Statement On Human Rights In Venezuela

Statement On Human Rights In Venezuela

Above Photo: Comisión Interamericana/Flickr

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s July 5 report on Venezuela echoes the US government’s talking points, which are designed to terminate Venezuela’s two-decade-old Bolivarian Revolution, without acknowledging Venezuela’s manifest accomplishments or even recognizing victims of US-backed rightwing violence in Venezuela. A more factual report would have included:

  1. What amounts to a war by the US government on Venezuela is motivated by the accomplishments of the Bolivarian Revolution, not its faults. The Venezuelans have sought to create a more inclusive polity to empower poor and working people and to redistribute national wealth. In addition, Venezuela has promoted regional integration and independence from the US based on respecting national sovereignty in a multi-polar world.
  2. The US government is not interested in or motivated by human rights or democracy. The US has a long history of supporting coups (e.g., Venezuela in 2002, Haiti in 2004, Honduras in 2009) and the most repressive states (e.g., Colombia) throughout Latin American and, indeed, the world.
  3. The actions of the US government are explicitly designed to prevent the correction of Venezuela’s supposed faults. Even the humanitarian CLAP program, bringing basic food items to people in need, has been targeted.
  4. If Venezuela’s supposed faults were primarily the cause of the current crisis, the US government would not have had to impose its economic war to attack the economy. The economic war constitutes an illegal, unilateral, and coercive form of collective punishment against the population, which has caused great misery and an estimated 40,000 deaths.
  5. In fact, US officials have explicitly stated that they are interested in having dominion over the vast resources of Venezuela, including the world’s largest petroleum reserves.

In short, a deceiving human rights narrative is being used to justify overthrowing a sovereign state and its democratically elected government. The Task Force on the Americas, a 33-year-old human rights organization, urges all to continue to work for:

  • Venezuela’s right to national sovereignty, rejecting external intervention.
  • Respect for international law.
  • The immediate and unconditional lifting of all economic and financial sanctions, which are illegal under international law and have criminal consequences.
  • A process of dialogue to resolve differences.


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