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Statement by Minister Alfano on Venezuela

Minister Alfano: “We reiterate our serious concern and our condemnation of the growing violence, with which the popular protests currently taking place in Caracas and the rest of the country are being repressed. Expressing dissent is an inalienable right of citizens and must never be subject to intimidation or repression.

We trust that the Venezuelan Government will listen responsibly to the demands of the population and their elected representatives.  To overcome the severe crisis that continues to affect the Venezuelan people, an open dialogue with the opposition must take place in good faith that establishes an electoral timetable which can overcome the current stalemate.

We also urge the Government not to fuel internal conflict that could provoke further violence and to ensure that the people are called upon to express themselves exclusively through universal, free and direct elections with a secret ballot.

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