76th Annual  Meeting
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
76th Annual Meeting
June 20-24, 2008
Miami

2008 ADOPTED RESOLUTIONS

CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS FOR THE PEOPLE OF VENEZUELA

WHEREAS, Articles 23, 24 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights govern the Right to Participate in Government, the Right to Equal Protection, and the Right to Judicial Protection; and

WHEREAS, Article 23 of said Convention, “Right to Equal Protection, ” states that every citizen shall enjoy the right and opportunity “to take part in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives”; “to vote and to be elected in genuine periodic elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters”; “to have access, under general conditions of equality, to the public service of his country;”, and that, “The law may regulate the exercise of the rights and opportunities referred to in the preceding paragraph only on the basis of age, nationality, residence, language, education, civil and mental capacity, or sentencing by a competent court in criminal proceedings”; and

WHEREAS, Article 24, Right to Equal Protection states “All persons are equal before the law, ” and consequently, they are entitled, without discrimination, to equal protection of the law”; and

WHEREAS, Article 25, Right to Judicial Protection, states, “Everyone has the right to simple and prompt recourse, or any other effective recourse, to a competent court or tribunal for protection against acts that violate his fundamental rights recognized by the constitution or laws of the state concerned orby this Convention, even though such violation may have been committed by persons acting in the course of their official duties”; and

WHEREAS, the Controller General of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has disqualified more than 400 Venezuelan citizens who aspire to be candidates for democratic election, and reelection, to public office in that country; including 335 mayors and 25 governors, to serve the citizenry of their cities and states;and

WHEREAS, these would-be candidates are being excluded from participating in the forthcoming electoral process by the administrative act of a government agency, acting without regard and not providing recourse to due process or juridical contest, and as such these individual aspirants are being summarily disqualified by the Venezuela Government’s Controller General by extra-judicial and extra-juridical process,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that in solidarity with the democratic aspirations of the people of Venezuela, The U.S. Conference of Mayors unequivocally condemns the restriction of political rights by the administrative actions of a government agency that does not guarantee a process concordant with minimum judicial guarantees established by the Venezuelan Constitution and the international treaties to which it is a signatory, including the American Convention on Human Rights; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors condemns the deliberate subjugation of the Venezuelan Constitution brought about by the Venezuela government’s disregard and dismissal of separated executive and judicial branches of government in Venezuela; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors unequivocally condemns the summary and arbitrary disqualification without due juridical process of otherwise eligible candidates for election and reelection for the narrow political ends of the Venezuelan executive branch, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this policy resolution be presented to the United States House of Representatives’ International Affairs Committee, the United States Senate’ Foreign Relations Committee, the United States Department of State and that representations be made to the official representatives of the Government of Venezuela in the United States.