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Venezuela outside the UN Human Rights Council |  international

Venezuela outside the UN Human Rights Council | international

Nicolas Maduro while speaking virtually in front of the United Nations General Assembly.Miraflores Press (EFE/Miraflores Press)

Government Nicolas Maduro Pressed hard to keep his chair in United Nations Human Rights Council. But this Tuesday he did not reach the number of votes for re-election and Chile and Costa Rica entered the renewed Latin American quotas. The loss of this space occurs days after the discussion of the report of the fact-finding mission in the same case, documenting human rights violations in Venezuela, for which Maduro and other senior officials were held responsible, and the Council itself decided to extend the mandate of this investigative body for an additional two years.

The record of torture, arbitrary arrests and persecution of opponents has been fueled by reports from the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Independent Mission as well as the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, which has opened an investigation into Venezuela, which is currently paralyzed upon request. The government trying to show that local justice acted in the cases in which it was indicted and imprisoned those responsible.

Venezuela entered the Human Rights Council in 2019 for the period 2020-2022 and submitted its candidacy for re-election during a vote at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, while 12 other countries won a seat on the body. To repeat, 97 votes were required and Venezuela only got 88 votes Chili pepper I reached 144 Costa Rica134.

Member states are elected by a majority vote by the United Nations General Assembly for a term of three years, and states are not eligible for immediate re-election after serving two consecutive terms.

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The director of the NGO Acceso a la Justicia, Ali Daniels, celebrates that Nicolás Maduro’s government, “classified as crimes against humanity”, was not elected to the council. “The basic requirement to be a member of the council, according to the regulations governing it, is that it meets human rights compliance standards, and this is clearly not the case in Venezuela,” the lawyer said. “It would have been a great injustice if Venezuela had defeated established democracies that respect human rights such as Chile or Costa Rica,” he said.

Last Friday, despite warnings from Venezuela to link bilateral relations with countries that support the renewal of the mandate of the independent mission to determine the facts in the South American country, members of the United Nations Human Rights Council decided to continue this situation. work. The three reports released by the mission were one of the strongest blows to Nicolás Maduro’s government, which is struggling to open up to the international community that condemns it for Venezuela’s authoritarian drift. For the Venezuelan authorities, the complaints collected by UN experts are “fake news“.

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The decision to continue the mandate of the mission, proposed by Paraguay, was approved by 19 votes to 5 against, with 23 abstentions. Maduro’s government had the support of its usual allies: China, Cuba, Bolivia, and Eritrea, and a vote of no. Among the countries that abstained were Argentina, which chairs the council, and Mexico and Honduras, with governments that recently resumed full relations with Miraflores, after left-wing leaders came to power.

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