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EU Requests Venezuela To Respect Citizens’ Rights and Hold Elections

By: Karina Martín - May 15, 2017, 3:53 pm
(Twitter)
The EU notes that “violence and the use of force will not solve the country’s problems” (Twitter).

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On Monday, May 15, the European Union (EU) foreign ministers called on Nicolas Maduro’s regime to “investigate all violent incidents”, release political prisoners and respect constitutional rights.

EU ministers said: “Violence and the use of force will not solve the country’s crisis. Venezuelans‘ fundamental rights, including the right to demonstrate peacefully, must be respected.”

Likewise, the ministers requested the Venezuelan government “to set an electoral calendar so that the people of Venezuela can express their will in a democratic way.” The statements were approved on Monday at a meeting of the council in the city of Brussels.

“The release of political prisoners and respect for the constitutional rights of all political actors to vote and participate in elections are also essential steps to restore confidence and help the country regain political stability,” said the ministers.

The EU stated that it “is ready to use all its possible instruments to support regional and international initiatives aimed at finding peaceful and democratic solutions,” in order “to meet the most pressing needs of the population.”

It is important to take into account that the conclusions adopted were preceded by an intervention by Federica Mogherini, the EU’s representative for foreign policy, in which she expressed her concern about the situation in Venezuela.

The EU also discussed its concern about the approximately 600,000 European residents in Venezuela, according to their calculations, that have “also suffered from the violence” that has taken over the country in the past few days.

Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro has faced a disastrous year of economic collapse, political instability, and rampant insecurity, and has refused to schedule regional elections in which his party would almost certainly face heavy losses.

Sources: El Carabobeño; Agencia EFE; T13

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

Cubans Stranded by Repeal of “Wet Foot, Dry Foot” Policy Seek Refuge in Canada

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - May 15, 2017, 3:30 pm
Cuba Canada

Español Movimiento Democracia (Democracy Movement) made a request to the Canadian government to provide shelter to thousands of Cuban migrants who have been stranded across the Americas due to Obama's repeal of the "wet foot, dry foot" policy. According to the Cuban newspaper 14ymedio, Ramón Saúl Sánchez, leader of the movement that made the petition, announced the Canadian government's response. The official letter says that the application was reviewed and forwarded to the Secretary of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, Ahmed Hussen. Read More: White House Promises Major Break with Obama's Cuba Policy Read More: Cuba's Very First Libertarian Party is Born Last February, the Democracy Movement launched the initiative. This organization emphasizes the fact that most Cuban migrants are stranded in Mexico, Central and South America, after the elimination of the migration policy that used to make it easier for Cubans to reside legally and permanently in the United States, allowing any Cuban who safely reached American soil residency status and a work permit. Each year, Canada offers thousands of refugee visas to people from different countries who suffer persecution for political, racial, religious, nationality or gender reasons. The Democracy Movement is seeking this visa for Cubans whose dream to reach US territory halted by the policy change. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Movimiento Democracia is also involved in other activities including shipping food to Cubans in Mexico, which has been organized by activists from the Miami-based organization. Obama repealed the wet foot, dry foot policy near the end of his term as part of a "thawing" in the relationship between the two traditional Cold War enemies. His policies entailed opening the door for greater commerce and tourism, and the two nation's opened embassies in each other's capitals for the first time in half a century. Trump has pledged to revisit Obama's policies, suggesting that the former president gave away too much in the negotiations. Source: Cubanet

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