Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

House Resolution to Support Democracy in Venezuela and Hold Accountable Maduro Regime Officials Responsible For Human Rights Violations

| March 13th, 2014 | No Comments »
US House of Representatives

H. R.

To seek international sanctions against the Government of Venezuela with respect to foreign persons responsible for or complicit in ordering, con- trolling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against citizens of Venezuela, and for other purposes.


Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN (for herself, Mr. DIAZ-BALART, Mr. SIRES, Mr. SALMON, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Mr. DESANTIS, Mr. DEUTCH, Mr. GARCIA, Mr. BILIRAKIS, and Ms. FRANKEL of Florida) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on _______________


To seek international sanctions against the Government of Venezuela with respect to foreign persons responsible for or complicit in ordering, controlling, or otherwise directing, the commission of serious human rights abuses against citizens of Venezuela, and for other purposes.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as ... Read More

Chairman Menendez Introduces the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act

| March 13th, 2014 | No Comments »
US Senate



March 13, 2014


Legislation Strengthens Venezuelan Civil Society, Calls for Targeted Sanctions in Response to Grave Violations of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms


Washington, DC – Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) joined by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) introduced the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 today.

This bipartisan legislation authorizes $15 million in new funding in the FY2015 budget to defend human rights, support democratic civil society organizations, assist independent media, and strengthen good governance and the rule of law in the face of the massive violence and repression being carried out by President Maduro against peaceful protesters.

It also requires President Obama to impose sanctions on persons that have been involved in serious human rights violations against peaceful demonstrators and others in Venezuela or that have directed or ordered the arrest or prosecution of a person due to their legitimate exercise of freedom of expression or assembly.

Yesterday, the ... Read More

UN experts demands answers about Venezuela violence, call for investigation

| March 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in the Associated Press

GENEVA –  United Nations human rights experts are demanding answers from Venezuela’s government about the use of violence and imprisonment in a crackdown on widespread demonstrations.

Six experts with the U.N.’s Human Rights Council have written to President Nicolas Maduro’s administration asking “for prompt clarification of allegations of arbitrary detention and excessive use of force and violence against protesters, journalists and media workers during the recent wave of protests in the country.”

A statement Thursday by special rapporteurs Frank La Rue, Maina Kiai, Mads Andenas, Juan Méndez, Christof Heyns and Margaret Sekaggya said the allegations must be “urgently and thoroughly investigated.”

The Venezuelan economy’s downward spiral helped trigger a wave of protests against the hand-picked successor of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in mid-February that have claimed more than a dozen lives.

Click here for original ... Read More

Growing Crisis in Post-Chavez Venezuela

| March 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
Foreign Policy Initiative


As Venezuela passed the one-year anniversary of the death of strongman Hugo Chavez today, his successor Nicolás Maduro continued his crackdown against protestors demanding an end to corruption, rampant crime, and economic mismanagement.  Since nationwide demonstrations began a month ago, clashes between Venezuelan security forces and protestors have resulted so far in at least 18 deaths and over 250 injuries.

Chavez’s socialist experiment has left Venezuela’s economy and society in shambles.  A Gallup poll recently reported that the dire economic situation “pushed Venezuelan pessimism about the nation’s economy in 2013 to an all-time high—62% of Venezuelan adults said the economy is getting worse, while a record-low 12% said it was getting better.”  Even official Venezuelan government figures show that one in four basic household goods, such as milk or toilet paper, is in short supply.  What’s more, growth in violent crime has accompanied the oil-rich country’s economic slide.  The Venezuelan Violence Observatory, a non-governmental ... Read More

Venezuelan opposition to organize at grassroots

| March 4th, 2014 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald


A leader of the Venezuelan opposition called Monday for citizens to begin organizing committees that could sustain the pressure that continuing street protests have placed on the socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro.Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles announced the effort via Twitter, directing people to a blog post that laid out plans for the so-called popular defense committees. In an apparent effort to organize and expand the opposition base, he said politics would be set aside, but that could be difficult in a country so polarized. Venezuela faces inflation that reached 56 percent last year, shortages of basic commodities and one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world.

