Information on the current situation of Bandera Roja (Red Flag) [VEN22096.E]

This Response to Information Request updates information on Bandera Roja (Red Flag) provided in previous Responses available through the Refinfo database. The following information was provided in a 24 October 1995 DIRB telephone interview with a researcher at the Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (PROVEA), a leading Venezuelan human rights organization recommended staff of the Andean Commission of Jurists and Human Rights Watch.

Bandera Roja is not a clandestine group. In 1994 it requested to register as a political party at the Consejo Supremo Electoral (Supreme Electoral Council). The request has not yet been approved and is still being processed. Nevertheless, the group is tacitly recognized by authorities as a formal and legitimate political group. It is participating in the upcoming December 1995 municipal and gubernatorial elections in alliance with the Movimiento por la Democracia Popular (MDP), a legally recognized political group that had previously served as Bandera Roja's channel for public political participation. Bandera Roja participated openly in student demonstrations as recently as early October 1995, without negative consequences for its activists.

Bandera Roja used to have an armed wing, the Frente Americo Silva, operating in the state of Anzuategui. This armed wing handed over its weapons and publicly renounced armed struggle in 1994.

In July 1994 and March 1995 some members of Bandera Roja, as well as other social and political activists, were arrested for a couple of days and then released. Arrests like these have been common practice for many years; whenever major social unrest takes place or is expected to take place, authorities temporarily detain a wide range of social and political activists to prevent them from organizing or participating in demonstrations or other public unrest. These preventive detentions rarely last for more than a few days.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the DIRB within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Programa Venezolano de Educación-Acción en Derechos Humanos (PROVEA), Caracas. 24 October 1995. Telephone interview with researcher.