Venezuela: U.S. Human Trafficking Report "Hypocritical"

On Monday, the Obama administration listed Venezuela as one of the countries failing to meet requirements for tackling human trafficking.

By Rachael Boothroyd - Venezuelanalysis.com
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Coro, June 29th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – On Monday, the Obama administration listed Venezuela as one of the countries failing to meet requirements for tackling human trafficking. Venezuela called the report "hypocritical".

In its 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report, the U.S. State Department added 11 countries to the list, including Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, and Yemen.

Cuba was listed for the ninth year running whilst Ecuador, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic were added to the State Department’s “watchlist”.

Both the Venezuelan and Cuban governments have condemned the report as slanderous and a distortion of reality.

“The Venezuelan government repudiates the hypocritical attitude of the United States government, which unilaterally assumes the role of judge and jury whilst at the same time that country is the world record holder for human trafficking, especially for Latin American citizens, whose rights are systematically violated by authorities who even go to the extreme of conducting human hunts at the border,” stated a communication from the Venezuelan Foreign Office.

When Venezuela was placed on the list in previous years, the government repeatedly accused the U.S. of arbitrarily listing countries which are adversarial to its interests, while giving a pass to its allies.

U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, who contributed to the 2011 Human Trafficking Report, criticised the Obama administration’s decision to tread lightly on China.

“This political waiver for China is totally unacceptable... the Obama administration has again abandoned trafficking victims in China — who are predominantly women. It’s shameful,” he said.

The U.S. has also designated Venezuela a non-cooperative country in the fight against drug trafficking since 2005, the year Venezuela broke ties with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on suspicion that the DEA agents were spying.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reported in June that Venezuela is ranked fifth worldwide in cocaine interdictions and has been a territory free of illicit coca leaf cultivation since 2006. Venezuela cited the U.N. report as evidence of U.S. bias.