In light of the latest shifts of violence and oppression and seen how this circumstance negatively affect the fulfilment of the right to education, we share Fe y Alegría Venezuela by the hand of its General Director, Manuel Aristorena.
“Venezuela has been filled with pain, suffering, anguish, violence, fear, repression and death. Yes, a lot of death, and with cruelty.
Every society experiences struggles and conflicts. And it is the manner in which these conflicts are confronted where a country’s democracy is evidenced or denied. The excessive use of force, the characterization of demonstrations as armed insurrection and not seeing in them the fair indignation of the people, the appropriation of ordinary and civil justice by military tribunals, daily violence and death, the vandalism of public or private property and the cruel treatment of detainees are unacceptable for a democratic society. We are losing lives, democracy, the country.
The solution does not involve facing one another until we defeat the adversary. That’s enough. Let’s leave behind intolerance and those who are intolerant. We need to recover democratic institutionality and the validity of Human Rights. We need to rebuild our democracy so that it promotes hope and life, with institutions that serve all Venezuelans, without discrimination or disqualification.
We have made Pope Francis’s words our own:
“Dramatic news continues to reach us regarding the situation in Venezuela and the worsening of clashes there, with many people reported dead, injured and detained. I share in the pain of the families, to whom I ensure my prayers of intercession, and I appeal to the government and all the members of Venezuelan society to avoid any further forms of violence, to respect human rights and to negotiate solutions to the serious humanitarian, social, political and economic crisis that is exhausting the population. Let us entrust to the Most Holy Virgin Mary a prayer intention for peace, reconciliation and democracy in that dear country”.
Like Pope Francis, we say to all members of society, and especially to the Government: no more violence. No more killed and wounded. No more infusing fear. No more families cornered by tear gas, shotguns and bullets. No more obstacles to the freedom of movement and demonstrations. No more night raids. No more destruction of public and private goods. We reject violence, wherever it comes from.
– Rectors of the National Electoral Council: Follow through with your responsibilities. You can open ways to solutions. Prove that you are an autonomous power. Recognise that a great part of what is happening is because you have not fulfilled your obligations. Be aware that part of this problem is related to the suspension of last year’s consultative referendum.
– Members of the Bolivarian Armed Forces of Venezuela. You vowed to enforce the Constitution and protect the population. You know and suffer this situation. You were not formed to repress the Venezuelan people or to live at war with your brothers and sisters, neighbors and fellow citizens. You are called to think and act strategically. Look beyond individual interests, emotions and reactions to the confrontation. What kind of country do you want for your children and grandchildren? In front of God, your conscience, and the love for your families, ask yourselves: Is it worth what we’re doing?
– Executive power, govern for all of us equally, respect the separation of powers, fight corruption, overcome oil dependence to be an autonomous country, capable of producing food, medicines and services this country deserves and needs. Work hard so that the population can walk safely through the streets and end armed civil groups.
– Attorney General of the Republic, keep being vigilant of the validity of the laws and the Constitution, and sanction whoever violates, breaks or attempts to break constitutionality.
– Members of the opposition, your leadership will be measured by the intelligent movement of the popular mobilizations, overcoming violence in all its demonstrations. You are called to be leaders of the non-violent opposition that can shape the behavior of those who mobilize. The strategy is not violent confrontation. It is about gathering and gaining the support of the largest number of people and social sectors. Be experts in dialogue and negotiation.
Venezuelan society, we need to foster hope, to be firm in our democratic commitment, to positively administer indignation and rage which overcomes the temptation to promote division, hate and revenge.
Let’s act promptly, before anarchy makes us uncontrollable.”
Manuel Aristorena, General Director, Fe y Alegría Venezuela. Caracas, May 20th, 2017