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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2002 > December
Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
December 6, 2002


U.S. Rejects Violence and Urges Venezuelans to Return to Dialogue

The United States is distressed by the outbreak of violence tonight in Caracas that again left peaceful demonstrators wounded and dead. We offer our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who died or were wounded. The United States is deeply concerned that this deplorable act will lead to an escalation of violence and confrontation in Venezuela.

We call on all sides to reject violence, act responsibly, continue to support the dialogue process, and respect constitutional processes. All Venezuelans need to redouble their commitment to dialogue and national reconciliation.

The United States reiterates its complete support for Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General César Gaviria’s efforts to facilitate a peaceful, democratic, constitutional and electoral solution to Venezuela’s crisis. We note the many clear statements of support for the Secretary General’s mission in Caracas that have been issued in the past week by fellow OAS member states and the Chairman of the OAS Permanent Council.

We also call on the Venezuelan Government to exercise its constitutional responsibilities and respect and protect the people’s fundamental freedoms, and adhere to the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which Venezuela has committed to support. Now more than ever, it is essential that the Venezuelan Government provide the safety and security necessary for the people of Venezuela to exercise peacefully their fundamental freedoms.

Released on December 6, 2002

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