INDEPABIS Closes Nightclubs in Caracas, Venezuela for Discrimination

In the early morning hours this Sunday, the Institute for the Defence of People and their Access to Goods and Services, (INDEPABIS) began the day by putting the brakes on discriminatory dealings related to race and physical appearance that are being carried out by some nightclubs.

By Aporrea.org, Indepabis

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INDEPABIS employees are investigating nightclubs in Caracas which engage in discriminatory practices (Aporrea.org)
INDEPABIS employees are investigating nightclubs in Caracas which engage in discriminatory practices (Aporrea.org)
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In the early morning hours this Sunday, the Institute for the Defence of People and their Access to Goods and Services, (INDEPABIS) began the day by putting the brakes on discriminatory dealings related to race and physical appearance that are being carried out by some nightclubs.

Consequently, the president of the institute, Augusto Montiel, urged tnightclub owners to eliminate this discriminatory practise, which damages the healthy psychological development of citizens.

Those are the terms in which Montiel explained the situation during the investigation of Nightclub Rosalinda, in Las Mercedes, Miranda state. Montiel stated that the procedures were supported by the norms established within the Constitution, in the Law against Racial Discrimination, and in the Law for the Defence of the People in their Access to Goods and Services (DEPABIS Law). 

A client of the establishment, Carlos Freites, a witness to the INDEPABIS investigation, voiced his support for the organisation’s actions, since “we are in a country where racist behaviour shouldn’t exist, someone’s right to enjoyment shouldn’t be curtailed because of the colour of their skin or because of their physical characteristics”.

For those reasons, Montiel informed the administrator and the management of the nightclub that in the past two months the organisation had received multiple complaints from citizens, who reported that some nightclubs in Las Mercedes, La Castellana, the shopping centre San Ignacio and Macaracuay, had denied entrance to obese people or those of darker skin. Amongst the reported businesses were Poing in the Macaracuay shopping centre, Lulu, Barriot and Antigua Sabú in Las Mercedes, as well as other nightclubs.

Subsequently, public sector workers spread out over different zones of the area’s nightlife in order to personally verify the existence of this irregularity. In this manner it was proven at the entrance, when the doorman said to three people of larger build that they could not enter, without offering them any kind of explanation, whereas other couples who were tall and thin were permitted entrance.

The president of INDEPABIS explained that all people are equal before the law, which prohibits any kind of discrimination and guarantees everyone equal and effective protection from any kind of discriminatory behaviour on the basis of race, colour, religion, gender, social and economic status and that this “is backed up in our Constitution”.

Similarly, in the shopping centre San Ignacio, night time businesses were also inspected, where it was proven that Suka Bar Cafe denied entrance to 4 people telling them that they had to reserve a table and at no point were they shown a list which allowed them to do so.

The managing director of the nightclub Suka, Daniel Gomez, said that there is no discrimination within his business and that “black and fat people come here”. However, during the investigation it became evident that management and staff were using disrespectful expressions. Equally, a well dressed professional and afro descendent, Salomzi Mhna, was refused entrance.

Mhna stated that she was “in agreement with the procedures being carried out by INDEPABIS, since there are many businesses such as this one, that discriminate on the basis of skin colour”.

Administrative proceedings were initiated against the companies, who could be liable for  fines and were also closed for 48 hours due to the violation of the article it of the DEPABIS law.

The supervision by public sector workers in nightlife zones will be permanent at a national level, in order to guarantee the wellbeing of everyone and their healthy enjoyment, without any kind of exclusion- the principal line of the Bolivarian government, and without having to tolerate racist arbitrary action or the rejection of people for their obesity.

Translation by Venezuelanalysis.com

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