By Teri Mattson, Code Pink
CARACAS, Venezuela. The election for the National Assembly of Venezuela takes place on December 6, 2020.
Despite COVID-19, elections will proceed as mandated in the Venezuelan constitution. This December 6, Venezuela is holding its twenty-sixth election since 1998. Venezuelans will elect a new National Assembly with one of the most diverse ballots seen in recent years. Five major blocks – two from the left and three on the right – are competing. There are 107 political parties signed up, with 14,400 candidates running (three times more than in 2015).
A delegation of election observers organized by CODEPINK is making its way to Caracas to observe the elections for the Venezuelan National Assembly. At the invitation of the CNE (National Electoral Council) these international observers shall independently monitor the elections practices in Venezuela. In addition to CODEPINK, a host of multilateral bodies, including the UN, CARICOM and the African Union, have been invited by the CNE. The Council of Latin American Electoral Experts (CEELA) will also be present to observe the elections.
This delegation includes a wide spectrum of human rights advocates and peace defenders from the United States and Canada with a wealth of experience in election practice and methodology. It is critical for neutral observers to ensure that elections are free and fair, especially when interested parties may claim otherwise, as in the recent U.S. election.
Teri Mattson, a CODEPINK activist states: “As a women forward peace organization CODEPINK is uniquely placed to organize this kind of delegation. The sanctions imposed on Venezuela are a form of economic warfare disproportionately impacting women. These measures are meant to create hardship and unrest. Peace and progress come only through democratic processes. We are travelling to Venezuela to ensure that the electoral process there is not being warped by the pressures of economic warfare.”
The CODEPINK delegation will provide regular updates on the conditions on the ground in Venezuela, but will not comment on the election process, procedures or outcome until December 7, 2020.