This week, the U.S. government’s Department of State released yet another unilateral report on human rights, supplemented by a report on religious freedom.
In the report, Washington once again makes unacceptable accusations against Venezuela, downplaying the will and capacity of the Venezuelan government to guarantee the free exercise of individual rights among the population and basing its claims on gossip and tall tales with no scientific or technical basis.
The world is witness to the harmonious coexistence among cultures and religions all throughout the territory of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, a characteristic recognized and praised by all faiths in Venezuelan society.
This reality, which has been made especially visible in recent weeks during multiple demonstrations held in support of President Chávez’s recovery from cancer, belies any claims to the contrary.
The Venezuelan State and its institutions are not only respectful of religious freedom, but also frequently take part in efforts to promote the participation of all faiths in different public events and legislative initiatives. In addition, as recent history shows, police and judicial authorities are especially careful to prevent any demonstrations that are anti-religion.
Paradoxically, the international community has clearly observed over the last decade the stigmatization of certain religions encouraged by the U.S. government, linking them with terrorism at home and around the world, as part of an imperial policy to develop a necessary enemy to help justify neo-colonialist policies. This situation has caused the most aberrant violations of human rights, evidenced by the shameful existence of Guantanamo.
The government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela rejects and denies these defamations and reiterates its demand for respect for its internal affairs. It urges the U.S. government to cease its campaign of lies and aggressions against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Ministry of People's Powers for Foreign Affairs
Caracas, September 15, 2011