Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter Statement on the Situation in Venezuela

The Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter repudiate the events that occurred during and after the peaceful demonstrations by student organizations on Feb. 12, 2014, in Venezuela.  The group laments the loss of life and the wounded, and expresses its strong condemnation of the detention of more than 100 students, some of whom reported violations of their physical integrity.

The raid of a political party office without a warrant, and the arrest of Leopoldo Lopez, coordinator of the Voluntad Popular party, raise special concern. This situation constitutes the criminalization of the political activities of opposition groups, which is unacceptable in a democratic society.