Caracas — The recent statements made by Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva regarding his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolás Maduro’s visit to Brazil, in which Lula assured that claims of human rights violations in Venezuela are part of “a narrative”, have been questioned by other heads of state, such as Chilean President Gabriel Boric and Uruguayan President Luis Lacalle Pou, both of whom were present at a South American summit held this week in Brasilia.
Until now, there had been no word from the United States regarding what happened in Brasilia and the controversial statements made by President Lula. Now, Bloomberg Línea has raised the issue with the US Department of State.
By e-mail, the US Department of State replied with its official position, stating that “US policy supports the joint effort with the international community to address the humanitarian situation in Venezuela, as well as to support negotiations leading to free elections”.
Likewise, it added that, nevertheless, “the US maintains the accusations against those responsible for acts of corruption as well as violation of US laws and human rights abuses”.
Without mentioning President Lula, the Department of State added: “It is important to recognize that the democratic setback in Venezuela is real, and has provoked a humanitarian crisis. I remind you of the statements and reports made by a number of international organizations, including the UN Human Rights Council on the persistent attacks and widespread political repression in Venezuela, and the EU electoral observation report on structural deficiencies”.
In parallel to this, the Biden administration will continue to support dialogue among Venezuela’s political figures.
“We support dialogue among Venezuelan political actors that leads the country on the path to free and fair elections and other civic and human rights,” the State Department said.
Analysts consulted by Bloomberg Línea states that Lula’s meeting with Maduro and the latter’s return to the international political stage refers mainly to the Brazilian president’s attempt to rebuild a regional leadership. But there are also experts who question the fact that the Brazilian leader has not publicly rejected the allegations of human rights violations in Venezuela, which are even being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Following their meeting in Brasilia, the region’s leaders, including Boric, Lacalle and Maduro, signed the final declaration of the South American summit.
The US’ official position on Venezuela:
- The policy of the United States on Venezuela is to work with the international community to address the humanitarian situation and to support Venezuelan-led negotiations that lead to free and fair elections. We will also hold accountable actors engaging in corruption, violating U.S. laws, or abusing human rights in Venezuela.
- We support dialogue between Venezuelan political actors that leads the country on a path toward free and fair elections and other civic and human rights.
- However, it is important to recognize that the democratic backsliding in Venezuela is real, and it has led to a humanitarian crisis. I’ll point you to statements and reports made by a range of international organizations, including by the UN Human Rights Council on persistent attacks and widespread political repression in Venezuela, and the EU electoral observation report on structural deficiencies.
Response sent to Bloomberg Línea by the US Department of State