Gov. Rosselló signs declaration with former Caracas mayor for ‘reconstruction of Venezuela’
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Nevares signed a joint statement with the former mayor of Caracas and leader of the opposition to the current Venezuela regime, Antonio Ledezma, to establish the Commission for the Reconstruction of Venezuela to “support the return of democracy” for the South American country.
The signing took place Tuesday morning during a meeting in the governor’s office, La Fortaleza, together with the of the Puerto Rico Secretary of State Luis G. Rivera.
“The free nations of the world, which include the United States of America, of which Puerto Rico is a part of, have made compelling expressions so that democracy will be reinstated in Venezuela as soon as possible,” the governor said.
Rosselló added that “based on the responsibility to protect fundamental human rights and the principles of international law, the countries that want the return to democracy in Venezuela are committed to opening humanitarian channels of support to that country, by land, air, and sea.”
According to the governor’s news release, Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis and instability has had “great repercussions throughout the region; this includes Puerto Rico,” which is about 500 miles away from Venezuela.
“Puerto Rico has a population of Venezuelans who, not only are committed to the values of a democratic government, but actively contribute to the economic life of the Island, as well as to its richness and cultural diversity,” the release further says.
According to the joint declaration, Puerto Rico, “as part of the United States—has the guarantees and legitimacy offered by a democratic government that respects human rights and shares with the people of Venezuela a Hispanic tradition and geographical proximity, which results in a cultural and linguistic convergence.
“Faced with this historical-political reality, the Island is the propitious place to articulate a plan that aims at the reconstruction of Venezuela, with full and active participation of the Government of the United States.”
Through the commission, “Ledezma is committed to working with the different sectors and leaders of the opposition in Venezuela so that, in an integrated and comprehensive manner, they sign the joint declaration and ratify the suitability of Puerto Rico to host the Commission,” according to the release.
“[W]hen I think we are barely 500 miles from Caracas, I am convinced that once Venezuela returns to normal, different professionals, Puerto Ricans; professors, doctors, lawyers, among others, will be instrumental in helping to raise our Venezuelan brothers after two decades of a failed populist model,” Secretary of State Marín said, adding that “we must start thinking about the ‘day after’, on international support strategies by land, air, and sea when the dictatorship ends.”
Once it receives the approval of the federal government, the commission “will acquire full international legal effect” and will hold its first meeting on Oct. 20 and 21 in San Juan.