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In response to The New York Times editorial Chargé d?Affaires Maximilien Sanchez Arvelaiz

To the Editor:

Venezuela’s Crackdown on Opposition” (editorial, Sept. 21) Does not present a fair picture of recent events in Venezuela.

The editorial accuses the Venezuelan authorities of persecuting political leaders and in particular jailing Leopoldo López for his role in instigating protests earlier this year. Most of these protests — which called for the extraconstitutional removal of the government — were violent and led to over 40 deaths, including people who were killed when attempting to cross or remove protesters’ barricades.

These protests were rejected by the majority of Venezuelans because they believe in solving their political differences through elections and direct democratic participation rather than violence.

The editorial also accuses the Venezuelan government of controlling the media, when a simple look at Venezuelan outlets demonstrates that the majority are independently owned, operate freely and more often than not are critical of the government.

The editorial reminds me of the mind-set during a 2006 campaign against Venezuela’s getting a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council; this time the entire region is unanimously supporting Venezuela’s bid. This may be partly due to the certainty that Venezuela will maintain an independent position in the Council and position itself in accordance with the founding principle of the organization — the preservation of peace.

Click here to view the editorial

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