Spanish – On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, establishing the inalienable powers that correspond to every person as a human being regardless of race, religion, sex, or political opinion.
Several decades have passed since that celebration, but some regimes have forgotten the basic guarantees for their citizens. In the region, there are emblematic cases such as Cuba and Nicaragua. The former is subject to a fierce dictatorship imposed by the Castro brothers since 1959 when they made their way through executions and torture. Today the repressions and control continue.
The second country has been under dictatorships of different origins but the same end: to subdue its people at any price. Daniel Ortega‘s oppressive and corrupt regime even discusses life imprisonment for those who commit alleged “hate crimes,” a clear violation of freedom of expression.
Venezuela is also part of those aggravated nations, thanks to the dictatorship initiated by Hugo Chávez 20 years ago and made worse by his “heir” Nicolás Maduro.
International organisms have expressed it in continuous reports: Venezuela is in crisis due to the serious violation of the fundamental rights of the population.
The penal lawyer and specialist in human rights, Tamara Sujú, spoke with the PanAm Post about this deterioration of the Venezuelan population, including the political prisoners and the serious international complicity of other leftist governments. “The deterioration in the life of Venezuelans is subhuman,” insists the WJA delegate before the International Criminal Court.
Sujú recalls that the systematic violation of human rights in Venezuela is not only about individual rights, such as the right to life and physical integrity, but also encompasses other aspects, such as access to water. A resource that for some societies may be obvious, but for Venezuelans, often becomes unattainable.
“In Venezuela, the violation of human rights is not only consistent, but it goes in an upward spiral because besides not having security, people suffer insistent repression if they go out to demonstrate or report anything,” she argues.
The lawyer warns that the political colors in the citizenry’s denunciations have disappeared because both Chavistas and opponents suffer from the scarcity of resources such as water, gas, light, and transportation. Another example of this is the lack of gasoline, which forces them to stand in line for days without an effective response from the regime.
It is also expensive for Venezuelans to protest. The Executive Director of the Casla Institute mentions that from March to September, 7000 demonstrations have been registered, according to data from the Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict (OVCS).
“Despite the pandemic and the repression, people have come out to protest. The conditions are terrible; there is not even gas to cook with, the Venezuelans are cooking with firewood,” she explains.
In this scenario, the lawyer delivers an accurate statement: “this deterioration has not been caused by sanctions, nor by anything the regime says. It has been caused by the ineptitude of the Venezuelan government to maintain basic services in good condition.”
Atrocious torture of political prisoners
An OAS report lists more than 18,000 assassinations by state security forces or collectives – rebel groups – since 2014, which shows the upward spiral mentioned by Sujú.
During his declarations, she mentions the term “targeted persecution” directed by the regime towards the main actors of the protest centers, including political and social leaders, to silence them.
But the scenario is more serious: listening to the specialist’s words is like witnessing a fictional story about the atrocious crimes against political prisoners in the hands of the dictatorship.
The lawyer told the PanAm Post that the annual report of the Casla Institute would report new patterns of torture and new clandestine centers built and remodeled by the dictator Nicolás Maduro.
One such pattern is a torture cell located in the basement of the General Directorate of Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM), Caracas, which resembles a coffin, without light or ventilation.
“It measures 60 centimeters by 60 centimeters and is 2.75 meters high. You cannot move your arms, kneel, anything. You have to stand in that room; they give you a container to relieve yourself,” she says.
The sensation of asphyxiation has caused military personnel (lieutenants, generals, and commanders) and emblematic political prisoners (including women) to faint, without even being able to fall through the little space. They spend three nights and four days there.
The complicity of the international left
Naturally, Maduro has taken advantage of any resource to pretend to respect human rights, receiving, for example, the review mission of Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The lawyer also referred to the recent parliamentary elections of the 6D when a group of observers allied to the regime arrived to whitewash the dictatorship. However, these inhumane acts continue to occur under their feet.
“Unfortunately, we have the world divided between those who support democracy and those who support this criminal regime. At this point, with all that has been said about what is happening, it is incredible that there are still characters like these, who are going to say that everything is wonderful and that they support the illegitimate elections,” she says.
The director of the Casla Institute makes a statement: “Anyone who does this is an accomplice to crimes against humanity. Anyone who does not denounce the horrors in the cells and against the Venezuelan people in the street, doctors, communicators, or lawyers”.
She recalls that these crimes are demonstrated in reports from the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS), and the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Is there a way out?
Tamara Sujú assures that there is no democratic way out in the face of a regime that defends itself with violent groups such as the FARC, the ELN, paramilitaries, Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and Cubans installed inside the country.
“To speak of democratic solutions with a millionaire armed narco-terrorist is absurd,” she argues, no matter who watches over any electoral process.
In her view, the only way out is to apply the principle of the responsibility of protection that the governments of the democratic world have to help Venezuelans. “They are not going to hand over power. They are very comfortable repressing, intimidating, and constantly persecuting the few remaining politicians,” she warns.
“There must be more financial and personal sanctions. Europe has to close the way to the families of those sanctioned because there is no point in sanctioning them and sending their whole family to live comfortably,” explains the specialist.
She concludes her argument with the argument that the siege must be definitive. Otherwise, they will only be half-baked measures that work for the heads but not for the families.
The lawyer also highlights the financing of the regime through the shipment of gold by smuggling to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Uganda.
A report by Swiss Radio Television Suisse indicates that Switzerland would also be on this list. It reflects that in 2019 British authorities intercepted a Venezuelan private plane with 104 kilos of illegal gold and with a value of approximately five million Swiss marks (USD 5.1 million).
Weakening democratic systems
Sujú emphasizes that the money obtained illegally also serves the regime to finance the world socialist left.
She cites the Puebla group and other leftist groups in Latin America that seek to destabilize democratic systems in the region. “If the democratic world does not see Maduro’s criminal regime as a danger, they have not understood anything,” she said.
Another issue that comes up in this respect is the “delay” of international organizations in offering definitive conclusions regarding the human rights crisis in Venezuela. In recent days, the OAS criticized the ICC for this delay after three years of preparing its report.
“Would we all like it to be faster? Yes, we know that international justice is slow, but it is important because that is what Venezuelan criminals are afraid of,” the lawyer said.
She argues that the timelines of the ICC, the UN, and the OAS are not the same as the timelines of the Venezuelans, who are “in the worst humanitarian crisis that the American continent has ever experienced.”
“If we do not see that Venezuela is a danger today for world security, if we do not understand that the crisis has to be attacked politically with forceful actions once and for all, then we do not understand the problem,” the human rights specialist said.