Spanish – Copa Airlines denied boarding to a delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) headed for Venezuela after Nicolás Maduro’s tyrannical regime restricted their entry into the South American country.
The OAS Commission mission sought to reach Venezuela to meet with victims of abuse, and although they had their boarding passes, they were prevented from entering the aircraft.
Copa Airlines impidió el abordaje de la delegación de la #CIDH a la puerta del avión en Panamá. Todos con los bording pass en las manos. Informaron que recibieron instrucciones del régimen de #Venezuela de que no estábamos autorizados a ingresar al país. pic.twitter.com/a4CQ1z3vTu
— CIDH – IACHR (@CIDH) February 4, 2020
Maduro’s regime had already stated that the mission composed of Edison Lanza, Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, and Paulo Abrāo, would not be allowed to enter Venezuela, so now they have a “plan B” to continue investigating human rights violations in the South American country.
“We have a plan B; we go through Bogotá to get to the border in Cúcuta. We have called for people to arrive in Cúcuta and there we can attend to them, listen to them,” said Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena of Troitiño.
They stressed that what had happened was typical of “authoritarian regimes” which “do not allow international scrutiny or the observance of the human rights situation” to the detriment of civil society.
He added that “the barrier to entry into the country hinders Venezuela’s international human rights obligations, as well as impedes the fulfillment of the Inter-American Commission’s competencies.”
Reactions to this event have been swift, with Erika Guevara Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas Director, reporting that “Maduro is attempting to evade international scrutiny by blocking entry to the IACHR.”
“Time and again, the government of Nicolás Maduro has tried to evade international scrutiny and conceal the serious human rights violations and crimes under international law being committed by the authorities under its command in Venezuela. By obstructing the mission and banning entry to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Maduro’s government is demonstrating once again its contempt for justice and the human rights of the Venezuelan people,” he said.
Gustavo Tarre, the representative of the interim government to the OAS, condemned the decision of the Maduro regime.
— Gustavo Tarre Briceño (@tarrebriceno) February 4, 2020
“We categorically condemn the regime’s decision to prevent the entry of the IACHR into Venezuela; the purpose of their visit was to verify the grave state of human rights in the country,” he said.
Maduro’s dictatorship has argued that the country is not part of the OAS, and therefore the IACHR should not enter Venezuela. Venezuela’s National Assembly, which has an opposition majority, called Maduro’s refusal “a violation of international treaties.”