allow Venezuela’s democracy to be eroded.
The United States stands by the people of Venezuela, and their constitutional representatives, in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy. We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the National Constituent Assembly as a result of today’s flawed election.
On July 16, millions of Venezuelans overwhelmingly expressed – in a loud and clear voice – their rejection of a National Constituent Assembly designed to weaken democracy in Venezuela. Nearly 234 years to the day after the birth of Simon Bolivar, who fought for the freedom of the people of Venezuela, President Nicholas Maduro has cast aside the voices and aspirations of the Venezuelan people.
We express our condolences to all Venezuelans who have lost loved ones. We condemn the use of violence by the Maduro regime against citizens exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.
We encourage governments in the hemisphere and around the world to take strong action to hold accountable all persons, regardless of rank or position who undermine democracy, deny human rights, bear responsibility for violence and repression, or engage in corrupt practices.
# # #