Amnesty USA called on the Venezuelan government to eliminate post-election violence. The small matter that the violence has been directed at government supporters was comically evaded.
Showing off its command of the obvious, Amnesty USA stated
“Violent incidents around Venezuela following last Sunday’s presidential elections are only likely to increase unless the authorities carry out prompt, effective investigations and bring those responsible to justice”
That recent deaths strongly implicate opposition supporters should have been impossible to miss, even for Amnesty USA, given statements put out by Henrique Capriles, the candidate who lost the presidential election to Maduro. Reuters reported that Capriles said
“To all my followers … this is a peaceful quarrel. Whoever is involved in violence is not part of this project, is not with me,…. It is doing me harm.”
Capriles cancelled a march on the National Electoral Council (CNE) alleging that the government would “infiltrate” it with violent saboteurs.
HRW put out a similarly fatuous statement condemning Maduro for saying he would forbid the opposition march that Capriles ended up cancelling.
When it suits them, the human rights industry pretends that governments the USA dislikes are omnipotent – that they exert complete control of opponents and supporters alike and can “guarantee” security for all without the slightest infringement of civil liberties. Weeks prior to the US perpetrated coup in Haiti in 2004, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, put out statements demanding that Jean Bertrand Aristide, who was just about to be kidnaped by US troops, guarantee the security of his opponents – including people financing terrorists to overthrow him.
Amnesty USA refuses to make obvious demands of its own government – demands like “disclose who you are funding and working with”, “stop trying to overthrow democratically elected governments”. That would actually be useful to promoting human rights rather than US backed coups. That is expecting too much of Amnesty when it cannot even recognize Bradley Manning as a Prisoner of Conscience, or acknowledge that Saudi armed rebels in Syria will inevitably commit atrocities.
Stupidity is not actually the problem as Chris Hedges made clear when he resigned from PEN after Suzanne Nossel, recently head of Amnesty USA, was appointed to run that group:
Nossel’s relentless championing of preemptive war—which under international law is illegal—as a State Department official along with her callous disregard for Israeli mistreatment of the Palestinians and her refusal as a government official to denounce the use of torture and use of extra-judicial killings, makes her utterly unfit to lead any human rights organization, especially one that has global concerns.
It should not be up to Chris Hedges alone to denounce the “hijacking of human rights organizations to promote imperial projects”.