Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

AP Interview: Brazil’s Silva Wants Better US Ties

| September 18th, 2014 | No Comments »
The New York Times

By the Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO — Marina Silva, a front-running presidential candidate who grew up in the Amazon jungle and could become the first black to lead Brazil’s government, said Wednesday that if elected she’ll improve ties with the U.S. and strongly push for human rights in nations like Cuba.

She spoke exclusively to The Associated Press in her first interview with a foreign media outlet since being thrust into Brazil’s presidential campaign after her Socialist Party’s original candidate died in an Aug. 13 plane crash.

Silva, a former Amazon activist and environment minister who pushed policies that helped Brazil slash the rate at which it was destroying the jungle, has found herself in a dead-heat presidential race with President Dilma Rousseff. The incumbent represents the Workers Party, which Silva herself helped found three ... Read More

Venezuela’s UN Security Council Bid Gains Backing

| September 12th, 2014 | No Comments »
ABC News

By Joshua Goodman

Venezuela’s socialist government has quietly secured the backing of Latin America and the Caribbean to obtain a diplomatic trophy that long eluded the late Hugo Chavez: a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

The unanimous endorsement of Venezuela’s candidacy to represent the region on the Security Council came at a closed-door meeting July 23 in New York, said Amin Cruz, a diplomat at the U.N. from the Dominican Republic, which presided at the meeting.

When Chavez last tried for a seat in 2006, the United States succeeded in torpedoing his campaign. This year, Washington has been mum.

While Venezuela must still muster a two-thirds majority in a secret ballot of 193 member nations at the U.N. General Assembly next month, the lack so far of a rival candidate from the region means the chances of its candidacy being derailed are slim, analysts say.

If it does win a seat, world leaders ... Read More

Colombia Faces Backlash For Turning Over Venezuelan Activists

| September 10th, 2014 | No Comments »

CARACAS, Venezuela—The expulsion by Colombia of two Venezuelan activists–both of whom were being detained here–has fueled a backlash against Colombia’s government for handing them over to President Nicolás Maduro’s administration.

More than 3,000 young people who participated earlier this year in protests against Mr. Maduro’s government here were jailed, leading to criticism from human rights groups about abuses even after most were released. At least 43 people—the majority of them antigovernment demonstrators—were killed in the protests, in which university students rose up to protest Venezuela’s economic troubles and rampant crime.

Lorent Enrique Gomez Saleh, 26, who leads the Operation Liberation anti-Maduro group, and Gabriel Valles, 27, a member of the organization, were deported from Colombia last week for visa infractions and violating regulations prohibiting foreigners from “participating in activities that threaten public order or national security,” said a Colombian Foreign Ministry statement. Colombian officials went on to say that ... Read More

Rep. Salmon Statement on the Imposition of New Visa Restrictions against Venezuelan Human Rights Violators

| July 30th, 2014 | No Comments »
US House of Representatives   Washington, D.C.— Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) today released the following statement upon the United States’ imposition of visa restrictions against violators of human rights in Venezuela:   “I was pleased to learn that, after months of stalling, the Obama Administration has finally decided to react to the Venezuelan government’s violent repression against protestors.  Today’s announcement of visa denials and prohibitions against Venezuelan officials complicit in the crackdown of legitimate protesters is long overdue, but merely a first step in the right direction.   “Venezuelan pressure for the release of General Carvajal, a known FARC narcotics trafficking collaborator, should be enough to show the Administration that sitting by idly while authoritarian dictators undermine democratic values and violate human rights in our hemisphere is no substitute for deliberate policy that reflects the interests of the United States.  The unraveling of U.S. leadership around the world is not just embarrassing, it threatens peace and stability.”   Rep. Matt Salmon (AZ-05) ... Read More

Is Mexico Doing Enough to Secure Its Southern Border?

| July 18th, 2014 | No Comments »


Sneaking north into Mexico wasn’t easy, according to Brandon, who was 14 years old when he left his hometown in Guatemala last April to rejoin his parents in the United States.

A smuggler hired to get Brandon across the border led him on a five-hour hike across rough terrain and through sweltering heat to avoid Mexican border checkpoints.

