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Venezuela: Stop the use of violence and abuse of human rights to hold on to power

It is unacceptable that a group in power – in order to maintain control over the resources and decisions in a country for its own benefit – violates daily and systematically the basic rights of millions of Venezuelans, anti-corruption group Transparency International said today.

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. What is happening in the Venezuela of President Nicolás Maduro is an extreme version of this.

“The Maduro regime is a blatant case of what is known as grand corruption. It violates two of the most basic human rights: health and security. Billions of dollars are being stolen from the public by the few in power, causing people to lose their lives on a daily basis due to a lack of medicines and proper health services. This must stop immediately. People deserve to live in dignity and free of repression,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

Millions of people are taking to the streets to demand an end to this abuse of a few at the expense of many. Transparency International is joining their calls:

  • for an electoral timetable to be set
  • for the autonomy of the National Assembly to be safeguarded
  • for the release of the political prisoners
  • for humanitarian assistance to be allowed into the country
  • for civilians not to be judged in military courts
  • And, of most urgency, for the brutal and violent repression that has already claimed more than 40 lives, to stop immediately.

“It is time for elections in Venezuela; time for Venezuelans to decide their own future. The government knows that they are the minority trying to cling to power by all means and ignore the majority of Venezuelans. However, the people of Venezuela are not alone,” added Ugaz.

In hundreds of cities around the world people are going to demonstrate their solidarity with the people of Venezuela on Saturday, 20 May by taking to the streets. International organisations need to also add their support.

Transparency International calls on the members of the Organization of American States to take decisive decisions at the Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs on 31 May. The proper implementation of Inter-American democratic instruments and international legal framework is the appropriate mechanism through which the concerns and proposals of the other countries in the region must be expressed.


For any press enquiries please contact

Natalie Baharav
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: press@transparency.org