Apr 18, 2013

Venezuela Organizational Sign-On by Friday April 19, 2013

April 17, 2013

Source: Chuck Kaufman from Alliance for Global Justice

Pasted below and attached is an organizational sign-on letter (sorry, no individuals) demanding that the United States recognize the election victory in Venezuela of President Nicolas Maduro. If your organization wants to sign-on, please send your name and title and organization name to Chuck@AFGJ.org by Friday at noon EDT. If you are a local organization, please put you1 r city,state in () after your name. Thank you, Chuck Kaufman Alliance for Global Justice

Secretary of State John Kerry

Department of State

2201 C Street NW

Washington, DC 20520

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.

The United States government has made multiple mistakes in its relations with Venezuela. We demand that it not compound its errors by failing to recognize the results of the April 14 election and by further emboldening the violent forces within Venezuela who look to the US government for leadership.

Sincerely,

Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator

Alliance for Global Justice

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