“Leave aside the political agenda and violence which the government wants to draw us into, so that we can concentrate on the social problems that affect all of us,” Capriles’ statement said. The objective ... Read More

Intervenir en Venezuela

| March 3rd, 2014 | 1 Comment »
El Pais


Cuando ya van tres semanas, está claro que la estrategia represiva del gobierno venezolano es selectiva, quirúrgica dirían algunos: evitar la matanza indiscriminada, por ahora al menos, buscando controlar la revuelta por medio de un efecto disuasivo. Que sean la fatiga y el miedo los que vacíen las calles. De ahí que los muertos sean 14 y no 140 ó 1.400. Por ello, “el que se cansa pierde” retrata cabalmente lo que está en juego para la oposición.

Venezuela no es Siria, por cierto, y tampoco Ucrania. Pero no por eso deja de ser una seria crisis de derechos humanos, plagada de violaciones además agravadas por el desabastecimiento de insumos y alimentos básicos. Así comenzaron a escucharse voces en la comunidad internacional. Primero fue la Oficina de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas, denunciando las violaciones, la impunidad de los colectivos armados y llamando a una investigación de los ... Read More

Pressure to Punish Maduro Mounts

| March 1st, 2014 | No Comments »
The Washington Free Beacon


Lawmakers are pressuring President Barack Obama to impose sanctions against Venezuelan officials involved in an ongoing crackdown against protesters in the socialist state.

At least 17 people have died, more than 250 have been injured, and 55 remain behind bars following protests this month against the rule of President Nicolas Maduro. Opposition leaders say the protesters were killed by intelligence agents, police, and government-affiliated militias known as “colectivos.”

Sens. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), and Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) introduced a resolution on Thursday that urged Obama to impose targeted sanctions such as visa bans and asset freezes on Venezuelan individuals accused of human rights abuses.

“With the Venezuelan people struggling and sacrificing for freedom, liberty, and human rights, they deserve to have their voices be heard, and they deserve the world’s leading defender of human rights to be on their side,” Rubio said in a statement.

The House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western ... Read More

US Senate Resolution Calls for Sanctions on Venezuela for “Violent Repression”

| February 27th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Latin American Herald Tribune


United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today introduced a Senate Resolution deploring the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations in Venezuela, calling for full accountability for human rights violations, and supporting the right of the Venezuelan people to live freely and democratically.

“This action sends an unequivocal message by condemning the violence perpetrated against innocent Venezuelans by President Maduro, Venezuelan security forces, and armed pro-government supporters,” said Chairman Robert Menendez. “Now is the time to pursue a course of targeted sanctions by denying and revoking visas, and freezing the assets of Venezuelan officials complicit in the deaths of peaceful protestors. Human rights violators should be held accountable for the crimes they committed and their presence should not be ... Read More

Supporting the people of Venezuela as they protest peacefully for democratic change and calling to end the violence

| February 26th, 2014 | No Comments »
US House of Representatives


Supporting the people of Venezuela as they protest peacefully for democratic change and calling to end the violence.


FEBRUARY 25, 2014

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN (for herself, Mr. SALMON, Mr. DIAZ-BALART, Ms. WASSERMAN SCHULTZ, Mr. SIRES, Mr. GARCIA, Mr. DESANTIS, Mr. GRAYSON, Mr. MCCAUL, Mr. DEUTCH, Ms. WILSON of Florida, Mr. MURPHY of Florida, Mr. YOHO, Mr. STOCKMAN, Mr. DUNCAN of South Carolina, and Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


Supporting the people of Venezuela as they protest peacefully for democratic change and calling to end the violence.

Whereas the United States Government should support the free and peaceful exercise of representative democracy in Venezuela, condemning violence and intimidation against the country’s political opposition, and calling for dialogue between all political actors in the country;

Whereas, on February 12, 2014, ... Read More

Venezuela Opposition Cancels Maduro Talks as Unrest Grows

| February 25th, 2014 | No Comments »


Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for a “peace conference” tomorrow after opposition Governor Henrique Capriles rejected talks with him in the capital and the death toll from protests rose to 14.

Maduro called on governors and mayors to join lawmakers, students, women, labor leaders, intellectuals, painters and churches, among other groups, to sign an agreement condemning violence. Capriles, who skipped a meeting of regional governors with Maduro on Feb. 24, didn’t immediately respond to the proposal. His spokeswoman Ana Maria Fernandez didn’t reply to a phone message and calls this morning.

