Felipe González: “I fully support dialogue for reconciliation in Venezuela”

Speaking to the media, Felipe González discussed the worrying situation of democracy and human rights in Venezuela. He stressed the need for the release from prison of all prisoners without exception and stated that “there must be freedom of representation. There cannot be fabricated reasons to eliminate annoying opponents from the opposition”. González considered also that the aforementioned freedom is in the hands of Nicolas Maduro since the president can “suspend all proceedings against opponents. It’s in his hands”.

Regarding the elections, the Member of the Club de Madrid, stressed the need for a “qualified international observation of UNASUR with technical assistance from the Organization of American States and the European Union” and that “it cannot be understood that the regime would not allow it if there really is nothing to hide”. Gonzalez added that one of the big problems is that Venezuela “is that the executive power is also judiciary and legislative.” As a solution, the former president of Spain between 1982 and 1996, stated his willingness to reach a covenant: “I am in favor of dialogue for reconciliation in Venezuela”, said Gonzalez, for whom it is not surprising that a Social Democratic leader would defend the cause of a conservative leader such as Leopoldo Lopez: “One is truly democratic when he or she defends the ideas of those who do not think like us”.

Lilian Tintori and Mitzy Capriles, wives of political prisoners, Leopoldo Lopez, coordinator of the Venezuelan opposition party “Voluntad Popular” and Antonio Ledezma, Mayor of Caracas, respectively, participated in the press conference to defend the cause of human rights and democracy in Venezuela. Both called for the release from prison of absolutely all political prisoners, advocated for freedom of the press and claimed, as did Felipe González, by the qualified international electoral observation. Tintori insisited on reaching out to the partners of the government and to “achieve freedom spaces to restore democracy in Venezuela” while recalling that the UN “has asked four times for the freedom of Leopoldo Lopez”.


The Club de Madrid has been monitoring for several months and with great concern the rapid deterioration of human rights and the quality of democracy in Venezuela. Since late November 2014, on the occasion of the political dialogue “Are Democracy and Human Rights in Decline?” held in Florence, the organization formed by 106 former presidents and heads of government worldwide democratically elected, has developed several press releases focused on the request of dialogued solutions to the political crisis, the offering of political capital by its members, the release of all political prisoners, including Lopez and Ledezma and the observation by international bodies such as UNASUR, European Union and Organisation of American States.