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Former Ibero American presidents call for changes in Venezuela

ASSOCIATED PRESS BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

04/06/2015

MADRID

A total of 19 former presidents of Spain and Latin America denounced the democratic alteration that Venezuela is suffering of, and called for the immediate release of imprisoned political opponents.

The request is contained in the so-called Declaration of Panama which will be presented on the eve of the Summit of the Americas, to be held on April 10 and 11 in Panama City, reported FAES, foundation that is runned by the Spanish former president José María Aznar.

Besides Aznar, Mexican Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox, Colombian Alvaro Uribe and Andres Pastrana, Chilean Sebastián Piñera, Peru's Alejandro Toledo and the Costa Rican Laura Chinchillaand Oscar Arias are among the signatories of the document.

The statement calls for the immediate release of the Venezuelan opposition in prison and calls on countries of the Summit, the OAS and the UN to get involved to "build an alternative solution that respects the constitutional principles and international standards".

In addition, the leaders requested that "separation of powers" in Venezuela be respected to ensure "fairness" and "free and fair elections."

The leaders of 35 countries in the region are meeting this week at a summit that triggered the interest in the historic thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States and the presence of their respective heads of state, Raúl Castro and Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro plans to deliver to the meeting a barrage of signatures opposing the White House’s decree declaring Venezuela an extraordinary threat to the US national security.

But the Secretary of State for Latin America, Roberta Jacobson, said last week that the US government will not discuss about Venezuela or any other specific country. Jacobson said the Summit is a multilateral meeting which will address issues relevant to all countries.

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