Venezuela to Withdraw from OAS’s Human Rights Court

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced that Venezuela would be withdrawing from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACrtHR), a body which comes under the Organisation of American States (OAS).


Speaking live on public radio and television today, as he announced the passing of the new labour law, Chavez said, “How long are we going to sit under Damocles’ sword [tolerate imminent danger or constant fear]… the IACrtHR is a tool that the United States uses against us”.

“The first thing I request [of the new state council] is a rapid study and recommendations so that Venezuela can withdraw immediately from the sadly celebrated Inter-American Court of Human Rights,” he said.

Chavez explained that this new decision would allow Venezuela to continue asserting and constructing full national liberty, “We’re an independent country,” he said.

He argued that the first country to break international human rights laws is the United States, yet it uses the court to attack Venezuela.

The president also announced that writer Luis Brito Garcia and journalist  José Vicente Rangel would form part of the state council. He asked the council to write a “well sustained recommendation to then be able to send it to the governments of the world and regional organisations such as the CELAC, ALBA, and UNASUR”.

The state council is an organ of Venezuela’s national assembly, in charge of carrying out agreements reached by the assembly, among other constitutional functions.

The recent summit of the OAS mid last month saw various presidents such as Ecuador’s Rafael Correa boycotting it for its exclusion of Cuba. Many see the new CELAC- which includes all American countries except the U.S and Canada, as a viable alternative. 

Translation and extra notes by Tamara Pearson for