SHARMINI PERIES: It’s The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.
Last week, Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile, now the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, gave an initial record primarily based on a factfinding venture that she despatched to Venezuela.
MICHELLE BACHELET: The leisure of financial and social rights has persisted in deteriorating dramatically for a reason that June 2018. That turned into the remaining time that there was a report on Venezuela. Vulnerable populations inclusive of youngsters, pregnant ladies, the aged, and indigenous human beings were particularly affected.
Although this pervasive and devastating financial and social disaster commenced earlier than the imposition of the first economic sanctions in 2017, I am worried that the latest consent on financial switch related to the sale of Venezuelan oil within the United States may also make contributions to anxious the economic disaster with possible repercussions on humans’ primary rights and properly being. I’m additionally profoundly involved in the shrinking of the democratic space; specifically the ongoing criminalisation of non-violent protest and dissent. Excellencies, divisions are exacerbating an already critical situation. There is a want for informal settlement on a political answer via all stakeholders with moves to enhance an extensive range of urgent human rights troubles. I call at the government to take steps to demonstrate an actual dedication to addressing the many hard problems mentioned across the USA.
SHARMINI PERIES: The former UN Special Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas jointly criticised the report that Michelle Bachelet, because the chair of the Human Rights Commission, had added. He calls it unprofessional and politicised.
ALFRED DE ZAYAS: We are swimming in an ocean of lies. I have to say after I went to Venezuela I expected to discover it a humanitarian crisis. I became predetermined to find a humanitarian disaster. I walked the streets. I spoke to people of all kinds. And that changed into no longer the case — that approach I had been manipulated. I had been lied to. And I resent that. But if all you need to do is say Maduro is corrupt, and Maduro is a criminal, then you ’re no longer in all likelihood to get any cooperation from the government. Most important, permit’s aid the Montevideo mechanism. This is the way ahead.
SHARMINI PERIES: That changed into Alfred de Zayas, a professor of extensive regulation at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and an unbiased professional appointed by using the Human Rights Council. He joins us nowadays from Geneva. Welcome, Professor Zayas.
ALFRED DE ZAYAS: Good to be here.
SHARMINI PERIES: Professor Zayas, permit’s get to the meat of the troubles right here. When you went to Venezuela, you discovered a political crisis, a polarized situation there. But the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet from Chile, is aware of the area pretty well. She seems to be in distinction in your document. Tell us the primary purpose for that.
ALFRED DE ZAYAS: Well, do you observed that Michelle Bachelet writes her record? Reviews are written with the aid of the secretary. The team that drafted the revisions of Zeid, who additionally didn’t write his investigations, the team is the same. So except you exchange the crew that did an unprofessional job doing reports for Zeid, we are, of the path, in risk of getting any other unprofessional, one-sided political pamphlet now. But the difference is that Zeid never went to Venezuela, whereas Michelle Bachelet has shown the goodwill and the hobby in going herself and seeing for herself. That is like me. What do you believe you studied–I was placed below great pressure after I went. A few NGOs dictated to me what should be in my document, and I told them, “Go jump within the lake.”
SHARMINI PERIES: All proper, there is the NGOs, Professor Zayas, the NGOs. Now, toward the give up of your clip there when you were making a presentation on the Human Rights Council, you didn’t get sufficient time there to provide an explanation for your findings and your tackle what goes on Venezuela. But you said something fundamental there. You stated even previous to going to Venezuela, you have been fed an ocean of lies. Explain that to us.
ALFRED DE ZAYAS: Well, I’m a professional. I’m an attorney. And earlier than taking place an undertaking as sensitive and as critical as this one, I read the entirety. I examine all of the reviews of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights on Venezuela, of Amnesty International, of Human Rights Watch, of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, et cetera, et cetera, also the reviews–by means of the way, a good deal more advantageous–the discussions over the Human Rights Committee on Venezuela, the reports of the Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights on Venezuela. Now, while the reviews of the expert committees have been stable and had been balanced, on one aspect this on the opposite facet that, the reports, particularly of Human Rights Watch, I was as an alternative dissatisfied how politicized, how one side they have been, and how they completely overlooked all different evidence.
They systematically fed me with the idea that the demonstrators are non-violent demonstrators, that the government is legitimate, that the government is a dictatorship, et cetera, et cetera. All I can say, that my very own experience having spoken to members of the competition, to the National Assembly, to the Chamber of Commerce, to professors and church buildings and civil society, have also talked to the ministries, et cetera, is that us of a is polarised. And you would have 50 per cent on one side that wants to pass back to the best old days while the wealthy were rich and the bad were terrible, and need to throw out of the window all the social legislation of Chavez and Maduro, and the opposite 50 per cent this is going to combat teeth and nail to keep the human rights beneath Chavez and Maduro.
What I advised the competition, even in case you achieve toppling Maduro, what are you going to do with a nine million Chavistas who’re your brothers, your Venezuelan brothers and sisters. They aren’t going to roll over; they are not going to vanish. So you’re going to become with a civil warfare state of affairs. So the best answer is dialogue, the best solution is also mediation like Mexico and Uruguay are proposing thru the Montevideo mechanism. That’s the handiest manner out, and I hope that Michelle Bachelet will select up on whatever the Montevideo mechanism has performed and could individually talk with the opposition and with the government and try to attain a compromise.