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Not condemning the blockade and violence: Bachelet’s unforgivable omission

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Venezuela by the United States Government over the last five years remains an unspoken topic for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

 

Odette Díaz Fumero

 

The report presented by the UN High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet, following her visit to the South American country from 19-21 June, completely ignored the serious impact of the coercive measures put into place by Washington, the main cause of the financial crisis that large media corporations are categorising as a humanitarian problem.

The document created by the former Chilean head of state ignored the withholding of millions of dollars of funds, the blockade on foreign exchange, policies impeding business relationships, seizure of financial resources, voiding transactions and other unilateral actions that are damaging the normal development of the South American nation.

At the same time, fines on those establishing financial and commercial links with Venezuela, the closure of laboratories for scientific advancement, sabotage of supply routes for food, medicine and other supplies, all constitute some of the measures by the US administration to suffocate Caracas.

Faced with inconsistencies in the document presented by Bachelet in the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, Venezuela classed the text as a selective view and openly biased.

In this regard, the Foreign Relations Minister stated that the report presented by the organisation about the true situation in the nation, contradicts the principles for the treatment of human rights issues from the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

“It is not objective or impartial to have an analysis where negative signs are favoured in the extreme, and advances and measures adopted in terms of human rights are ignored or minimised,” emphasised the response from the foreign ministry to the UN text.
According to Caracas, the assessment bloomed in reference to critical areas and omitted official information provided by the State or the positive references made by leading international organisations.

The Deputy Minister of Internal Communication, William Castillo, stated before the UN Human Rights Council that the report omits advances in this regard and ignores “the serious impacts that the illegal, criminal and immoral financial blockade imposed by the White House is causing to our people.” On this point, he asked the ex-president of Chile to demand the immediate cessation of the financial stranglehold of Washington against Caracas, in accordance with the UN Resolutions on unilateral coercive measures.

Castillo said in his statement that it is paradoxical that the opposition political violence is not reflected in Bachelet’s presentation, when those actions caused the deaths of 43 citizens in 2014, and a further 120 in 2017.

He argued that the representative of the multilateral organisation had held interviews with family members of people burned alive just for seeming Chavist (a follower of Chávez, the deceased Venezuelan President) or having dark skin.

The President of the Latin American Foundation of Human Rights and Social Development (Fundalatin), Maria Russián, reiterated that the High Commissioner did not make any mention of the victims of opposition political violence.

“These victims delivered to the High Commissioner 123 documented cases of people who were lynched, beheaded and murdered by followers of the opposition, Leopoldo López, Enrique Capriles, Juan Guaido and other political figures who today promote violence from the National Assembly,” she emphasised.

“It is concerning that Bachelet omits cases of patients with chronic illnesses, including children and teenagers, who have not been able to continue their medical treatments and transplants because of the blockade against the state-owned Petróleos de Venezuela and their North American subsidiary, Citgo,” explained Russián.

The OHCHR also failed to mention the mechanisms of cooperation implemented by Venezuela with Russia, Turkey, the International Red Cross, China and Cuba, among other organisations and countries that support the efforts of President Nicolas Maduro’s government.

As part of the exchanges, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Venezuela, Jorge Arreaza, stated that Cuban health centres will provide medical attention to those requiring bone marrow transplants; of those, five will be treated in Ankara, and some of them are awaiting treatment in Italy, due to the impediment on carrying out banking transactions. (PL)

(Translated by Donna Davison. Email: donna_davison@hotmail.com) – Photos: Pixabay

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