Venezuelan ONG’s ask Government to stop persecuting them

September 7, 2010

Over 100 Venezuelan ONG’s and thirteen international ones, including what I think are the leading Human Rights ONG’s in the country, Provea and COFAVIC, held a press conference and issued a communique today asking that the Venezuelan Government stop persecuting them and rejecting legal decisions that attempt to take away legitimacy and criminalize the rights of the people to participate in public matters. Among the activites of the Government denounced and documented by the group were the systematic disqualification of the media, the opening of trials and judicial processes, intimidation via public threats and the jailing of members.

Liliana Ortega who leads COFAVIC, which has spent twenty years defending the rights of those that died in the Caracazo in 1989 said:”A fundamental condition of a democratic state is to utilize dialogue as a strategy of persuation and conviction, but in Venezuela exchanges and the search for a consensus has been prohibited and satanized. When a State does not make its positions flexible, does not back out of its positions, nor does it search for solutions that satisfy everyone, what it puts in evidence is that the authoritarian model gains more and more space as a form of governing”

The spokesman for Provea said the attacks look to erode the autonomy of social organizations and stop independent controls as well as the true exercize of of the rights contained in the Constitution. According to Provea, the reaction of the Prosecutor to more protests has been to criminalize and bring to trial protesters with the complicity of the People’s Ombudsman (Defender in Spanish).

The organizations present ask public powers to revert the campaign to damage their prestige and to help increase the possibilities so that people can exercize their rights. They also ratified their right to receive help from international groups like Amnesty International, Social Watch and Greenpeace that fight for democracy, protection of the environment and the elimination of injustices.

The communique concludes by asking the Venezuelan Government to:

1.- Take necessary measures to stop the threats agasint the ONG’s and human right ddefenders that live on the country.

2.- To respect constitutional guarantees and international instruments that protect our right to free association and participation in public matters, as well as international cooperation, freedom of speech and the right to work.

3.- Immediately comply with all of the precuatelary and provisional measures given put by the interamerican ssystem, to human rights defenders and start exhaustive and independent  investigations over the matters denounced in order to prevent that impunity prevails and similar situations of agression and persecution agsint human righst defenders may multiply.

4.- Open communication channels with the organizations of civil society to look for a joint search for the paths that will make a reality the full validity of human rights and the exercize of democratic freedoms in Venezuela.

I am glad this gathering and press conference took place. The groups that participated, their long time record and reputation should be sufficient to raise the attention of international groups that know them and who will understand the seriousness of the situation these human rights organizations face today in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez.

15 Responses to “Venezuelan ONG’s ask Government to stop persecuting them”

  1. deananash Says:

    Sorry, Ira, but Chavez isn’t going anywhere. Is he a coward? Probably. But he learned his lesson last time. In order to defeat his enemies, he just has to stick around.

    If he were in it strictly for the money, he would have (could have) checked out a long time ago – and as a true Democrat. No, he’s a sociopath, and Venezuela is paying, and is going to continue paying for handing him the reins of power, for a very, VERY long time.

    On a recent post, a young Jewish man posted that the current brain-drain is much bigger than imagined. This is what needs to happen. The “majority” who support Chavez need to be left to live with him – happily ever after. Hahaha

    I’ve said it for years – FLEE NOW. (See Cuba, circa 1960-2010)

  2. Ira Says:

    It usually takes one little thing, basically insignificant in the grand scheme of things, to turn election results one way or the other.

    Now, I’m not saying that the controversy over the publishing of the morgue photos–and the government’s reaction to it with censorship–is a little thing. But it’s one piece of the puzzle to topple the dictator.

    I AM saying that Chavez is scared to death, which is the reason he hasn’t been blowing off his mouth lately, and why all of a sudden, he decided to make nice with Santos. And I’m also saying that another major, MAJOR impediment to Chavista victory is coming within the next two weeks–and all it has to do with such basic stuff as electricity and food.

    I believe Chavez is capable of anything. However, I more believe he is a coward who doesn’t really believe in his cause to begin with.

    And when the going gets tough and his future is on the line, he will give up and go away with the millions he’s stolen.

  3. moctavio Says:

    I know, the hope is Chavismo really abstains I think.

  4. island canuck Says:

    Wow Miguel, that’s really depressing.

  5. moctavio Says:

    I am told Chávez support is increasing in the latest polls. I am also told that the fact that Chávez’ support is weakening does not mean that the opposition is gaining it.

    To me, the results will be decided on the basis of Chavista abstention, nothing more, nothing less and the vote will be 50%/50%, which implies a 60%-plus majority of Deputies for Chavismo.

