An Undeserved Seat | Caracas Chronicles

Photo: JNS, retrieved.

Venezuela is the first Latin American country to be investigated by the UN Human Rights Council, after High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet presented the reports that provide evidence for systematic human rights violations by the State. Despite opposition by the region and many NGOs, and Costa Rica’s late candidacy and diplomatic communiqués from allied nations, Venezuela will hold one of two seats available for the region in this institution, amidst a complex humanitarian emergency. Chavismo’s official position after this “achievement” isn’t that different from its usual messages: there are no victims, rights or commitment to protect, only “historical achievements” that demonstrate the “support” they have. Nicolás doesn’t win at all with this seat, more than the noise and the proof that these positions answer to a global power game over the defense of human rights. The number of less democratic regimes surpasses the number of democracies, period. As with the FAO awards, refuted with time, this seat doesn’t erase chavismo’s crimes against humanity. 

Let’s Check that Support 

It has happened before, a government that violates human rights gets admitted into the Council. In fact, chavista and Cuban diplomacies were able to find political support in the UN, as did Mauritius (with over 500,000 slaves,) Libya (with protests against the government since 2011) and Sudan, where security forces have violently repressed citizens, resulting in hundreds of dead and injured. This election is a slap in the face to the victims, but also to diplomatic efforts, and it’s time to evaluate who voted for Venezuela and why. Because chavismo denounced the American Convention on Human Rights, left the OAS and stopped attending IACHR hearings. Nicolás also said that the won’t cooperate with the mission for investigating facts, agreed in September. But this doesn’t mean that the High Commissioner Office won’t do its job investigating severe human rights violations in Venezuela.

Celebrating with “Liberations”

Tarek William Saab, ANC-imposed prosecutor general, announced the “liberation” of 24 political prisoners a few minutes after the news, and said that their partial freedom is the result of a political negotiation with their prêt-à-porter opposition. It was a little sociopathic when he said that they broke a record, as if a different government had put them in jail: “This is an immensely important effort, where we’re sending a message to Venezuela, NGOs and political actors tied to the national dialogue table, a step to overcome differences and eradicate violence,” said Saab, confirming that there are political prisoners and he assured that other cases will be evaluated in the next few days. 

Murdered by the Dictatorship

The body of VP leader Edmundo “Pipo” Rada was found on Thursday morning. He disappeared on Wednesday, on his way home in Petare. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó gave more details about the conditions Rada’s body was found in: “His body was burned, two shots in the back of his head, with a bag over his head so they could recognize him.” Guaidó said that “this is a murder by the dictatorship (…) and there’s plenty of evidence to say that it was for political reasons.” He added that “the regime uses the same modus operandi to kill political leaders.” Guaidó said that he’ll request an independent, impartial and international investigation of Rada’s murder. About the election of Venezuela to the HRC, he said the regime is contradicting itself, because if they take part in the council, they validate Bachelet’s report. 

Eradicate Poverty with Chicken

On International Eradication of Poverty Day, Nicolás tweeted that he’s committed to consolidating the socialist model to protect people from poverty, and added that eradicating the poverty that he multiplied is mandatory. In his variety show, Nicolás proposed strengthening the nonexistent PAE, adapting the Clap and he ordered creating Comités Escolares de Abastecimiento y Producción (Ceap,) which will be managed by chavistas. He also advanced in installing poultry houses in schools with Producción Avícola plans. These projects won’t guarantee food for students, but they’ll make the corrupt richer, and compromise the health of students and teachers with respiratory issues. Nicolás approved 13 million euros to “supply” the PAE in October and was bold enough to say that he asked the FAO for more help. 

Let’s Talk Oil 

Rosneft denied the “rumors” about Pdvsa’s plans to transfer total control of the company to pay its debt. Rosneft’s vice-president, Eric Liron, told Sputnik that they trust that oil exploitation in the wells managed by Venezuela will be stable for the rest of the year. The U.S. Treasury Department extended European refinery Nynas’ license to continue doing business with Pdvsa for six months. Experts say that it’s likely they’ll do the same with Chevron and other oil companies. The Brazilian government confirmed that the oil in their shores is Venezuelan, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Venezuela is responsible, said the director of environmental agency Ibama, Eduardo Bim.

Movements on the Board 

– After his walk on the Great Wall of China, Diosdado Cabello popped up in Russia. He met with Viacheslav Volodin, president of the Russian parliament, and criticized the countries that “abandoned Venezuela” and praised Russian support to resist attacks by the U.S. 

– The Interparliamentary Union approved on Thursday a report about Venezuela, where they demand government to cease attacks on the National Assembly and immediate release of deputy Juan Requesens.

– Usaid and the IDB will promote a global initiative to obtain mass collaboration, financing and a broadening of the scope of solutions for Venezuelan migrants and the communities that receive them. 

– Argentine Ambassador Jorge Faurie said that, alongside the Colombian government, they reject Nicolás’s representatives’ participation in the Culture Ministers Iber-American Conference in Bogota.

Santiago Pol rejected the National Culture Award: “As a designer, as an artist, as a teacher and as a human being, I’m against this regime of terror that has taken upon itself to systematically destroy Venezuela.” It’s called dignity. We carry on.

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