Letter to Secretary of State John Kerry calling on the US government to recognize election of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro

Secretary of State John Kerry
Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
via mcnamarajt@state.gov.


April 19, 2013
Dear Secretary Kerry,

We, the undersigned national, local, and international organizations call on the US government to immediately recognize the election of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who was elected by majority vote in a free and fair election on April 14. We further call on the United States government to condemn post-election violence perpetrated by elements of the Venezuelan right-wing and to cut off US “democracy promotion” aid to any group calling for or perpetrating violence in the post-election period which has already taken the lives of at least seven Maduro supporters.

We note that the US government has been quick to recognize US-favored winners of other elections in the hemisphere which had far less legitimacy than the Venezuelan election, most notably the election of Porfirio Lobo in 2009 under a Honduran coup-regime run election conducted during a State of Emergency, and the 2011 election of Michel Martelly in Haiti where the largest party, Lavalas, was not allowed to run a candidate. Former US President Jimmy Carter has called Venezuela's electoral system “the best in the world” and there is no doubt that President Maduro won the popular vote with 50.66%. With a winning margin of over a quarter of a million votes, Maduro’s victory is far from the closest vote in the history of world elections.

Venezuela, unlike the US, conducts both pre and post-election audits, including 54% of voting machines, before the electoral authority, which is an independent fourth branch of government, certifies a victor. Fraud is nearly impossible under the Venezuelan system because the voting machines produce a paper receipt which is kept and compared against the machine count. All political parties participate in every step of the election audit. There is therefore no legitimate reason for the US government to withhold its congratulations to the new president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.

Our organizations further demand that the United States government and the quasi-governmental National Endowment for Democracy, as well as the CIA, US Embassy, and other US entities cease funding opposition forces in Venezuela and cease efforts to destabilize and delegitimize the democratically elected Government of Venezuela. In 2002 the US government backed a failed coup against democratically elected former President Hugo Chavez. We find it fitting and symbolic that his successor, Nicolas Maduro, was elected president 11 years and one day after the people and army of Venezuela returned President Chavez to his elected office.

A response to all the signers may be sent to: Chuck Kaufman, Alliance for Global Justice, 225 E 26th St., Tucson, AZ 85713 or Chuck@AFGJ.org

Sincerely,

Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator
Alliance for Global Justice

Eugene Puryear, National Organizer
ANSWER Coalition

Kathleen Densmore, representative
Bay Area Latin America Solidarity Coalition (CA)

Jorge Marin, Coordinator
Boston Bolivarians (MA)

James Jordan, Coordinator
Campaign for Labor Rights

Barbara Larcom, Coordinator,
Casa Baltimore/Limay (MD)

Rev. Dan Dale, President
Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America

Carlos Martinez, Coordinator
Circulo Bolivariano del Norte de California (San Francisco, CA)

Lucy Pagoada, representative
Colectivo Honduras USA Resistencia=libre, (D19-NY)

Lisa Fuller, Program Director
Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES)

Graciela Breece, Co-Founder
Communities Engaged in Global Justice (CO)

Petros Evdokas, representative
Friends' League, Lefkosia-Nicosia, Cyprus

Selma James and Nina Lopez, Co-Coordinators
Global Women’s Strike

Andaiye, Coordinator
Global Women’s Strike/Guyana

Maggie Ronayne, Coordinator
Global Women’s Strike/Ireland

Phoebe Jones, Co-Coordinator
Global Women’s Strike/US

Charlie Hinton, representative
Haiti Action Committee (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)

Peter and Gail Mott, Co-Editors
INTERCONNECT newsletter for Latin America Solidarity

Teresa Gutierrez, representative
International Action Center

Dr. Suzanne Ross, International Representative and Spokesperson
International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal

Lance Selfa, representative
International Socialist Organization

Robert Naiman, Policy Director
Just Foreign Policy

Alexy Javier Lanza, Coordinator
La Voz de los de Abajo - Chicago

Bruce Wilkinson, representative
Latin America Solidarity Coalition

Dale Sorenson, Director
Marin Task Force on the Americas (CA)

Jess Sundin, representative
Minnesota's Anti-War Committee

Azadeh Shahshahani, President
National Lawyers Guild

Alicia Jrapko, Banbose Shango, Cheryl LaBash, Nalda Vigezzi, Sobukwe Shukura,
Co-chairs, National Network on Cuba

Diana Bohn, Co-Coordinator
Nicaragua Center for Community Action (CA)

Katherine Hoyt, Co-Coordinator
Nicaragua Network

Blase Bonpane, Ph.D., Director
OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS

Gunnar & Xiomara Gundersen, Coordinators
Oregon Bolivarian Circle

Gloria La Riva, Central Committee Member
Party for Socialism and Liberation

Eric Gjertsen, Co-Coordinator
Payday men’s network/US

Mike Helbick, representative
Peace Action Wisconsin

Claire Flanagan, Program Coordinator
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (OR)

Didi Rossi, Coordinator
Queer Strike

Giorgio Riva, Coordinator
Refusing to Kill

Grahame Russell, co-director
Rights Action

Michael Bass, Steering Committee
School of the Americas Watch, San Francisco, California

Robert Nixon, Steering Committee
School of the Americas Watch, Oakland, California

Dominique Diaddigo-Cash, representative
SOA Watch-National

Robin Alexander, UE Director of International Affairs
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE)

Ann Legg, Board of Directors
U.S-El Salvador Sister Cities

Tanya Cole, Director
Witness for Peace Southwest

Margaret Prescod, Coordinator
Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike/US

 

 

 

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