The vice president of the ruling PSUV party, Diosdado Cabello, announced today that the regime would not allow a mission from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) to enter the country tomorrow.
The IACHR trip to Venezuela was confirmed last week by a representative from the opposition government, who said that the point of the trip would be for the mission to meet with victims of human rights abuses to document their cases.
Cabello said that the IACHR mission would not be allowed to enter the country because the body to which it belongs, the Organization of American States (OAS) “no existe” [literally, “doesn’t exist”; roughly akin to “is dead to us”]. Cabello said:
The [IACHR might be going] somewhere else. But they’re not coming here.
The Maduro regime has long been at odds with the OAS, which has been headed since 2015 by Luis Almagro. During his tenure, Almagro has been one of the loudest and most outspoken critics of the Maduro regime.
In early 2018, the IACHR published a report on the human rights situation in the country. In that report, the organization noted a
… marked deterioration in terms of the exercise of human rights in Venezuela, and the grave political, economic, and social crisis in the country.
The report also includes the following assessment of the situation in Venezuela at the time:
The IACHR report reveals severe restrictions to freedom of expression in Venezuela through censorship of media outlets, attacks on journalists, the criminalization of dissident opinions or of those who disseminate information contrary to government officials’ versions, and the punishment of whose who spread what are considered hate messages on the internet. The report also examines the excessive use of firearms and tear-gas bombs against demonstrators, as well as the participation of members of the armed forces in controlling demonstrations.
Humberto Prado, a spokesperson for the Guaido government, said that the Maduro regime was violating human rights merely by preventing the IACHR from entering the country, and called on Venezuelans to welcome them at the Simon Bolivar International Airport tomorrow at around noon.
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