The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL), together with other organizations of jurists from around the world, social movements and trade unions, is a signatory of the following letter urging the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to denounce the coup d’etat that took place in Venezuela on January 23, 2019 and to assume a more impartial attitude in the performance of its mandate.

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Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Organization of American States

Attention: Paulo Abrao, Executive Secretary

The undersigned human rights organizations, social movements, trade unions and jurists’ association from around the world denounce the attempted coup d’etat in Venezuela on 23 January 2019, when Juan Gerardo Guaidó, President of the Venezuelan National Assembly (defunct) , proclaimed and designated himself “Acting President” of the Bolivarian Republic. This violates the most basic principles of the Rule of Law, the Constitution and, most fundamentally, the sovereign decision of a people that on 20 May 2018 expressed its will at the polls, when 9,389,056 people democratically exercised their right to vote. President Maduro won with a wide margin, obtaining 6,248,864 votes or 67.84 percent.

We are very concerned about how this Commission has granted a precautionary measure, identified with number 70-19, in favor of Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez and his family members on 25 January 2019, as a person who has incited violence in the country and is currently attempting to carry out a coup d’etat. The Commission does not proceed with the same speed in relation to other requests that various organizations have made regarding different situations occurring in Venezuela, such as the unilateral coercive measures dictated against the country which have caused the suffering of the Venezuelan people. We are also concerned that the Commission has issued a precautionary measure in favor of a leader of the opposition to the Venezuelan government but has made no pronouncement itself condemning the coup d’etat in Venezuela.

This commission cannot repeat the actions of the Secretary General of the OAS, who in 2002 failed to recognize and denounce the coup d’etat carried out by Pedro Carmona Estanga, President of the Fedecámaras employers’ association, against President Hugo Chavez. It also cannot legitimize the actions of the current Secretary General Luis Almagro to recognize an “interim president” in Venezuela, since this lacks any constitutional foundation and is carried out in contravention of the laws of the country. None of the circumstances that may allow the president of the legislative body to temporarily assume the presidency occurred within the country.

Members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, we cannot allow more coups d’etat in our continent or legitimize irregular actions in violation of the OAS Charter and human rights, due to disagreement with the government of a country or its leadership.

Therefore, we urge the Commission to adhere to the Charter of the Organization of American States and its mandate, to denounce the coup d’etat in Venezuela as it has done on other occasions in our continent, and to take an impartial stance according to international human rights standards, therefore revoking the precautionary measure issued in favor of the Venezuelan politician Guaidó.


  1. Organización SURES
  2. Fundación Intersaber
  3. Asociación Venezolana de Juristas
  4. Frente Bolivariano de Luchadores Sociales Francisco de Miranda (FFM)
  5. Embajada de Derechos Humanos
  6. Fundación Genero con Clase
  7. Fundación de Víctimas del Sicariato Campesino
  8. Fundalatin
  9. Red Ciega
  10. Asociación de Víctimas del Golpe de Estado del 11 de abril de 2002 (ASOVIC)
  11. Asociación de Víctimas del Caracazo y terrorismo de Estado Cuarto Republicano
  12. Asociación de Vivienda y Hábitat “Colectivo el Rosal”
  13. Centro Juvenil de Derechos Humanos
  14. Programa Venezolano de Investigación para el Desarrollo
  15. Movimiento Guardianes de Inquilinos y Pequeños Propietarios
  16. Comité de Solidaridad Internacional (COSI)
  17. Colectivo La Araña Feminista
  18. Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora
  19. Fundación Mundos Sin Fronteras
  20. Fundación Pueblo Libre
  21. Movimiento Periodismo Necesario
  22. Fundación venezolana por el derecho a la vivienda.
  23. Comité de Victimas de las Guarimbas y el Golpe Continuado
  24. Movimiento de la Diversidad Sexual Rompiendo la Norma
  25. Fundación Contraalmirante Manuel Ponte Rodríguez
  26. Movimiento de solidaridad Militar Hugo Chávez
  27. Voluntario de Participación y Activismo Social VOLPAS Círculos Bolivarianos Socialistas de Costa Rica (CBSCR)
  28. Red de Historia, Memoria y Patrimonio
  29. Movimiento de Mujeres Petroleras, Petroquímicas y Gasíferas
  30. Alba Movimientos
  31. Intersindical de Derechos Humanos. Argentina
  32. Frente Patria Grande. Argentina
  33. Comité de Solidaridad con Venezuela y la Revolución Bolivariana. Costa Rica
  34. Consejo Nacional e Internacional de la Comunicación Popular (CONAICOP/Capítulo Costa Rica)
  35. Comité Nacional de Enlace (CNE). Costa Rica
  36. Movimiento Alternativa de Izquierdas MAIZ. Costa Rica.
  37. Fundación Independencia. Costa Rica
  38. Partido Patria Nueva. Costa Rica
  39. Comité Campesino de Pavones de Golfito. Costa Rica
  40. Asociación de Comités de Vigilancia de los Recursos Naturales (COVIRENAS). Costa Rica
  41. Asociación de tierra para el Campesino (TIPAELCA). Costa Rica
  42. Asociación de Derechos Humanos (ACODEHU). Costa Rica
  43. Cooperativa de Trabajadores de Osa (COOTRAOSA). Costa Rica
  44. Comité Campesino de Lucha por la Tierra (Finca Changuena). Costa Rica
  45. Coordinadora Panameña de Solidaridad con la República Bolivariana de Venezuela. Panamá.
  46. Alianza Internacional de los Habitantes
  47. International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL)
  48. Asociación Americana de Juristas (AAJ)
  49. African Bar Association (AFBA)
  50. National Conference of Black Lawyers (NCBL). United States
  51. National Lawyers Guild, United States
  52. Giuristi Democratici (GD). Italy
  53. The National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL). South Africa
  54. Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers. United Kingdom
  55. Hellenic Union of Progressive Lawyers (HUPL). Greece
  56. Nouvelles Alternatives pour le Développement Durable en Afrique (NADDAF). Togo
  57. Lebanese Association of Democratic Lawyers. Lebanon
  58. Asociaciòn Portuguesa de Juristas Demócratas. Portugal
  59. Droit-Soidarité. France
  60. National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), Philippines *
  61. Democratic Lawyers Association, Pakistan *
  62. National Union of Jurists of Cuba *

*Signed following initial presentation of letter

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