UN Human Rights Report on Venezuela Ignores Opposition Violence
UN notes escalation of aggression against opposition in Venezuela
Michelle Bachelet condemned the increasing brutal attacks on Maduro’s political opponents
Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemns violent attacks on political opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.
Speaking to the Human Rights Council on Tuesday, Bachelet noted that the human rights situation in Venezuela has worsened since her December report on the situation in the country. According to her, opponents of the Maduro government are in a particularly difficult and dangerous situation..
As political tensions escalate, Bachelet said the level of violence against members of the opposition in parliament and other dissidents by security forces and government supporters has increased. Several MPs were arrested.
“Our department also recorded cases of aggression against members of the political opposition, demonstrators and journalists. And the security forces do not take measures to prevent such aggression … We also recorded cases of violent seizures by political parties and non-governmental organizations. These manifestations of aggression are usually accompanied by rhetoric that stigmatizes, denounces and discredits the victims and justifies the violence, ”she said..
Bachelet, a former president of Chile, also expressed concern about a bill under consideration in Venezuela on sanctions against human rights organizations receiving funding from abroad. She said concern is also raised by the tightening of restrictions on freedom of trade unions, whose leaders are often subjected to illegal arrest. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has also received reports that some arrested persons face cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment..
Bachelet condemned economic sanctions against Venezuelan airline Conviasa and the country’s oil industry, noting that they leave the government less funds for social programs, which causes the greatest damage to ordinary citizens of the country..
Venezuela’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Jorge Valero Briseno, criticized the High Commissioner’s report, calling it insufficiently balanced. However, he noted the need to maintain a dialogue with its administration and said that Venezuela welcomed the technical assistance from the organization..
Briseno also sharply criticized the administration of US President Donald Trump, saying that threats of blockade or military action against his country undermine the security, economy and human rights in Venezuela..