In view of the present political situation in our country, the Venezuelan democratic people, gathered in a National Network of Citizens’ Assemblies (Red Nacional de Asambleas de Ciudadanos), has deliberated at great length and analyzed with calm responsibility the historical challenge it faces in order to decide between a political pragmatism which may lead us into a course of unforeseeable consequences and a determined struggle for our rights, principles and constitutional guarantees to allow us to rescue liberty and democracy for all Venezuelans. We are the voice for the people who do not have a voice.

We believe that the legal, impartial and transparent conditions, necessary to guarantee the DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONALITY OF THE VOTE AS EXPRESSION OF THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE are not given in order to carry out regional and municipal elections next October 31, 2004, because the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council) has violated the Organic Law of Suffrage and Political Participation contravening and likewise violating that established in the constitutional text unfulfilling an inexcusable obligation, because: (1) it did not call formally and timely the mentioned process; (2) it did not notify, keep open, close, publish or purge the Electoral Registry within the established periods; (3) it denied counting the total amount of votes in a public act. The National Executive on its part has a tight control of the issuance of identity cards, of the regional and municipal electoral offices and of the establishment of the voting stations. Any lack or breach of any one of the rules established in the LOSPP (Organic Law of Suffrage and Political Participation), void as ABSOLUTE NULLITY the aforementioned electoral process. In addition to the above mentioned, the basic principles established in the American Convention of Human Rights; as well as articles 3 and 25 of the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights; including articles 3, 7 and 23 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and the impossibility to defend our political rights and guarantees given the impartiality evident in the decisions and sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice have also been violated.

We have come to the conclusion that we are not entering an electoral process oriented to repair the democratic institutionality which would strengthen and consolidate a political system guaranteeing the liberties of its citizens, but on the contrary, the purpose is to establish and invigorate an hegemonic and totalitarian way of exercising power, by subjecting of all State institutions to one sole will.

In this sense, the NATIONAL NETWORK OF CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLIES (RED NACIONAL DE ASAMBLEAS DE CIUDADANOS) declares before the democratic conscience of Venezuela and the world that:

The regional and municipal elections of October 31 of this year will only serve to conceal with an apparent legality the colossal fraud of the Presidential Referendum Recall ordered by the National Executive and planned, articulated and executed, in all its phases, by the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council), demonstrated in the investigation reports presented recently to the public opinion.

We appeal to the highest sense of responsibility of the National Democratic Community, to its historic sense of dignity and decorum and to its proven desire and unyielding decision of living in liberty, in order for all to join in the commitment to assume the patriotic and democratic decision of condemning the criminal purpose of using us as actors of an ELECTORAL FARSE, and a vigorous and unequivocal recognition and defense of the vote as an institution and sole and sovereign source, basis of the democratic system.

AS DEMOCRATS, we respect the most personal decision assumed by those who have decided to take part in the act, to witness and/or to watch the process in general, as established by law and the Constitution. Therefore, we call on the national and regional government, the Armed Forces and the people in general for them to likewise respect the decision assumed by said persons.
Venezuela requires the reestablishment of the Rule of Law and the effect of the National Constitution, which is a duty and a right to be exercised by each and every one of the Venezuelan citizens.
Owing to the preceding considerations in one LAST APPEAL OF THE PEOPLE:

We demand, as we have already done in numerous occasions, of the mayors and governors in power, the only one legally constituted and in effect, and of the candidates for the regional elections that they form a united front together with the citizens in order to defend their legitimacy of origin, the legal frame and the democratic governability in Venezuela, actively opposing the execution of invalid elections and defending in this sense the institutionality of the vote. They are still in time to assume the challenge history demands of them.

We urge the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to comply with the faithful performance of its powers and duties attributed to the same by mandate of the Constitution and the laws, and in this manner, avoid that the tragic consequences which may derive from violating regulations whereon the rule of law supports itself, fall on their consciences.
We call on the National Armed Forces to fulfill their original duty to watch, safeguard and guarantee the observance of the National Constitution and the laws, defending liberty, man’s dignity, justice and all other fundamental human rights.

We urge the people during these tragic moments our country Venezuela is going through, to become aware of their historic role and to become organized to assume a protagonic and participative role, as established in the National Constitution and lead the fight for the rescue of liberty and democracy. Likewise, we urge the people to support this declaration wherein we assume a firm and iron stand facing the illegitimacy of the regime and the fraud prepared for the October 31 elections.
We denounce before the national and international community that the present political scenario in Venezuela does not correspond to the frame of democratic institutionality, on the contrary, the political action of the present government shows characteristics of a regime with a definite totalitarian inspiration.
Venezuela’s political reality is a matter that goes past the restoration of the morality, principles and values which should govern a civilized society. The time allows no room for indifference and compels commitment.

Given all previously stated, the NATIONAL NETWORK OF CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLIES declares itself in permanent session until the democratic governability and the rule of rule in our country are reestablished.

Join our struggle for a free and sovereign Venezuela.

Caracas, 28 October 2004