Concerned by the escalating political and economic crisis in Venezuela, Ottawa is urging the Venezuelan government and the opposition to settle their difference peacefully, taking into account “the legitimate concerns of the Venezuelan people.”
At least 36 people have been killed in the unrest that began in late March, fuelled by accusations that President Nicolás Maduro is building a dictatorship and anger over chronic product shortages that have left many struggling to eat.
“Canada is very troubled by the announcement by Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro that he will establish a constituent assembly to change the Venezuelan constitution, which will further escalate tensions in the country,” Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement.
Maduro’s move to tear up the “anti-capitalist” constitution written by his political godfather, the late President Hugo Chavez, could allow him to postpone elections that most Western observers believed he was sure to lose.
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