U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesperson
Statement by Heather Nauert, Spokesperson
February 8, 2018
Presidential Elections Announced in Venezuela
The United States denounces the decision by Venezuela’s National Electoral Council to unilaterally advance presidential elections without guarantees to ensure free, fair, and internationally-validated elections. These elections do not have the agreement of all political parties and limit the ability of individuals to run in the election. By denying participation in the electoral process, the Maduro regime continues to dismantle Venezuela’s democracy and reveals its authoritarian rule.
We support the decision by opposition parties to reject the regime’s terms for elections that would not be free and fair. The Venezuelan government’s unwillingness to negotiate in good faith prevents an agreement to achieve credible elections. It is unfortunate the Maduro regime is not courageous enough to contest elections on a level playing field.
As Secretary Tillerson highlighted during his travel to Latin America and the Caribbean, we stand with the hemisphere in support of the Venezuelan people and their sovereign right to have their votes counted in free, fair, and transparent elections. We will continue to pressure the regime to restore the integrity of the Venezuelan constitution.