March 28, 2023

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Venezuela withdraws from the UN Human Rights Council International

Nicolás Maduro speaking at the United Nations General Assembly almost.Miraflores Press (EFE/Miraflores Press)

Government of Nicolás Maduro He made a concerted effort to retain his seat United Nations Human Rights Council. But he did not get the votes to be re-elected this Tuesday, and Chile and Costa Rica entered the renewed Latin American quota. The loss of the seat comes days after a fact-finding panel’s report documenting human rights abuses in Venezuela was discussed, for which Maduro and other top officials were held responsible, the same council concluded. The work of this investigative body should be extended for another two years.

Reports by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Independent Mission and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court launched an investigation into reports of torture, arbitrary arrests and persecution of opponents in Venezuela, now suspended on request. of the Government trying to show that the local justice acted in the accused cases and jailed those responsible.

Venezuela entered the Human Rights Council in 2019 for the 2020-2022 term and presented its candidacy for re-election during a vote at UN headquarters in New York, while 12 countries won a seat on the body. For a repeat, 97 votes were needed and Venezuela received only 88 Chili reached 144 Costa Rica134.

Member States are elected by the UN General Assembly by majority vote for three-year terms, and are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

Ali Daniels, director of the NGO Aceso a la Justicia, celebrates that Nicolás Maduro’s government, marked for “crimes against humanity,” was not elected to the council. “The basic requirement to be a member of the Council is that it complies with the regulations that regulate it and that it meets the standard of compliance with human rights, which, apparently, is not the case in Venezuela,” the lawyer said. “It would have been a great injustice if integrated democracies that respect human rights like Chile or Costa Rica had been defeated by Venezuela,” he said.

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Last Friday, members of the United Nations Human Rights Council decided that the event would continue, despite Venezuela’s warnings and conditional bilateral relations with countries supporting the renewal of the mandate of the independent fact-finding mission in the South American country. Work. The work is one of the strongest blows received by the government of Nicolás Maduro as it struggles to open up to the international community, which has condemned the authoritarian slide in Venezuela. To the Venezuelan authorities, the complaints collected by the UN experts “fake news”.

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The resolution to proceed with the mandate of the mission proposed by Paraguay was approved by 19 votes to 5, with 23 voting against. The Maduro government had the support of its usual allies: China, Cuba, Bolivia, Eritrea and its own rejectionist vote. Among the boycotters are Argentina, the Council, Mexico and Honduras, with governments that recently resumed full relations with Miraflores after left-wing leaders came to power.