WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
3 Apr 2020 | News

WOLA Calls for Urgent Humanitarian Agreement in Venezuela

Following new U.S. action to apply further pressure on Nicolás Maduro and elites in his inner circle, WOLA is actively engaged with civil society in Venezuela and policymakers in the United States to support meaningful international responses to the country’s political crisis and the growing pandemic. 

As Venezuela’s crumbling health system struggles to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and as political actors on the ground scramble to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance, the Trump administration has doubled down on its maximum-pressure strategy, issuing new indictments on Maduro and 14 of his inner circle on March 26. WOLA is concerned that these measures make a transition less likely, not more. They may lower the incentives of key power brokers within the Maduro government to pressure for urgently-needed political agreements with the opposition.

Last week, WOLA’s Venezuela team coordinated with partners and U.S. policymakers to express the need for a humanitarian accord that incorporates sanctions relief for Venezuela, which should be approved by the democratically-elected National Assembly and implemented with transparency and reliable oversight. Below is an overview of advocacy efforts WOLA supports in the context of recent developments:

  • WOLA’s statement on why the U.S. government should encourage a humanitarian agreement and offer sanctions relief in Venezuela in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Feliciano Reyna of Venezuelan health rights group Acción Solidaria calls for a humanitarian accord for Venezuela that prioritizes life and dignity.  
  • Letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed by 11 U.S. Senators calling on the Trump administration to temporarily lift sanctions on Venezuela.
  • In an op-ed for the Washington Post, WOLA Director for Venezuela Geoff Ramsey argues that by indicting key figures in Maduro’s inner circle, the United States government is reducing the prospects for a negotiated transition.