Fmr Presidents of South America, Central America condemn Maduro’s aggression against Guyana

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See full statement from the Freedom and Democracy Group:

The Freedom and Democracy Group categorically condemns the attempt by Nicolás Maduro and the government of Venezuela to resolve their territorial claims over Guyana in an undemocratic, unilateral manner and without respect for the international order.

We reaffirm that the way to resolve differences between States are bilateral agreements and mechanisms established by international law. We express that dialogue, agreements and full respect for international law are the only way to achieve peaceful, fair and sustainable solutions over time.

In this case, the territorial dispute between Guyana and Venezuela has been correctly submitted to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, which is the competent body to resolve it.

We firmly believe that the opportunistic celebration of the referendum held on December 3 is not a valid mechanism to resolve territorial issues between sovereign States.

We condemn Venezuela’s attempt to use this tool to legitimize a serious threat against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Guyana, international law and peace in the region. Likewise, we repudiate the use of this conflict to justify the arrest warrants against 13 opposition leaders, including members of the work team of presidential candidate María Corina Machado.

The public presentation of a map of Venezuela, which considers the territory of Guyana Esequiba annexed to Venezuela, the movement of troops of the Venezuelan Army on the border, the administrative creation of a new region called Guayana Esequiba, and the aggressive rhetoric used by Nicolás Maduro during the last few days, are events of the utmost seriousness and that should alert the international community, and especially the United Nations and the OAS. The condemnation of this aggressive and illegal behavior must be clear, firm and transversal.

It is necessary to emphasize that the regime of Nicolás Maduro has seriously, systematically and for decades violated international law, democratic principles and the human rights of the people of Venezuela. This attempt to threaten the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Guyana is another example of the urgency to reestablish freedoms, the rule of law and democracy in Venezuela and to move towards more effective international governance to prevent and control this type of abuse.

Today, in addition, Venezuela’s actions violate a binding order from the International Court of Justice not to take any action that changes the status of the disputed territory.

Finally, we reiterate our call to the international community to demand the implementation of a fair, free and transparent electoral process in Venezuela, which ensures a transition towards a more free, democratic, fair and prosperous Venezuela.

Iván Duque, Expresidento of Colombia

Sebastián Piñera E., Expresidento of Chile

Andrés Pastrana, Expresidento of Colombia

Mario Abdo, Expresidento of Paraguay

Jorge Tuto Quiroga, Expresidento of Bolivia

Felipe Calderón, Expresident of México

Mauricio Macri, Expresident of Argentina

Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Expresident of Costa Rica

Mariano Rajoy, Expresident of Spain

Vicente Fox, Expresident of México

Jeanine Áñez, Expresident of Bolivia

Mireya Moscoso, Expresident of Panamá

Luis Fortuño, Ex Governor of Puerto Rico