By Heather Nauert
U.S. Department of State
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The United States condemns President Maduro’s threat to ban opposition parties from participating in next year’s presidential elections. The Venezuelan people deserve the right to express their views and consent to governance through a free and fair democratic process that is open to all candidates. A presidential election cannot be legitimate if candidates and parties cannot freely participate.
The Venezuelan government and members of the political opposition are scheduled to meet on December 15 in the Dominican Republic to discuss the 2018 presidential elections’ timeline and processes. We call on the Government of Venezuela to agree to a timeline that allows for free, fair, transparent, and internationally observed presidential elections.
We continue to call on the Venezuelan government to immediately open a humanitarian channel to receive medicine and food assistance, to release political prisoners, to disband the illegal Constituent Assembly, and to respect the democratically elected National Assembly.