Since May 30, an important petition has been circulating among progressive and left-leaning intellectuals and academics across Latin America and the rest of the globe. Noting that the situation in Venezuela is marked by an “increasingly de-legitimized government, with marked authoritarian features,” the petition criticizes the Maduro government’s unconstitutional efforts to convene a Constituent Assembly.
The statement also contains a critique of others on the left who have maintained support for the Venezuelan government in spite of its authoritarian slide. The more than 250 individuals who signed the statement state that:
“[W]e do not believe, as certain sectors of the Latin American left affirm, that we should acritically defend what is presented as an ‘anti-imperialist and popular government’. The unconditional support offered by certain activists and intellectuals not only reveals an ideological blindness, but is detrimental, as it – regrettably – contributes to the consolidation of an authoritarian regime.
To resolve the current situation, the petition expresses support for recent calls for a “democratic and plural dialogue,” and supports the formation of an “International Committee for Peace in Venezuela tasked with stopping the escalation of institutional and street violence.”
This petition comes at an important time, part of a broader emerging international consensus about the undemocratic nature of the Constituent Assembly and the need for a peaceful restoration of the country’s democratic institutions. As this consensus advances, progressive intellectuals could play an important role in supporting democratic voices, helping moderate figures within Chavismo speak out against the Maduro government.