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Confianza UCV (Trust UCV)

A group of university students and staff focused in the analysis, reflection, and exchange of opinions about the struggle that higher education institutions, including the Universidad Central de Venezuela, confront, and the country’s current problems.

Monday, March 24, 2014


Our country is facing unprecedented times. Once more the powerful student movement has covered the national territory with its presence and its voice, together with the Venezuelan people, that little by little is recovering its strength. There have been 45 continuous days of protests in Venezuela’s main cities, and today they don’t seem to give ground or diminish in intensity. These have also been 45 days of systematic and growing repression, with a painful number of murders, tortures, vicious beatings, arrests, and charges, all due to the shameful crime of protesting against a government that has been progressively closing all spaces available to free expression until the point of reducing  them to infeasible interstices. During these last days the decision to stamp them out on all fronts has elevated the decibels up to a scandal.

The last student manifestations, clearly peaceful, have been prevented from exiting the ghettos where the government is trying to confine them; mayors Ceballos and Scarano have been arrested, the latter even demoted and sent to jail without trial by, paradoxically, the so-called Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court; other governors and mayors have been threatened with similar procedures and the President of the National Assembly has let out his rage and his dogs against deputy María Corina Machado, in order to strip her of her parliamentary privileges. Political leader Leopoldo López was charged and arrested, without any proof, of having allegedly promoted the national protests, increasing the list of political prisoners headed by Iván Simonovis. It is, then, an assault meant to create fear among the entire population and to stop even the smallest protests at all costs.

This decision of the government to show its most repressive face is meant to contain the social protests that have surfaced as a response to the serious financial problems in the country, now impossible to conceal because they are evident daily in the perennial lines of buyers of scarce or inexistent food products and absent medicines, the choking increase of the inflation that threatens to surpass the 56% reached in 2013, the exceedingly high and growing levels of insecurity, the abandonment of Elath services, in a few words, the general dissatisfaction of people in the face of overflowing crime, even when not all of them are protesting. These manifestations reflect the citizen’s inconformity and difficulty comprehending how Venezuela, being the country with the highest income among the members of the international organization ALBA, has the worst financial performance: the worst treasury shortfall, the lowest financial growth, and the highest inflation caused by a financial policy that leads to the ruin of the country and the impoverishment of Venezuelans, condemning them to a disastrous quality of life.

The group Confianza-UCV wishes to express its position in the face of the serious current situation. In that sense, it is of the opinion that the country needs to urgently establish a true dialogue, completely different to the farce set up by the government, the so-called Peace Conferences, where the President pontificates unendingly surrounded by a silent and indulgent audience where only his own friends
are represented, with few exceptions.

A true dialogue between the government and the democratic alternative, that will effectively try to search for solutions to the current crisis of the country, should start off with certain indispensable requirements that will create trust from both sides: the establishment of neutral ground, choosing an escort or mediator of mutual agreement, the requirement of certain agreements from both sides that will
prove an authentic intention of searching for solutions; an agenda that includes the most important issues that are originating the current protests, such as freedom for the political prisoners, the cessation of repression and human rights violations, the suspension of arbitrary court appearance and construction of barricades, as well as other problems that affect the governability of the country, among others the restoration of the autonomy of the public powers, the designation of members whose service period has expired in the Supreme Court of Justice and in the National Election Board, the designation of the National Treasury Inspector, the full recognition of the rights of the members of parliament who disagree with the government and the cessation of the progressive limitations of freedom of information and expression. In short, it is about the recognition of the existence of half a country that resists accepting the establishment of a regime that continues to show its totalitarian trends and it is obviously in blatant violation of the National Constitution. Such is a dialogue that could lead
to decrease the polarization and promote mutual respect and recognition as Venezuelans with political differences, but who can live and work together for their country.

In the midst of the current crisis, as it has been happening in these last 15 years, the Universidad Central de Venezuela has once again been the victim of aggression from the government’s repressive squads and the armed groups. The university’s authorities have been trampled on and disrespected, and the students have been attacked by police squads and armed groups that,  among many other acts of brutal hostility, have burst into classrooms and student assemblies, displaying extreme forms of violence, brandishing firearms and blunt force weapons, and leaving eleven students wounded, several of them with serious injuries, like in the event that took place on Thursday, March 19 in the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism.

In the face of these new aggressions and the complexity of the country’s current situation, the group Confianza-UCV is of the opinion that the defense of the National Constitution, the autonomy and spaces of the UCV, should be accomplished with the university’s doors open; that the university’s institutional organisms, its authorities, the Governing Board, the faculty committees, the school boards,
the student unions, the university assemblies, the students, the staff and the laborers, are all responsible for its defense. It is within them, their presence and their commitment, where the institution’s legitimacy and strength lies. Only in this way, with an open university willing to mobilize, actively participating in the righteous current struggles and through the study and understanding of the country’s main problems will it be possible for the university to effectively contribute to the search of solutions to the national crisis and to rebuilding the Venezuelan society. The university is a fundamental institution within the Republic and as such must be defended by the entire nation. Let us summon the Venezuelan society to its defense; let us incorporate the UCV into the construction of the new democratic coexistence.

Finally, we ratify as members of the university and particularly of the UCV, our most unconditional adherence to democratic values and, in consequence, we demand from the National Government the immediate cessation of the indiscriminate repression and an absolute respect to the constitutional norms and the human rights of every Venezuelan  citizen as well as of allthose who live in this country’s territory, without distinctions of any nature, as well as to initiate a transparent investigation about the deaths occurred to determine those materially and intellectually responsable for these (murders, assassinations) acts. In particular, we demand the utmost adherence to what is established in the Article 109 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in regards to the autonomy of national universities. Only the most honest and transparent respect to our Constitution and to the rights established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights can guarantee a true dialogue and the construction of a lasting peace with justice for all.

University Campus in Caracas, March 24, 2014

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