The Washington Post published an editorial today in which it argued that Venezuela does not deserve to get a seat on the United Nations Security Council. The country is currently trying to raise support for its bid to become a member of the council next month.
The article warns that if Venezuela were to become a member, it would be in a unique position to advocate for countries like Syria, Iran and Cuba, nations which Venezuela considers to be close allies.
The article argues that the nation’s shameful human rights record, particularly in respect to political persecution, are enough reason for the United States to send Maduro a message by collecting the 65 necessary votes to block its ascension to the body’s most powerful chamber.
Human Rights Body Expresses “Deep Concern” Over Venezuela
A statement released by the Comision Interamericana de Derechos Humanos [Interamerican Commission for Human Rights] expressed its “deep concern” over the human rights situation in Venezuela. The statement made note of the “continued stigmatization of the media and critical reporters by high ranking officials” as the main rationale for the comments.
More specifically, the statement singled out Maduro’s comments last week, in which he accused the media of “psychological terrorism” over its reporting of the mystery illness in Maracay. The statement also mentioned the firing of Rayma Suprani by El Universal.
Suprani, a cartoonist who often depicted her disdain for the government through her art, was unceremoniously fired from her job after 19 years in the newspaper. The statement points out that Suprani is one of 20 reporters or columnists who have been dismissed from El Universal since July, when the publication was purchased by an unknown investment group from Spain.
The commission calls on the Venezuelan government to “adhere to the strictest international standards of free speech”.
Maduro Leaves for New York
Maduro left the country for New York City today, where he is expected to attend a general meeting of the Organization of American States. Before leaving, Maduro made clear the purpose of his trip, saying:
I’m going to New York to take the voice of Venezuela with me, the voice of dignity, the voice of Chavez.
Clorox Leaves Venezuela
Clorox, the maker of household consumer products, announced today that it was leaving the country due to economic uncertainty and restrictions. More specifically, Clorox blamed the country’s inflation – the highest in the world – and price controls which forced it to sell its products at a loss as the primary causes of the decision. The company announced that it was selling all of its assets in Venezuela.
Back in June, Clorox released a statement that it was looking at “all options” to cope with the worsening economic situation in the country. After the announcement this morning, Clorox shares saw the biggest increase in value since 2011.
Don Knauss, chairman and CEO of Clorox, explained the decision, saying:
This is a very difficult situation for our company… We are extremely proud of the men and women who did their very best to operate our business in the face of significant economic challenges. We are working to support them through this transition.