Venezuela Urges UNHCR to Correct 70 Mistakes in its Report

by Narkis Blanco

RESUMEN | July 05, 2019

The report submitted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Michelle Bachelet, has 70 mistakes in it demonstrating a lack of objectivity and impartiality, said the Venezuelan Government in a statement on Thursday.

The OHCHR submitted to the Venezuelan Government in English an “advance, unedited version” of Bachelet’s report last June 28 for the Government to raise general considerations.

Upon review, the Venezuelan Government found several mistakes such as the fact that many of the sources were not correct since they were not official and that the report omits the result of the visits carried out by Bachelet in the country. Eighty two percent of the interviews presented in the report were made to people located outside Venezuelan territory.

The achievements of the Venezuelan Government in matters of human rights were also omitted in the report, while stances adverse to President Nicolas Maduro are emphasized. The document entirely omits all achievements and advances in matters of human rights and welfare, as is the case of state run social programs.

Among other issues, the report reads that the Venezuelan Government recognized a “humanitarian crisis” when the reality recognized by the Government was the negative impact that the economic blockade in Venezuela was having. Similarly, it omits that the Government allocates 75 percent of its investment to social areas through the nation’s budget. This was information that was shared to Bachelet in a detailed report submitted by Education Minister Aristobulo Isturiz.

Furthermore, Venezuela condemned that the High Commissioner omits the impact caused by the United States economic blockade on the Venezuelan people’s living standard.

In matters of communications, the report refers to several aggressions towards to the press even though the Government informed her that three foreign journalists were deported between 2018 and 2019 because they failed to meet migration regulations. The report also omits that new concessions have been granted to 32 radio and one T.V. stations, while the license was renewed for 12 radio and television companies between 2018 and 2019.

Venezuela rejected as well that, according to the report, the Venezuelan State did not prove it uses all resources available to ensure the right to food to the population. As a matter of fact, the OHCHR received information about the measures undertaken to guarantee this right, as in the case of the Local Production and Distribution Committees (CLAPs) and in matters of health.

It fails to report the information presented by the Office of the Prosecutor, about 292 cases in which 388 officers of the National Police’s Special Task Force (FAES) have been prosecuted since 2017 for their participation in crimes such as homicide, cruel treatment and home invasion.

The OHCHR is using the report to accuse the Venezuelan Government of developing a policy of repression and persecution of opponents, which Venezuela claims as false since the different violent actions and violations to the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela undertaken by the opposition since 2002 and these flagrant violations are not mentioned in the report.

The report also fails to give account of the information presented by the State regarding public health, infant mortality, benefits granted through the homeland card (carnet de la patria), collective rights of the indigenous people, and free press existing in the country. This was made evident during the High Commissioner’s visit.

According to the Venezuelan Government, the OHCHR did not evaluate either the impact of coercive measures taken by the U.S. but still advised the Government to adopt resolutions to attend to the human rights situation and refrained from calling for a lifting of the U.S. blockade against Venezuela, contrary to mandates of the Human Rights Council’s Special Procedures.

Regarding the Venezuelan economy, the report alleges it was already in crisis before the imposition of the 2017 unilateral coercive measures, omitting to take into account the impact caused by the fall on oil prices since 2014 as a result of the actions taken by the United States Administration, resulting in a decrease of the Republic’s revenues from $43.6 billion in 2013 to $38.1 billion in 2014.

The report advises the State to release the people detained for “political reasons” in Venezuela. Such advice is wrong and not applicable, asserts the Government, since there are not political prisoners in Venezuela.

After reviewing it, the Venezuelan Government requested directly the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to take the needed measures to correct the mistakes in the A/HRC/41/18 report prior its publication for the sake of accuracy.

Source: Ultimas Noticias, translation, Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau

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