OAS condemns Venezuelan Human Right record
Caracas, Venezuela, 5 April, 2008. The Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS) published it annual report condemning Venezuela. The report stated ..."the concern over the hostile environment towards political dissent, criminalization of social protest; harassment of nongovernmental organizations and human rights defenders; the existence of direct and indirect obstacles to freedom of expression; the terrible conditions of those who are incarcerated must endure". The report also questioned the transparency of the administration of justice and the increase in barometers of citizen insecurity. A visit from the Commission or the Commission Rapporteur for Venezuela has not been possible yet, the IACHR report concluded.
In a quick but odd reaction, the Venezuelan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a long communiqué rejecting as false the allegations of the IACHR report. It considered the report rather subjective and void of impartiality.
On one hand, this IACHR report falls within the tactics of the Venezuelan opposition; it has been remaindering Venezuelans that the districution of justice does not function at all. Prominent cases such as the kidnapping and execution of the Faddoul brothers (3) in 2006 or the killing of Attorney Danilo Anderson in 2004 and the supposed faking of documents by his boss - former Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez- has been widely publicise in the last few days. On the other hand, the unskilled handling of Human Rights issues by the Venezuelan government is rather telling. Caracas was quick to condemn Tibet and oblivious of the violent Chinese handling of this autonomy call. As expected under Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, the report is blamed as a new action of the American imperialism against Venezuela. But such allegation fall short of an efficient argument in favour of the Venezuelan record on Human rights. Furthermore and unlike her predecessor in the post FreddyGutierrez, the Venezuelan representative at IACHR - Luz Patricia Mejia - remained muted over the allegations made against Venezuela. Mejia is a political ally of former Attorney General and fervent catholic, Isaías Rodriguez, and might be a member of the internal rightist opposition to the Bolivarian government too. Thus, no wonder the OAS did not made any positive comments on the improvement of the Human Rights records of Venezuela in the last months.