Demonstrators protesting shortages of basic goods, the world’s fastest inflation and rising crime have confronted armed pro-government groups and National Guard troops nightly in Venezuelan cities since Feb. 12. The opposition party Voluntad Popular said yesterday that it would continue the protests, leading a march at 10 a.m. (9:30 a.m. EST) today to the Cuban Embassy, which demonstrators ... Read More

Video: What’s going on in Venezuela in a nutshell

| February 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
InterAmerican Security Watch

A look at the recent student protests throughout every major city in Venezuela and the authoritarian grasp that the corrupt regime of Nicolas Maduro has over all media outlets.

Read More

Solicitan formalmente a la OEA activar Carta Democrática Interamericana en Venezuela

| February 14th, 2014 | No Comments »
La Patilla

Asdrúbal Aguiar, ex Juez de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, ex Gobernador, Ministro de Relaciones Interiores, y Encargado de la Presidencia de la República pide a la Organización de Estados Americanos activar la Carta Democrática Interamericana a fin de que revise los actos de represión ejecutados por el gobierno de Nicolás Maduro Moros contra los estudiantes y la oposición democrática de Venezuela, con saldo de muertos y heridos, y las medidas de censura de la prensa que ha establecido al efecto a lo largo de las últimas semanas y el mismo día 12 de octubre, luctuoso para todos los venezolanos.

Haga clic aquí para ver el informe ... Read More

Venezuela: Investigate Violence During Protests

| February 14th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
Article appeared in Human Rights Watch

Venezuelan authorities should investigate the violence during demonstrations across the country on February 12, 2014 promptly and impartially, Human Rights Watch said today. Investigations should not be used as a pretext for prosecuting political opponents or limiting free speech.

At least three demonstrators were killed and more than 60 others injured during clashes with security forces. Senior government officials blamed the opposition leader, Leopoldo López, for the killings, and a Caracas judge issued an arrest warrant for him, local media reported. The international cable news channel NTN24 was taken off the air in the afternoon in response to its coverage of the protests, the station reported.

“What Venezuela urgently needs is for these killings to be investigated and the killers brought to justice, no matter their political affiliation,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “What Venezuela does not need is authorities scapegoating political opponents or shutting down news outlets whose coverage they ... Read More

The Rogue Political Regime in Cuba is Unlikely to Change

| January 6th, 2014 | No Comments »
Mexi Data


Cuba continues to rival even itself by increasing, and possibly surpassing, its over 50 year Castro brother’s repressive security stranglehold on the majority of its citizens.  The tired and disastrous Communist state apparatus continues to slowly crawl along, virtually denying even basic human rights that have been awaited for decades by the Cuban people.  

Fidel Castro led Cuba from 1959 until 2008, an island nation that today is estimated to have a population of slightly over 11 million people.

During his choke hold domination, Castro exhibited his regime’s violent propensities early as Cuba became a major contributor to wars in the Caribbean, Central America and elsewhere. Targeting Africa, he sent tens of thousands of troops to support Soviet-involved wars in Africa, particularly in Angola.

Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul, who now serves as Cuba’s national leader, continue their anti-U.S. agendas and rhetoric as they maintain and establish close relationships with left-leaning and ... Read More

La Démocratie en Danger pour tous les Dominicains

| December 27th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

La communauté internationale a condamne avec raison la décision de la cour constitutionnelle de la république Dominicaine qui a révoque la nationalité de près de 350.000 Dominicains d’origine Haïtienne. Malheureusement, cette décision prise en Septembre n’est que le dernier d’un ensemble d’actions cyniques et partisan qui menacent l’état de droit et la croissance économique de cette nation. Les Dominicains de bonne foi doivent agir pour restaurer la probité et l’indépendance de leurs institutions pour garantir un futur meilleur pour tous les citoyens.

Au début du mois, La Commission Interaméricaine des Droits de l’homme, une institution très respectée,  a effectuée une visite d’urgence dans ce pays pour étudier l’implication de cette décision d’appliquer rétroactivement le contenu d’un amendement constitutionnel de 2010, qui redéfinît les droits a la nationalité, et de fait annulant pour une multitude leur droit a la nationalité. La Commission a publié de toute urgence une série de recommandations claires ... Read More

Democracia en riesgo para todos los dominicanos

| December 27th, 2013 | 1 Comment »
The Miami Herald

Published en el Miami Herald, 26 de diciembre 2013

La comunidad internacional ha condenado con razón una decisión de la Tribunal Constitucional de la República Dominicana de revocar la ciudadanía de por lo menos 350 mil dominicanos de ascendencia haitiana. Por desgracia, esta decisión solo es una de muchas acciones partidistas que amenazan el estado de derecho y el crecimiento económico en esa nación. Los dominicanos de buena voluntad deben actuar para restaurar la integridad e independencia de sus instituciones y asegurar un futuro mejor para todos sus ciudadanos.

