The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, said today that he is hopeful that the organization will forward the case of Maduro and other regime officials to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. The comments come as the OAS is set to wrap a series of consultations in which it heard from Maduro regime victims, the end of which will be marked by a formal report on the possibility that regime officials have committed crimes against humanity.
I think that we will have the support of the countries [in the OAS] when the time comes to bring this topic up at the International Criminal Court. That would be a good thing.
While the OAS cannot itself send the report to the ICC should it wish to do so, the report may be sent by any of the organization’s 28 members who also signatories to the Rome Statute. Once received, the ICC would not be compelled to follow the recommendation(s) of the report.
Ledezma Formally Requests Asylum in Spain
Former Caracas mayor and regime prisoner Antonio Ledezma has formally requested asylum in Spain. Confirmation of the request came from Inigo Mendez, a spokesperson for the Spanish government. While it is not yet clear that the Spanish government has accepted the request, the warmth with which he was received in the European country makes that outcome likely.
Ledezma was arbitrarily arrested in his office in Caracas in February 19 2015 and spent over three years in detention before escaping from house arrest into Colombia this past November 17.
Maduro laughed off Ledezma’s escape during a televised event on November 17, calling the fleeing opposition leader “a vampire” and mockingly imploring Spain to not return him to Venezuela.
Borges Lays Out Conditions for Dialogue with PSUV
National Assembly president Julio Borges spoke to reporters today about what he says are conditions that the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) opposition block will bring to the dialogue table with the PSUV when the two sides meet in the Dominican Republic on December 1.
Borges said that one of the main points to be discussed is the “dismantling” of the National Constituent Assembly, a supra-legislative body that was elected in what is widely regarded to have been fraudulent elections. The vote for the Constituent Assembly took place on July 30, and was marked by irregularities and violence. Days after the ballots were cast, the company that provided the voting machines for the process–SmartMatic–released an unprecedented statement saying that the results announced by the Maduro regime did not correspond to the votes that the machines counted.
According to Borges, the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly is “not negotiable”.
Borges also told reporters that the MUD will demand that the Maduro regime admit that there is a humanitarian crisis in the country and allow for international aid to flow into Venezuela, that it immediately release every political prisoner in the country, and that the rectors of the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) be replaced immediately.
Borges’ comments come just days after the MUD released a longer and more detailed list of demands for the PSUV.
The two sides are scheduled to meet in the Dominican Republic on December 1 and 2 for the first set of talks in one year. The talks are expected to include members of the international community, whose participation was one of the conditions set by the MUD for the talks to take place.
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