Canada condemns fraudulent presidential elections in Venezuela
Ottawa – Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement in response to the presidential elections in Venezuela:
“Yesterday’s presidential elections in Venezuela are illegitimate and anti-democratic. Both in the run up to yesterday’s election and on Election Day, the Maduro regime has shown itself unwilling to make any serious attempt to ensure the elections meet international democratic standards of freedom and fairness.
“The Maduro regime has once again failed its people by restricting Venezuelans’ rights and liberty and by preventing the free participation of opposition parties.
“Canada rejects the Venezuelan electoral process—and its results—as not representing the democratic will of Venezuela’s citizens. Canada and its partners in the Lima Group, as well as other international partners such as the European Union, have repeatedly called on the Maduro regime to release all political prisoners, appoint a new and independent National Electoral Council, end restrictions on a free press, and allow all political actors to participate freely and fully.
“The Maduro regime has not made any serious attempts to fulfil these conditions, let alone allow its people to have a voice in their own governance.
“In response to the Maduro regime’s attacks on Venezuelans’ democratic and human rights, Canada is today taking steps, effective immediately, to downgrade its diplomatic relations and restrict its engagement with Venezuela.
“Canada stands by the people of Venezuela and will continue to oppose the Maduro dictatorship. For centuries, the people of the Americas have fought for their democratic rights, and they expect their governments to do the same. The Maduro regime’s caricature of democracy and abuse of human rights do not serve Venezuelans; they deserve better.”