A principios de este mes, la respetada Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, realizó una visita a ese país para estudiar las implicaciones de la decisión de implementar retroactivamente una enmienda constitucional del 2010 que redefinió los derechos de la ciudadanía. Esta decisión despoja a multitudes de su “derecho a la nacionalidad.” La Comisión emitió con urgencia una serie de recomendaciones inequívocas que insisten en que ... Read More

Democracy at risk for all Dominicans

| December 27th, 2013 | No Comments »
The Miami Herald

The international community has justifiably condemned a decision by the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic revoking the citizenship of as many as 350,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent. Unfortunately, that decision in September was just the latest in a pattern of cynical, partisan actions that threaten the rule of law and economic growth in that nation.

Dominicans of goodwill must act to restore the probity and independence of their institutions to secure a better future for all of its citizens.

Early this month, the respected Inter-American Commission on Human Rights paid an urgent visit to that country to study the implications of the decision to retroactively apply a 2010 constitutional amendment that redefined citizenship rights, effectively stripping multitudes of their “right to nationality.” The commission urgently issued a series of unambiguous recommendations insisting that the Dominican state take “simple, clear, fast, and fair” steps to “guarantee the right to nationality of those ... Read More

In Cuba, scattered protests, detentions mark human rights day

| December 11th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article originally appeared in Reuters


HAVANA – Cuban dissidents and government employees mounted rival gatherings across the Communist-run Caribbean island on Tuesday, marking the 65th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations.

While a handshake between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro during ceremonies in South Africa honoring Nelson Mandela provided a moment of cordiality between the long-time foes, 15 Cuban dissidents held a seminar on human rights in the upscale Havana district of Miramar.

Outside, a hundred school children chalked peace symbols on the sidewalk, danced and sang in a government-organized event.

Around 20 members of the dissident group Ladies in White were pounced upon and quickly shoved into waiting vehicles by security personnel and government supporters when they arrived at a busy intersection in the capital.

The women, in groups of two or three, came in taxis over a 20 minute period, in an apparent ... Read More

Ecuador: Clampdown on Civil Society

| August 13th, 2013 | No Comments »
Article appeared in Human Rights Watch

Ecuador should revoke a presidential decree that grants far-reaching powers to the government to oversee and dissolve nongovernmental organizations, Human Rights Watch said today.

On June 4, 2013, President Rafael Correa adopted a decree that creates new procedures for Ecuadorean nongovernmental organizations to obtain legal status and requires international organizations to undergo a screening process to seek permission to work in Ecuador. The decree also grants the government broad powers to intervene in groups’ operations. It gives the government authority, for example, to dissolve Ecuadorean groups for “compromis[ing] public peace.”

“The Correa administration has damaged free speech, expending a lot of its energy focusing on the media, and now it’s trying to trample on independent groups,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “Officials can now essentially decide what groups may say or do, seriously undermining their role as a check on the government.”

Correa presented a draft proposal of a similar ... Read More

Mexico bishop tackles organized crime, corruption

| July 15th, 2013 | No Comments »


MEXICO CITY — Bishop Raúl Vera cast a vote in Sunday’s local elections, then told the faithful: don’t back candidates associated with organized crime.

Such admonishments have been rare from Catholic leaders in Mexico, who have mostly stayed silent on security issues and preferred not to upset the authorities or drug cartels — even as organized crime violence claimed more than 60,000 lives over the past six years and church officials fended off allegations they accepted donations from drug cartels.

The admonishment was vintage Vera, spoken plainly by a prelate less concerned with offending politicians than promoting the protection of human rights and providing pastoral attention to those not always welcome in the church — including gays — or neglected by the authorities, such as the victims of organized crime violence.

“In the ecclesiastical hierarchy, his is a minority position,” says Ilán Semo, political historian at the Jesuit-run Iberoamerican University in ... Read More

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