    I disagree with María Corina: No somos mayoría…

  6. Roy Says:


    Are you saying that the Opposition does not have a majority, or that they don’t have enough of a majority to overcome the Chavista built-in advantages?

    If the former, well, I have seen various polls saying that people who support Chavez are anywhere from 36% up to 42% of the population. I have not seen a single credible poll that says Chavez has more than 50% of the popular support. And, even people who support Chavez might vote against his choice for the AN, as a warning to moderate his policies. The reverse is not true.

    Now, if we are discussing whether the structural inequalities of the electoral system can be overcome, that is a different matter. However, a great deal of that depends on the Opposition being optimistic and believing in their ability to do so.

  7. moctavio Says:

    Disagree with polls are pointing to an Opposition victory.

  8. Roy Says:

    Just to recap a bit:

    – Castro says 21st Century Socialism is simply another name for Communism.

    – Castro says Cuban Communism doesn’t even work in Cuba.

    (Well, even die-hard Chavistas can’t help connecting the dots on that one and being massively demoralized)

    – The polls are clearly pointing to an Opposition win in the AN.

    – The Opposition is scoring daily on Chavez and racking up points on the issues: Insecurity, Electricity, Economy, Corruption.

    – Chavez claims, without any evidence, or arrests, that is the Opposition that is sabotaging the power grid.

    – Chavez “predicts” that the Opposition will cry “Fraud” when (not if) Chavismo wins in the elections, that they will try to spark violence, and that he will “neutralize” any attempts at creating disorder to continue building what he calls 21st century socialism.

    So, there you have it. Chavez the “democrat” is unmasked. The world (and Venezuela) can now see him for the power-mad autocrat he is.

  9. island canuck Says:

    5 hours without electricity last night from 12.06 AM to 5 AM.

    No explanation. No apologies.

    Just bullshit that the oppos are causing it.
    I’m losing patience.

    A side note.
    Could it be possible that the delay in the restart of the schools & universities until Oct. 4 is to prevent a massive return of the people to Caracas because of electrical problems there as well as to keep as many oppos on vacation so they won’t return to their home districts to vote.

  10. A_Antonio Says:

    This comment is out of topics.

    But today in his column Nelson Bocaranda, (Runrunes), in web page of “El universal”, is showing the inefficiencies of the present status of electric system in Venezuela, included the Gury statu.

    Maybe, some of you in your blogs can translate and added information and comments only to show that the Regime is lying as usual about the Venezuelan electrical system because electoral purposes.

  11. Gringo Says:

    Which reminds me of the Videla Junta’s response to reports of human rights violations in Argentina. “Los Argentinos somos derechos e humanos.” Maybe Thugo could dust it off. Without acknowledging the source, of course.

  12. Dean A. Nash Says:

    Preaching to the choir. No one who “believes” in Chavez, or his “revolution”, whatever, is going to be persuaded. This goes double for the deluded foreigners.

    I’m glad they did it, though. Just like Miguel’s blog, it helps to bolster the historical record – in order that future generations may learn from Venezuelan’s disastrous mistakes.

  13. RWG Says:

    The show of unity is excellent. Chavez may not change but he will have to pay attention.

  14. Kepler Says:

    Island, check out Freddy Bernal’s Wikipedia article. The guy is scum of the worst sort.
    And what has happened with the corruption affair in which he was involved? Nada.

  15. island canuck Says:

    I was going to say this is off topic but it really isn’t.

    Venezuela’s Ruling Party Warns Of Possible Election Violence:

    CARACAS (Dow Jones)–A top official in Venezuela’s ruling socialist party said Tuesday that supporters of President Hugo Chavez have weapons and are ready to use them should violence break out in legislative elections less than three weeks away.

    “Our revolution is peaceful, but it’s also armed,” said Freddy Bernal, a former Caracas mayor and staunch Chavez ally who is helping to coordinate the campaign for the ruling PSUV party. “If the bourgeois [the opposition] brings out its weapons again, we’ll bring out ours as well. Don’t forget it.”

    Opposition groups immediately denounced Bernal’s comments as an attempt to incite bloodshed, and said the only “weapon” ordinary Venezuelans want to use on election day is their right to vote.

    Bernal is such an “asshat”. Of all the oficialistas he ranks right near the top as one of the most disgusting. A bully & ladron with no redeeming qualities.

    They are getting really desperate. With the electrical problems blooming all over the country people are getting really pissed off. They WILL vote.

    Yesterday the average voltage we received was around 105 with 2 cuts of 1 hour each. Nothing runs with just 105 volts.

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