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Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela - Ministry of People's Power for Foreign Affairs -STATEMENT

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela categorically rejects the allegations contained in the annual report 2008 published by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, since they are inaccurate, untrue and ill-intentioned.

In the aforementioned report, the Commission accuses Venezuela state of violation of freedom of conscience and religion, based exclusively on accusations made by pro-opposition media.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights do not comply with its directive as international organization aimed at protecting and guaranteeing the respect of Human Rights in the region, and instead has become a political instrument of national and international sectors, which based on ideological reasons, attack the progressive government of the continent. 

With respect to the case of Venezuela, the Commission’s credibility was damaged after the coup d’état on April 11, 2002, when they implicitly supported de facto Government and rejects a Precautionary measure in favor of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, requested by the NGO MINGA to protect his life.

Venezuela deeply requests the Commission to apply the principles of Universality, objectivity, impartiality and non-selectivity during the examination of matters regarding Human Rights, to end the application of double standard and politicization, and to stop their intentions of meddling in the internal legislation of the States.

Venezuela reiterates to the Inter-American Commission and Court that the international and regional systems for the protection of Human Rights are complementary and subsidiary to the functions of the States. Their work as supervisors should be restricted to relations of cooperation and protection of any right, and with no intentions of controlling the functions and competences of the Government institutions.

The Venezuelan State has replied several times to the observations granted by the Commission, and has recognised emblematic cases of Human rights violations occurred in the territory (Caracazo, Catia prison, disappearances in Vargas, as examples), in which the State has admitted its responsibility before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  

Since June 23, 1977, when Venezuela ratified the American Convention, until 2000, the Commission admitted six petitions against Venezuela on human rights violations, period during which students were killed, political leaders were torture or disappeared, newspapers, radio and TV stations were censored and closed down, journalists were arrested and civilians were slaughtered in Cantaura, Yumare and in the event known as Caracazo.

As of 1999, when the independent and sovereign government of Hugo Chavez started, the Commission has admitted more than 150 cases, whose examination has not been objective and transparent.

It is noteworthy that between 1999 and 2009, Venezuela has made important improvements of economic, social and cultural rights, which have been certified by organizations of the United Nations System such as ECLAC and UNESCO, among others, but these statements are now questioned by the fact the Commission demands a visit to the country in order to verify them.

It is important to mention that the Commission visited Venezuela in May 2002, after the coup d’état, and instead of condemning the attack to democratic institutions, justified the actions of the authors. 
The Commission must admit that agreed with the coup d’état and therefore rectify his biased position against our country. For six years, the Commission has categorized Venezuela as a “State that, for various reasons confronted situations that seriously and gravely affect the enjoyment of fundamental rights enshrined in the American Convention”, even though violations have not been proved in the country up to now.

The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela confirms that the state will continue making efforts to guarantee the absolute respect to the Human Rights in the country in accordance with the Constitution, the people’s willingness and the revolutionary principles as actions guidelines of the process, in spite of manipulations and lies of the institutions that belong to the Inter-American System of Human Rights.

Caracas, May 9, 2009

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