A broadly acceptable, negotiated transitional government must be responsible for overseeing elections.  Independent electoral authorities run and administer an election.  In the Venezuelan context, this includes:

  • A new, balanced, and independent National Electoral Commission (CNE) – selected through the National Assembly — as constitutionally mandated – must spearhead the electoral process. This CNE should be named by the National Assembly as soon as possible in accordance with the constitution, in order to allow sufficient time to prepare for elections.
  • A newly constituted, fair and independent supreme court, the TSJ, is a critical safeguard to ensure the principles of justice and protect the integrity of the election and the sanctity of each vote.

Elections must be open to all parties and candidates.  In the Venezuelan context, this includes:

  • Reinstatement of all powers and authorities of the National Assembly – Venezuela’s legitimate, constitutional parliamentary authority.
  • Remove all restrictions on individuals and political parties to allow their free participation in presidential and parliamentary elections. This includes protections for those who have fled the country fearing for their safety and security, and the release of all those arbitrarily detained, including political prisoners.

Unrestricted media/telecommunications/internet access to independent news sources and equitable airtime must be available for all candidates, parties, and the electorate.  The former Maduro regime must not be allowed to dictate the content of independent media actors.  This includes allowing the exercise of the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression without repression, reprisal, or politically motivated disruptions of service.

Independent electoral observation, free of undue restrictions, comprised of domestic and international experts.

The United States and its partners issuing this statement intend to:

  • Urge all Venezuelan authorities to adhere to the above criteria;
  • Facilitate the process for Venezuelan citizens anywhere in the world to exercise their rights by voting in a free and fair presidential election from abroad;
  • Provide technical support and/or funding, as appropriate, to assist the voter registration process; and
  • Provide a team of highly regarded independent electoral observers to begin work with the new CNE as soon as it is appointed.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future