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Venezuela: Carter and Gaviria will witness signature repair process

By Teresa de Vincenzo, El Universal

César Gaviria, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, president of the Carter Center, will be in Venezuela between May 29 and June 1 to head the two organizations' observation missions in the repair process related to the signatures requesting a presidential recall vote.

Together, the OAS and the Carter Center will display about 120 observers who will directly witness the three-day process.

Francisco Diez, representative of the Carter Center, and Marcelo Álvarez, assistant head of the OAS mission in Venezuela, met Thursday with the directors of the National Electoral Council (CNE) to discuss the visit.

Both international organizations hailed through a joint press release "the efforts made by the CNE, the (pro-government group) Comando Ayacucho and the Venezuelan opposition's organizations to find, though dialogue and consensus, the right conditions for Venezuelans to exercise their right during the claim process."

Diez and Álvarez believe that the citizens have been given the "necessary guarantees" to express their will, either by ratifying or by withdrawing their signatures.

Diez underlined that the OAS and the Carter Center have offered their cooperation to the authorities and officials of the CNE to accompany them as observers of the process.

He said that the observers will keep their commitment to continue on this capacity "with the responsibility shown until now, and offering the CNE and the citizens their best human and technical resources to ensure Venezuelans that their will be respected, whichever it may be."

The OAS and the Carter Center urged the population to participate in the process "as a contribution to the strengthening of democracy."

Translated by Edgardo Malaver

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