Canada Alarmed by Increasing Violence in Venezuela

March 14, 2014 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“As protests and demonstrations in Venezuela stretch into their fifth week, Canada is alarmed by increasing levels of violence across the country and the rising death toll.

“The loss of innocent lives during legitimate protest is unacceptable. The Government of Venezuela must demonstrate leadership in bringing a peaceful resolution to the situation. It is the right of all citizens to peaceful protest as a form of democratic expression and Canada believes that all parties must exercise restraint.

“Canada continues to be concerned by the reports of excessive force and human rights abuses by security forces. We call on authorities to investigate these allegations in a transparent and timely manner and to release all those who have been arbitrarily detained.

“It’s time for a genuine and respectful dialogue that brings together the various parties to address the underlying social and economic problems facing all Venezuelans.

“This morning I spoke to my counterpart in Panama, Francisco Álvarez De Soto. This situation affects the entire region, and Canada supports Panama’s leadership at the Organization of American States to promote a dialogue and resolution.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada