Venezuelan Gov’t Rejects ‘False and Shameful’ International Fact-Finding Mission Report

ALBA-TCP denounced the use of the Human Rights Council “to attack nations that have counter-hegemonic positions” and urged a rejection of US sanctions.
Venezuela invited UN officials to visit the country and focused their work on the negative impact of US sanctions. (

Caracas, March 24, 2024 ( – The Venezuelan government has urged the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to dismiss the “rigged” arguments presented by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela.

“The world has witnessed today one of the most shameful pages in terms of human rights, a mission that issues biased judgments for purely political purposes and is complicit with extremist sectors that have promoted inhumane sanctions against Venezuela,” read a communique by the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry issued on Wednesday.

Caracas reiterated that the mission’s work was “false and shameful,” based on “unfounded accusations and lies” that align with the US “failed regime-change foreign policy.”

The statement demanded that the UN Human Rights Council “must immediately dismiss any rigged argument presented by this mission,” recalling that its members have never set foot in Venezuela and have relied on questionable methods to present a “partisan pamphlet.”

On March 19, members of the fact-finding mission presented an oral update at the 55th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on its human rights investigation in Venezuela, covering from September 2023 to date. 

The report accused Caracas of maintaining a “repressive structure” and invoking “real or fictitious ‘conspiracies’ to intimidate, arrest and prosecute opponents or critics.”

Since January, Venezuela’s Attorney General’s Office has announced dozens of arrests for alleged violent schemes that included a revival of the 2014-2017 street riots and assassination attempts against President Nicolás Maduro. Among those detained are associates of far-right politician María Corina Machado and NGO operator Rocío San Miguel

Marta Valiñas, chair of the fact-finding mission, also criticized Venezuelan judicial authorities for not lifting the 15-year political ban against Machado ahead of the July 28 presidential vote. The politician’s disqualification responded to her support for US sanctions, regime change operations and corrupt dealings that endangered Venezuelan foreign assets.

In September 2019, the Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela was established by UN Human Rights Council resolution 42/25 for one year and has had its mandate continually renewed and expanded in specific ways, with ample financial support, through resolutions 45/20 and 51/29 until September 2024. 

The now-defunct right-wing “Lima Group” promoted the creation of the mission following accusations made by Venezuelan far-right groups that security forces had allegedly committed crimes against humanity during the 2014-2017 violent opposition protests, known as “guarimbas,” that left almost 200 people killed.

The same case is currently being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 2018. Caracas has rejected the probe as “lawfare” against the Venezuelan government.

Additionally, on March 19 the UN Human Rights Council held an interactive dialogue with Nada Al-Nashif, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), to discuss Caracas’ suspension of the OHCHR activities in Venezuela.

Last month, Caracas expelled 13 staff members of the UN body from the country for their “biased stance” and “inappropriate role” after requesting impunity for detainees involved in recently thwarted coup attempts. The local office was opened in 2019.

Al-Nashif expressed “deep regret” for the decision and wished that the Office could “soon be able to fully resume its work [in Venezuela],” stating that much remains to be done. 

For his part, the Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN, Alexander Yánez Deleuze, said it was regrettable that the UN staff in Venezuela had abandoned its mandate of impartiality, “carrying out improper actions favoring coup attempts and terrorist groups.” 

He condemned the High Commissioner Officer for never addressing the opposition’s extremist actions and for failing to prioritize investigations on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures imposed by the US and its allies against the Caribbean country.

Yánez recalled that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk was received in Caracas last year and was able to organize meetings with different sectors of society, recognizing first-hand the impact of US sanctions on people’s lives.

For its part, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – People’s Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) likewise denounced the biased behavior of the High Commissioner’s Office and the use of the Human Rights Council as a political instrument “to attack nations that have counter-hegemonic positions.”

In a communique issued on Wednesday, the regional alliance urged the UN Human Rights Council “to impartially investigate the Venezuelan reality” and to denounce the negative impact of US-led sanctions “which constitute a crime against humanity.”