On August 12, 33 Venezuelan human rights organizations signed a joint statement rejecting President Trump’s threat of a possible “military option” to address the situation in Venezuela. As the signing organizations note, a military intervention would likely aggravate human suffering at a time when the country is already grappling with a severe economic crisis. The group also rejects economic sanctions on the same grounds, urging the international community to respond with diplomatic efforts in support of a “peaceful, negotiated solution.”

Below is a translated version of the statement. See the original here.

NGOs: We Reject Any International Action that Means More Suffering for the People of Venezuela

The organizations that sign this statement express our concern about the August 11 remark from the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who indicated that, given the situation in Venezuela, he would not rule out a military option. In that regard we express the following:

  1. We reject any measure adopted by the international community, or a particular country, that entails producing more suffering for the people of Venezuela. A possible military operation would only bring more violence and give the government justification to increase its repressive measures against those who criticize it.
  2. In accordance with the above, we also oppose economic sanctions that may worsen the social crisis already being suffered by families, primarily the poorest, as expressed in previous days in the open letter signed by 70 NGOs to the Meeting of Foreign Ministers in Lima.
  3. Past experiences of unilateral actions of the United States during conflicts have been negative for the people who have suffered them. U.S. actions outside the norms of international law, instead of helping to resolve crises, only deepens them. The violence of the Venezuelan State against the population cannot and should not be met with more violence by a foreign entity. As the norms of United Nations Charter indicate: “All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.”
  4. We applaud and encourage recent acts of international solidarity with the Venezuelan people, both by governments and political and social organizations. We thank them for their gestures and urge them to maintain and extend the denunciation of the abuses committed daily by various institutions of the Venezuelan State.
  5. We believe that one of the best forms of support that the international community can provide in the face of the crisis in the country and the arbitrary actions of the State is to strengthen international mechanisms for the protection of human rights that allow more effective responses to victims, and contribute—with the necessary diplomatic effort—to a peaceful and negotiated solution that will allow the timely restitution of democracy. In this regard, we will continue to insist on a visit of human rights experts from the IACHR and the United Nations to our country.
  6. We express our appreciation of the recent Declaration of Foreign Ministers of Lima, and in particular: “Their willingness to support, urgently and within the framework of respect for Venezuelan sovereignty, any credible and good faith negotiation effort that has the consensus of the parties and that is aimed at peacefully achieving the restoration of democracy in the country. “

This statement is endorsed by the following:

Acceso a la Justicia

Acción Solidaria

Asamblea de Educación

Aula Abierta Venezuela

Cátedra Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Centro Occidental Lisandro Alvarado

Centro para la Paz y los Derechos Humanos de la Universidaad Central de Venezuela

Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello


Civilis Derechos Humanos

Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Federación Colegio de Abogados de Venezuela estado Táchira

Coalición Clima 21

Comisión para los Derechos Humanos y Ciudadania (CODEHCIU)

Defensa de los Derechos Civiles AC

Espacio Público

Fundación Agua Clara

Fundación Banco del Libro

Fundación de Derechos Humanos INCIDE

Grupo Social Cesap

Humano Derecho Radio Estación

Instituto Prensa y Sociedad

Laboratorio de Paz

Observatorio Ambiental Venezolano

Observatorio Venezolano  de Prisiones

Observatorio de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad de Los Andes

Oficina de Derechos Humanos del Vicariato de Puerto Ayacucho

Opción Venezuela AC

Programa Venezolano de Educación Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea)

Promoción, Educación y Defensa en DDHH (PROMEDEHUM)

Proyecta Ciudadania AC

Redes Ayuda

Revista SIC

Una Montaña de Gente AC

Unión Vecinal para la Participación Ciudadana

Fernando Fernandez. Abogado. Activista de derechos Humanos

Marino Alvarado. Abogado. Ex Coordinador General de Provea

Raul Cubas. Activista de derechos humanos. Ex Coordinador General de Provea

Jacqueline Richter. Activista. Profesora universitaria.