Alfred de Zayas
Alfred-Maurice de Zayas is an American lawyer, writer, historian, expert in the field of human rights and international law and retired high-ranking United Nations official. Since 2012, he has been the UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.
The historic visit of Michelle Bachelet to Venezuela had potential, but the report, written by the same secretariat that did the reports of Zeid, is fundamentally flawed and disappointing.
By Alfred de Zayas
It is a missed opportunity, because Venezuela has requested and needs advisory services and technical assistance, but in good faith.
I would recommend to the AC to replace the team assisting her and ensure that the new team works professionally and with impartiality.
It is unprofessional for the UN staff to ignore or not give appropriate weight to the submissions by Fundalatin, Grupo Sures, the Red Nacional de Derechos Humanos, and the specific answers provided by the government.
The main principle guiding any honest researcher or investigator is audiatur et altera pars. All sides must be heard.
The report should also have focused on the criminality of the repeated attempts at a coup d’etat. Latin America has suffered too many right wing coups.
There is nothing more undemocratic than a coup.
The report should have recalled the human rights retrogression of Pedro Carmona in 2002 and the content of the Carmona Decree, likely to be replicated by several right wing opposition leaders.
The report of the AC to the HR council gives scarce attention to the central problem– the financial blockade and sanctions that cause so much suffering and death.
Venezuela’s problems can all be solved, but first the criminal US sanctions must be lifted. See report by Prof Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot.
Venezuela’s human rights deficits can be fixed through dialogue and cooperation. The UN Secretary General and Michelle Bachelet should mediate.