Venezuela Condemns US Human Rights Report as Interventionist

The Venezuelan government issued a statement Monday accusing Washington of double standards in failing to acknowledge its own systematic human rights violations.  

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The US report includes a chapter on Venezuela criticizing the nation for alleged human rights violations and abuses. (Archive)
The US report includes a chapter on Venezuela criticizing the nation for alleged human rights violations and abuses. (Archive)
By Jeanette Charles
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Los Angeles, March 7, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez published an official statement Monday denouncing the US State Department 2016 Human Rights Report as a violation of international state sovereignty. The annual report outlines the human rights situation in every country and plays a significant role in US foreign policy, though critics point to the document's lack of any US self-reflection in the matter.

Rodríguez shared the ministry’s official statement via Twitter which read, “The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela categorically rejects and opposes the [US] Human Rights Report 2016, prepared and disseminated by the US State Department, which violates legal equality and sovereign respect among States, non-intervention in Internal affairs, human rights law and the principle of good faith.”  

In the section detailing Venezuela’s human rights situation, the US criticizes the South American for the last decade of governance under the Bolivarian Revolution. “Venezuela is formally a multiparty, constitutional republic, but for more than a decade, political power has been concentrated in a single party with an increasingly authoritarian executive exercising significant control over the legislative, judicial, citizen, and electoral branches of government,” the report opens.

The report looks into politically motivated killings, policing and prisons as well as a wide variety of civil liberties and questions access to political participation. 

Venezuela, for its part, fired back, accusing Washington of double standards in failing to acknowledge its own systematic human rights violations. 

“The violation of human rights in the United States is serious and massive. Millions of people are discriminated against on the grounds of their ethnic origin, religion, gender, or nationality, not counting the blatant offense to migrants and refugees, under new forms of enslavement or segregation. Suffice it to say that the United States has not subscribed to international human rights instruments, including treaties or  conventions on children's rights,” stresses Venezuela's Foreign Ministry. 

The Venezuelan government’s statement also calls out the US’ role as a “military machine that has caused the greatest number of violent deaths in the world, through warlike interventions aimed at securing countries' strategic natural resources, and overthrowing governments that are not aligned with their imperial values ​​and postulates.”

The report comes days following the US Senate’s unanimously supported bill calling on Trump to take stronger actions against Venezuela. The bill, now circulating in the US House of Representatives, also advocates for the US government to support Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro in his call to invoke the democratic charger against Venezuela to justify intervention in the South American nation.