Venezuela: Champion of Human Rights?

By Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentaryHere is a sad fact: Venezuela is now a member of the United Nations’ (UN) Human Rights Council. When one of the seats to the Council was made vacant, two countries vied for the seat. One was Costa Rica, and the other was Venezuela. Not much has to be said about Costa Rica. Costa Rica is one of the most progressive democratic countries in the Americas. It has freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right of peaceful assembly, and most important a far better quality of life than its neighbors in Central America. By just about every definition, Costa Rica should have been one of the countries on the Council. Instead, by a vote of 105 countries to 96, Venezuela was one of the confirmed countries to now sit on the UN Human Rights Council. I think I will scream!

You have to ask yourself how a country, run by a government with the most egregious human rights record in the whole of the Americas (and one of the worst in the world), could possibly be allowed to sit on an international human rights body? The Venezuelan government of Nicolas Maduro is guilty of killing at least 6,856 Venezuelans since late 2018, and tens of thousands are now in prison on political charges. Over ten percent of the entire Venezuelan population has fled the country, and many more are still fleeing. Those who are still in the country must face long lines to get even the most basic of food, and medical care is virtually non-existent. Children are dying of preventable diseases, and malaria has now become widespread because Venezuela’s prevention system for eradicating mosquitoes no longer exists. Meanwhile, the only one who has gained weight in the country is Maduro. To have Venezuela sitting on the UN Human Rights Council has made that human rights body a joke. Lord, it has made the whole of the United Nations a joke!

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