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Mexico on the Venezuelan crisis

Division between Government sympathizers and the opposition extends beyond Venezuela's borders
File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
03/08/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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The political situation in Venezuela has divided its citizens. The problem is not that there are disagreements, it's that the freedom to express opinions different to those of the Government has been curtailed and those who challenge the position of the current regime face a high risk of being incarcerated.

The division between Government sympathizers and the opposition extends beyond Venezuela's borders. On the international scene, there are countries who support Caracas and others who condemn them.

Mexico also has divided opinions in this regard. Some denounce the actions of President Nicolas Maduro while others defend him, claiming – among other reasons – that the attacks are orchestrated by foreign powers.

The Mexican Government has taken a stand regarding the Venezuelan crisis. Last Sunday, the Federal Government announced Mexico would not recognize the proceeding which took place that day in the South American nation; that is, the election of the 545 members of the Constituent Assembly, which would have the purpose of, according to Maduro, drafting a new constitution to “end” the crisis in the country. Critics of this measure consider the ultimate goal is for more power to concentrate on the figure of the president.

Mexico wasn't alone. The European Union, the United States of America, Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, and Peru, among others, have also chastised this decision.

Yesterday, the Mexican Congress issued a statement, declaring that the results of the election of the Constituent Assembly represent an instrument aimed to cripple the Venezuelan State and its democracy, and exhorted the Mexican Government to address the refugee status applications of Venezuelan citizens.

The decision wasn't unanimous. Some political groups in Mexico believe this is an infringement of the principle of non-intervention and the right of self-determination of nations. Others have criticized the posture of the Mexican Government before, stating Mexico denounces human rights violations in Venezuela, yet fails to act internally.

The posture agreed on by the Mexican Executive Branch and the Congress is to condemn a government who uses the force of the State to repress its citizens instead of reaching an agreement with its nationals.

Even though Mexican history isn't free of similar repressions, these cases belong to an authoritarian era we consider is finally over, and to which we have no desire to return.

It's true that Mexico is currently on its way to consolidate and perfect its own democracy, and while we're still working on securing a culture of respect in matters of human rights, there is no reason why we cannot condemn a regime which restricts freedom and becomes increasingly more indefensible.

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