Bachelet: “Sanctions Against Venezuela are Exacerbating the Political Crisis”

During her last day in Caracas, the top UN diplomat met with the Catholic Church Hierarchy in the Episcopal Conference, the President of the National Assembly -in contempt-, Juan Guaido, the President of the National Constituent Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, and with the Constitutional President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro.

On Friday, the official visit to Venezuela of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, who stayed for three days in the South American country at the invitation of President Nicolás Maduro, concluded.

From the Simón Bolívar Maiquetía International Airport, Bachellet thanked the head of state for his invitation and stressed that through an agreement with the Bolivarian Government, a delegation from her office will remain in Venezuela “with the mandate to provide technical advice and continue monitoring human rights”.

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We have reached an agreement with the government for a small team of two human rights officers to remain here, with the mandate to provide technical assistance and advice, but also very importantly to continue monitoring the entire human rights situation in Venezuela,” she indicated.

“In addition to the aforementioned presence of two human rights officers, we have the express commitment of the government to carry out an evaluation of the National Commission for the Prevention of Torture, as well as to evaluate which are the main obstacles in the access to justice in the country,” she added.

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When weighing the social investment of the Bolivarian Revolution, which exceeds 70 percent of the national budget, Bachellet made a call to the Executive to prioritize the situation of the Health sector, which she described as “critical”. “I worry that the (US) sanctions on oil and gold are aggravating and exacerbating the crisis,” she said.

Bachelet was moved by the stories of victims of the crisis she heard during the visit, “I have heard testimonies from victims of violence on both sides.” A report was promised to be delivered by July the 5th while keeping a neutral position: “It was painful to hear the desire of victims and relatives to obtain justice regarding the violation of human rights or victims of political violence for being supporters of the regime“.

The UN official called on Venezuelan authorities to release people detained for demonstrating or “exercising their civil and political rights in a peaceful manner.” She also celebrated the release of parliamentarian Gilber Caro, who was in the custody of Sebin, as well as the release of political prisoners Melvin Farias and Junior Rojas.

Norway Talks

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said that all voices should be included and that the crisis can only be resolved with the participation of all the actors in society.

“Maintaining entrenched positions on either side will only aggravate the crisis,” she said and urged the facilitation of dialogue with Norway and the putting aside of “short-term gains and focus on achievements in the short and medium term” in order so solve Venezuela’s issues.

OT/JRE/EF

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