Tibisay Lucena, President of Venezuela's National Electoral Council, addressing the 6th National Latino Congreso in Chicago.
The 6th National Latino Congreso held in Chicago approved on Friday a resolution congratulating Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) for its “exemplary efforts” at voter empowerment and civic engagement in the country’s electoral processes, and called on the U.S. government to recognize and respect the outcome of the upcoming Venezuelan presidential elections. The resolution was approved in a plenary session at which the President of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena, spoke about the role of the Latino vote in the U.S. and the importance of active citizen participation in the processes of societal transformation.
“We were invited by the Latino Congreso, an organization we have worked with very closely and that has participated in previous electoral processes in Venezuela,” Lucena said during her presentation.
She was pleased by the fact that members of the Congreso are interested in the advances of the Venezuelan electoral system with respect to participation and inclusion.
“Since nearly 2003, our staff at the CNE has been working tirelessly to ensure that the people’s will be transparent, secure, reliable, and facilitate the process of the country’s electoral system,” Lucena said.
Before a coalition of organizations, leaders, Latino activists and media outlets, the president of the CNE highlighted the progress of Venezuela’s electoral system and and the interest of the CNE in inviting more international electoral accompaniers for the coming elections.
“The eyes of the world are on Venezuela in each election, hence, we want to invite important personalities so we can show them the Venezuelan electoral system,” she said.
Among those participating in the plenary session were Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), an organization aimed at promoting Latino voter participation in the U.S.
“It was very important for the delegates of the Latino Congreso to have the opportunity to hear some comments by President Tibisay Lucena, since information about Venezuela does not go in depth here in the U.S.,” Gonzalez said after the plenary session.
During his presentation, the Latino leader highlighted Venezuela’s “great achievement” for having a National Electoral Council with “such a deep and participative” electoral system.
The National Latino Congreso has been held since 2006 and was founded to create an “open space” for analyzing and designing strategies for public policy and the political agenda of communities of Latino origin in the U.S., including domestic and international perspectives.
U.S Civil Rights Organization to Visit Venezuela
Lucena’s agenda in Chicago included a meeting with Reverend Jesse Jackson, a prominent civil rights activist and founder of the Rainbow Push Coalition. During the meeting, Lucena invited reverend Jackson to visit Venezuela to learn about how the country’s electoral system works and participate as an electoral accompanier in the coming elections. “I expected, as part of my visit, to meet with Reverend Jesse Jackson to invite him to Venezuela after and during this year’s elections so he can see our electoral process,” Lucena said.
“I’m impressed with the idea that Venezuela continues in the path to increase an open, free and transparent democracy, inviting international observers to watch the process,” said Reverend Jackson.
“We accept this invitation to meet with officials of the government, opposition, religious leaders and several actors in the society to ensure the world that the electoral process is open, free, fair, transparent and be recognized by the world,” said Reverend Jackson after the meeting.Lucena and Jackson discussed relations between the U.S. and Venezuela and the need for both countries to restore and deepen diplomatic ties.
“Relations between the U.S. and Venezuela should be restored. We are neighbors, we share the same hemisphere and same resources. We should revive those ties because the union of the U.S. with Venezuela can make them a great force for the wellbeing of humanity. There are many challenges in the whole hemisphere, like violence, drugs, poverty, and we should work jointly for the wellbeing of the peoples,” Reverend Jackson said.
Venezuela’s National Electoral Council, an independent branch of government, has continued to contact international organizations and personalities to participate as electoral accompaniers during the country’s presidential elections on October 7.
Press Office – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / May, 19, 2012