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Venezuela reacted to ICC decision to start preliminary examinations in the country

The Foreign Ministry stated that the ICC had not communicated its intention to initiate preliminary examinations before making the public announcement, however, Venezuela is ready to fully cooperate with the ICC

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry has released a statement following the ICC decision about the initiation of preliminary examinations into the situation in Venezuela. 

The Foreign Ministry stated that the OTP had not communicated its intention to initiate preliminary examinations before making the public announcement, labeling the prosecutor’s statement as ‘baseless accusations.’ However, it did mention Venezuela’s readiness to fully cooperate with the ICC, stating that: “…in the name of our international cooperation duties, [we] assure [the ICC] of our full contribution so that the mentioned deeds may be explained.”

Attorney General, Tarek William Saab, later claimed that Venezuelan authorities have been investigating and prosecuting the violent acts of 2017, stating that his office possesses “documentation which shows that all of the cases have been attended by both the courts and the Ombudsman’s office.” 

Venezuela is currently going through a fresh phase of political turmoil. Talks between the government of Nicolas Maduro and the the opposition coalition have broken down, resulting in the government announcing early elections on April 22nd 2018. The move has been met with concerns that elections will not be a “...free, fair, transparent and democratic process.” 

The OTP initiated Preliminary examinations into alleged crimes in Venezuela last week in the context of demonstrations and political unrest since April 2017.