“I suffered a lot,” Brandon told Fusion during a recent interview in Virginia. “It was really hot. There were a lot of thorns and my shoes broke. I got blisters on my feet.”

The month-long trip didn’t get any easier after that. The coyote warned Brandon’s group that capture by the Mexican federal police meant deportation or bribery. “He said that if they found us, they would arrest everyone.”

Still, Mexican immigration enforcement was no comparison to what he faced when he entered the U.S. After crossing the Rio Grande border into South Texas, Brandon was ... Read More

Cuba cracks down, arrests 100 women dissidents

| July 14th, 2014 | No Comments »

Cuban authorities arrested an unusually large group of about 100 dissident marchers Sunday, breaking up a march by the Ladies in White opposition activists.

Shouting “Freedom! Freedom!,” the women offered no resistance as they were put on buses by dozens of police and plainclothes agents of the only communist-ruled country in the Americas.

A group of about 100 government supporters, who arrived along with the authorities at the scene in Havana’s Miramar district, angrily shouted “Viva Fidel, Viva Raul” as the women were whisked away.

The women’s group, formed in 2003 by wives and relatives of political prisoners, marches with the government’s permission every Sunday in the Cuban capital after hearing mass at Santa Rita parish church.

Since theirs is the only group that has government permission for a regular protest, arrests are few and infrequent.

But on Sunday, dozens of police moved in and surrounded the large crowd of marchers two blocks from ... Read More

Venezuela: Leopoldo Lopez must stand trial, judge rules

| June 5th, 2014 | No Comments »

A Venezuelan judge has ordered opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to stand trial on charges of instigating violence at an anti-government protest in February.

Mr Lopez of the Popular Will party has been in jail since he handed himself in to the authorities on 18 February.

The charges relate to demonstrations on 12 February, during which three people were killed.

If found guilty, Mr Lopez could face up to 10 years in jail.

Marathon session

Judge Adriana Lopez made the decision to send Mr Lopez for trial shortly after 03:00 (07:30 GMT) after a marathon session which had begun on Monday.

She said Mr Lopez would face charges of damaging property, arson and instigating violence.

Analysts had expected the decision but said they were surprised at the length of time it took the judge to reach it.

Supporters of Mr Lopez have always maintained that his detention and the charges against him are purely political.

Following the ruling, his ... Read More

Communique from the Venezuelan Student Movement and the Front for Venezuelan Mothers

| May 28th, 2014 | No Comments »
Frente de madres Venezolanas

Caracas, May 27, 2014.

Given recent events, the Student Movement and the Mothers of Venezuela feel the need to turn to the foreign ministers of UNASUR meeting in Ecuador.

Our position has been clear: complicit officials in violations of the fundamental rights of the Venezuelan people should know that their abusive and repressive policies are widely rejected by Venezuela and the world.

The initiative of several members of the Congress of the United States is directed to punish officials involved in these inhuman acts, which have been carried out in recent months. Clearly the purpose and spirit of the law is not to punish Venezuela, but to punish the officials who have violated human rights and who have engaged in corruption. The fear of the Venezuelan government has no substance. The law is aimed at officials directly involved, not institutions. Their duty is to implement all of the provisions within our Constitution, but ... Read More

Oil exploration in Ecuador: Out for the count

| May 8th, 2014 | 1 Comment »
The Economist

ON MAY 6th Ecuador’s National Electoral Commission (CNE) rejected another 239,342 signatures collected by environmental activists in a bid to trigger a referendum on planned oil development in the Yasuní National Park. In total the CNE approved just 359,762 signatures, leaving the activists, who are known as Yasunidos, well short of the 583,323, or 5% of the electoral roll, required to hold a referendum.

In disqualifying two-thirds of the near 800,000 signatures initially put forward, CNE officials said that they found enough fictitious names and repeat signatures to consider the whole initiative deceitful. The Yasunidos allege something similar, calling the CNE count a “fraud”; the activists say they plan to take the case to Ecuador’s administrative court and if that fails, as they expect, to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Although nominally independent, the CNE has suffered accusations of bias before. In 2012 the body rejected hundreds of thousands of signatures required to ... Read More

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
Page 1 of 512345»