Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Human Rights Abuses in Venezuela

The UN Human Rights Office issued a report citing "extensive human rights violations and abuses" in Venezuela. Here's the full text.

Credible and consistent accounts of victims and witnesses indicate that security forces systematically used excessive force to deter demonstrations, crush dissent and instil fear. 

The report also rejects the whole "economic war" and "both sides are equally responsible" government line.

Starting in 2014, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has experienced an aggravation in the economic crisis derived from the drop in the international price of oil and other factors such as currency and price controls, lack of investment in infrastructure and in the production system, and the heavy dependency on oil revenues to import basic goods. 

What a change. Hugo Chávez loved the UN as a forum to rail against the United States (like his famous 2005 speech). He worked the rooms at UN meetings. Now Venezuela is becoming a pariah.

As you might guess, the report calls on the government to start respecting Venezuelans' rights. Instead, the opposite is happening, as the Constituent Assembly issued a decree allowing opposition leaders who support sanctions to be arrested. We'll see more such decrees in the days to come, often created quickly in response to events on the ground to allow for wider arrests and repression.


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