venezuelanalysis.com | 17 August, 2016
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez has been a staunch critic of US foreign policy. (EFE)
Caracas, August 17th 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez has accused the US State Department of “double standards” after it suggested that a “miscarriage of justice” was behind the jail sentence handed down to controversial opposition party politician Leopoldo Lopez.
The rightwing lawyer turned politician is currently serving an almost fourteen year sentence for his role in encouraging and abetting violent opposition rampages against the government in 2014 which led to the deaths of 43 people, including civilians and armed forces.
Nonetheless Lopez has been hailed as a defender of democracy by the US government, which has attempted to bypass Venezuelan national law and has constantly campaigned for his release.
“Venezuela denounces the double standards of the US in the area of human rights, which, having caused massive suffering across the planet, expects to give lessons to the world”, wrote Rodriguez on her Twitter account.
The fiery foreign minister went on to condemn the US “errors” and “obstinate and bellicose” foreign policy which had led to the deaths of “millions in Libya, Iraq and Syria”. She also reminded the US government that Venezuela is sovereign, and that it would not “take orders” from an imperial power.
On Monday, spokesperson for the US State Department, Elizabeth Trudeau, drew the foreign minister’s ire after stating that the government agency was disappointed at a Venezuelan court ruling last week which upheld Lopez’s sentence in the face of his recent appeal.
“The United States is deeply concerned by the Venezuelan Court of Appeal’s decision to allow the miscarriage of justice to continue against political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez,” she said during an official press briefing.
Trudeau went on to dismiss the charges against Lopez as “unsubstantiated” and “politically motivated” but made no comment on the nature of his crimes. She also appeared to call into question the legitimacy of Venezuela’s legal institutions.
“The United States calls on the Venezuelan government to guarantee the rights of Mr Lopez, and all political prisoners to due process… consistent with the American Declaration of the Rights of Man, the Inter-American Democratic Charter, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Venezuelan Constitution,” she stated.
Venezuela has consistently insisted on its judiciary’s independence and has dismissed claims that the government has had a hand in Lopez’s sentencing.
Lopez’s defence attorney has confirmed that the jailed politician will have two more opportunities to appeal his sentence.