CARACAS – Former presidents Martin Torrijos of Panama, Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic and Spanish ex-Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will accompany the truth commission looking into the political violence in Venezuela in recent years.
Ernesto Samper, head of the Union of South American Nations, or Unasur, announced the participation of the three politicians and said he has also agreed to join the commission as companion, while emphasizing that the solutions to Venezuela’s problems must come “from the Venezuelans themselves.”
“This commission offers Venezuelans the chance to find the way to a sincere dialogue, because confrontation is not the way,” Colombia’s former president said.
The commission was proposed by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro early this year to convince the opposition-controlled legislature to drop a bill of amnesty for leading members of the opposition imprisoned for alleged crimes, but the lawmakers approved the measure anyway.
Samper said during the inauguration of the commission, at a ceremony presided by Maduro, that Unasur “has said nothing nor will it say anything” about the amnesty bill passed by the Venezuelan congress, nor about the later ruling that declared it unconstitutional.
The truth commission, Samper said, “is not a setting for vengeance but for reflection, for coming together.”
Maduro said Monday that the commission, to be headed by Vice President Aristobulo Isturiz, would include four spokespersons for the Venezuelan opposition.
However, at the ceremony Tuesday for the founding of the commission at the Miraflores presidential palace, not one representative of the opposition was present.