U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
STATEMENT BY HEATHER NAUERT
July 5, 2017
The United States condemns the July 5 attack on members of the Venezuelan National Assembly by armed supporters of the government of President Nicolas Maduro. This violence, perpetrated during the celebration of Venezuela’s independence, is an assault on the democratic principles cherished by the men and women who struggled for Venezuela’s independence 206 years ago today.
We call on the Venezuelan government to immediately provide for the protection of the National Assembly, ensure those injured in today’s attack are able to receive medical attention, and bring the attackers to justice. We urge all sides in Venezuela to refrain from violence.
The United States deplores the Venezuelan government’s increasing authoritarianism, and the convocation of a National Constituent Assembly designed to undermine Venezuela’s democratic institutions, including the National Assembly. We join nations across the hemisphere and call upon the government of Venezuela to live up to commitments it made in the Vatican-facilitated dialogue process last fall to hold free, fair, and credible elections immediately, respect the constitution and the National Assembly, provide for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, and tend to the humanitarian needs of the Venezuelan people.