Bachelet admits that sanctions against Venezuela worsen the crisis and calls for the release of detainees

The UN Human Rights chief confirms more than 150 releases since June 2020


The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has recognized that the “sectoral sanctions” adopted against Venezuela and the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to worsening the social and economic crisis, in full debate on the outcome of some Negotiations between the government of Nicolás Maduro and the opposition in which the former Chilean president has said “trust.”

“I am confident that the political dialogue under way in Mexico can lead to meaningful solutions and translate into greater progress for the protection of Human Rights,” said Bachelet, updating from Geneva his report on the situation in the South American country, followed with attention from Caracas.

Before the Human Rights Council, Bachelet has reviewed the work of his office in Venezuela, which dates back to the last two years and has managed to expand its staff from six to twelve workers, after an agreement with a Chavismo that has traditionally viewed any kind of suspicion with suspicion. UN surveillance.

Bachelet, who hopes to continue “deepening” this cooperation, has regretted that the economic and social programs implemented in recent years have not managed to raise an income level that continues to be “dramatically low”, “insufficient to guarantee a level of proper life “.

In this sense, he has called for a reinforcement of basic services, “particularly for the most vulnerable groups”, and has regretted “the absence of public data to adequately monitor and inform public policies”, a point at which he has missed more weight of civil society.

“I am concerned about the additional restrictions and the continuous reports of intimidation and criminalization of human rights defenders and union leaders for their legitimate activities,” he added, reiterating one of his usual criticisms.

Another of the recurring demands of the Human Rights office involves police and judicial reforms, to which Bachelet also adds a call “for the full release of all those arbitrarily detained.” The former Chilean president has assured that 152 people have been released since June 2020 in the framework of cases shared through cooperation mechanisms.


Bachelet believes that the humanitarian and economic situation that Venezuela has been dragging on for years has been “aggravated” both by the pandemic and by “sector sanctions”, which limits “even more” the population’s access to basic services. “I reiterate my call for the sectoral sanctions to be lifted,” he added.

The Maduro government has used this part of Bachelet’s report to denounce the “perverse effect” of the punishments, for which Caracas mainly blames Washington. He estimates that income has fallen by 99 percent and believes that the sanctions amount to “crimes against humanity”, something he has also argued before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

However, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry also considers that the report reproduces “failures” of other previous documents and affirmations “without any basis” and that “they have not been duly verified.”

In this sense, the Government “rejects the false assertions of the report on alleged arbitrary detentions or persecutions for the exercise or defense of Human Rights”, which it frames “in the political script of those who instrumentalize this matter to attack Venezuela.”

The Venezuelan authorities and Bachelet’s office have renewed their cooperation agreement for a year, something that for Caracas confirms their willingness to cooperate. However, the Ministry headed by Félix Plasencia has also urged the UN to act “based on respect for the truth and the principles of objectivity, non-selectivity, impartiality, non-interference in internal affairs and constructive dialogue.”

The opposition, for its part, has influenced its assessment of the latest report in the claim to stop the “persecution” against activists in Venezuela. The National Communication Center, which operates as Juan Guaidó’s media arm, believes that this analysis “once again reveals” Maduro’s “dictatorship.”

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