An important group of civil society organizations in Venezuelan has been monitoring the elections held in Venezuela since 2015. This has enabled record and document, rigorously, the existence of a pattern of systematic actions, exercised from state institutions, whose ultimate goal is to keep the regime in power through the weakening of the vote as a democratic instrument.

In this framework, the institutions of the Venezuelan state have been transformed into authorities at the service of the party and the ruling elite. Their objective, has been to promote distrust and abstention, on the one hand, and to coerce the voters, on the other, through mechanisms that make participation in electoral contests subject to maintenance or continuity of the social programs of the national government, on which the lives of many Venezuelans depend, especially those who are in conditions of greater vulnerability.

From the civil society, we recognize and appreciate the follow-up carried out by the multilateral organizations, as well as the call for the realization of free elections, that allow the peaceful and democratic outcome to the crisis that the country is going through. In this context, we consider it important that international actors interested in the revaluation of the vote in Venezuela know the current status of the electoral system, as well as the proposals generated by the national organizations to build and consolidate the electoral path as a key element for the peaceful solution to the conflict in Venezuela.

The work and documentation consigned in this document therefore point to the need to begin the process of construction of the electoral route, which includes an effective strategy of international technical assistance. This process must include both democratic political leadership and civil society experts, in order to ensure the implementation of genuinely free and democratic elections. We believe that, without the realization of elections, and the consequent recovering of institutions in the country, there is no way to overcome the crisis of governability in which Venezuela is embroiled.

The follow-up, actions and messages issued by the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as the statements of the representatives of the International Contact Group and the spokespersons of different countries of the world, and the follow-up of all this process by multilateral organizations active in the promotion of the electoral route, constitute a unique opportunity to publicize the violations of political rights that occurred in Venezuela, which have been manifested mainly through three ways: 1) the process systematic violation of electoral guarantees; 2) the extreme weakening of political pluralism; and 3) the undermining of the vote as a peaceful mechanism for conflict resolution.

In order to contribute to this knowledge, we also set out below data and a series of documents prepared by various groups of civil society on the process of dismantling and disintegrating the system of electoral guarantees that has taken place in the country between 2016 and 2018 and that can be reviewed in the following link:

This process was followed, observed and monitored in a systematic and meticulous way by numerous organizations specialized in political-electoral issues in Venezuela, among which are Acceso a la Justicia, Centro de Justicia y Paz (Cepaz), Observatorio Electoral Venezolano, Observatorio Global de Comunicación y Democracia (OGCD), Red Electoral Ciudadana(REC), Red de Observación Electoral de la Asamblea de Educación, Transparencia Venezuela and Voto Joven.

To facilitate its reading, we have divided this material into five points:

I. Elections under the Socialism of the XXI Century (1999-2003)

II. Institutionalization of “El Ventajismo” (2004-2015)

III.  Breakdown of the electoral democracy (2016-2018)

IV. Proposals for the celebration of a free, fair and democratic election

V. Proposals for electoral reform