17 abr. 2010

Venezuela Criticizes Bias in Inter-American Human Rights Commission Report

By JAMES SUGGETT- VENEZUELANALYSIS.COM
Mérida, April 16th 2010 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – A new report by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC) that includes Venezuela among countries that do not respect human rights, is an example of “political defamation,” according to Venezuelan Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Roy Chaderton.

Chaderton said the IAHRC must be suffering “the insomnia of the unjust” as it attempts to “discredit a democracy that dared to be dissident in the face of the hegemonic powers.”

“I am not talking about an IAHRC where the officials try to support states in overcoming problems in human rights... in an environment of reflection,” said Chaderton. Instead, the IAHRC “bases itself on prejudiced opinions with the purpose of causing political damage,” he said.

Venezuela “can show a face of dignity because of all its advances with relation to human rights,” Chaderton continued, highlighting the halving of poverty, consistently high employment rate, the expanded access to the media for small and independent producers, the dramatic expansion of free public health care, programs of economic assistance to women, and increased community participation in the democratic process, as a result of the “Bolivarian Revolution” led by the current government.

The IAHRC report, based mainly on accounts by Venezuelan opposition media and political groups, highlighted intolerance of political dissent, restrictions on freedom of expression, lack of independence of the judicial branch, and impunity as among the human rights violations suffered in Venezuela.

Following the arrests of a wealthy banker, a judge, and the president of an opposition television news station on charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit a crime, and incitement of panic, respectively, the Venezuelan opposition has filed complaints in the IAHRC, referring to those arrested as “political prisoners.”

The credibility of the IAHRC’s reports on Venezuela was put into question in April 2002, when it recognized the coup regime that installed itself after President Hugo Chavez was kidnapped by military elites in coup that lasted two days.

Venezuela has not allowed IAHRC officials to conduct human rights observations in the country since the 2002 coup, bringing critiques that the government is not cooperating with the OAS’s human rights monitoring.

Chaderton further criticized the report for ignoring severe human rights violations of other OAS member states, particularly the United States, and for maintaining a close political relationship with the Venezuelan opposition. He said the IAHRC’s politicized behavior causes the institution to “lose credibility.”