Borrell Rules Out Observation Mission If Nothing Changes

Maduro stays quiet on the Mission’s report, but Human Rights Watch and several countries made statements about the seriousness of the crimes described

The report on human rights still provokes reactions

Photo: The Washington Post

  • Delcy Rodríguez reported on Twitter that there were 868 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, for a total of 64,284 cases they’ve admitted to. She also reported nine new deaths, for a total of 520. NGO Médicos Unidos por Venezuela reported the deaths of four healthcare workers, for a total of 174. 
  • EU Minister for Foreign Affairs Joseph Borrell ruled out sending a mission to observe the elections in Venezuela if the conditions and the date don’t change: “Holding free and fair elections is key. Only meaningful changes to the conditions and the dates could allow deploying an electoral observation mission,” he said after meeting with the International Contact Group. Despite the clarity of this message, Nicolás told the EU that he won’t delay his “election”, that there are plenty of electoral guarantees and insinuated that the EU is following orders by the U.S. He exhorted the EU to rethink its position and send a private commission. He also said that the EU only listens to a minority sector of the opposition and asked them to not follow the U.S. because chavismo will carry on: “Have some political realism. Think it through, years will go by and the revolutionary force will keep ruling here.” Makes it clearer for the EU to know who they’re dealing with.
  • The International Contact Group demands free, credible, transparent and fair parliamentary and presidential elections. In their communiqué, they asked for the elimination of obstacles for participation, respect to the AN and a return of parties to their rightful leaders. They also asked for the end of persecution, restoring participation rights, updating the electoral registry and allowing the press unrestricted access. Jorge Arreaza issued a communiquè accusing the group of having a “permanent interfering conduct”, assuring that none of the countries in the group has a system “as robust and safe” as ours and that the date of the election can’t be pushed because it’s in our Constitution, a set of laws they’ve always violated as they please. 
  • After the recess, the main topic for debate at the National Assembly was the report by the Human Rights Council. Commissioner Miguel Pizarro presented it and reiterated the following relevant aspects: that human rights violations are state policy, that it determined individual responsibility and chains of command and that it revealed that there’s “license to kill” in Venezuela. AN Speaker Juan Guaidó said: “This report is overwhelming and terrifying. It doesn’t talk about previous governments, all of the crimes were committed by the regime in its goal of annihilating the opposition. It must drive us to reflect and act. There’s no neutrality in a moment of oppression, this report makes Maduro a criminal.”  He added that those that deny crimes against humanity become accomplices and he called the Armed Forces to stand by the Constitution. 
  • Nicolás has decided to keep shut about the scandal from the report. He’s shown as a systematic violator of human rights and responsible, by action and by omission, of crimes against humanity. He preferred to misuse public resources when he used state media to show candidates of his party and proposed a public debate to show his proposals. The narrative is now that the National Assembly being renewed would solve the country’s problems, because apparently the origin of the crisis has been these last five years with the opposition holding the majority. He directly threatened Henry Ramos Allup, Julio Borges and Juan Guaidó, called them enemies of the state, and said that those who aren’t in the new AN will disappear from political life. Nicolás assured that COVID-19 is under control in Venezuela and hopes that by November “the virus will be even more controlled and the situation will be better (…) There’s going to be a biosafety protocol in each voting center,” he said, multiplying the electorate’s distrust. 
  • ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab reported that he’s opening an investigation against several members of the caretaker government for alleged bribes from abroad, which he found out through Patricia Poleo. Why the bribe? To sign a contract with Caribbean Recovery Assets (CRA), headquartered in Miami, that would steal our assets and hand them over to the caretaker government. He said that Fernando and Magin Blasi Blanchard, Javier Troconis, José Ignacio Hernández and Luis Augusto Pacheco will be investigated for treason, usurping functions and association to commit a crime. During the day, José Ignacio Hernández, denied the allegations and assured that he opposed the alleged contract with CRA to collect payments tied to Petrocaribe and reiterated his “commitment to a professional and transparent management of the assets he’s in charge of”. 
  • Under Secretary of State Michael Kozak said that the Mission’s report is horrifying and exhorted the world to “come together to end these atrocities”. He added that the U.S. “is with those who fight for democracy and human rights”. 
  • Chilean Foreign Minister Andrés Allamand said the report was lapidary: “Venezuela is a full fledged dictatorship that has sunk the country into a political and social crisis. But in addition to that, it’s a regime that continuously violates people’s rights,” he said and ratified Chile’s commitment to re-establishing democracy in Venezuela. 
  • The Brazilian government expects the report to “mobilize the entire international community to work towards extinguishing the dictatorial regime of Nicolás Maduro and for freeing Venezuela.” It considers that a regime like this doesn’t have conditions or legitimacy to call or lead a free and fair electoral process. 
  • Spain called the Mission’s report “concerning”. 
  • Colombian president Iván Duque asked international justice for sanctions against Nicolás and pressure to open an investigation. He reiterated that the elections the regime has called for lack the necessary guarantees to be valid. 
  • The Foreign Policy spokesperson of the German Parliament,  Jürgen Hardt, said that the regime is committing crimes against humanity and asked the international community to fight back: “A strong response by the EU and its allies is necessary.” 
  • The Colombian Foreign Ministry exhorted the ICC to consider the Mission’s report, and called the international community to condemn these acts and join in the efforts to pressure for the return of democracy. 
  • Human Rights Watch director José Miguel Vivanco assured that the ICC now has enough evidence in the Venezuelan case to act against Nicolás for crimes against humanity: “This document is the most important document made by the UN about the human rights situation in Venezuela because it describes with every detail the severe violations and calls them crimes against humanity.” 
  • Senate Republicans once more blocked the TPS for Venezuelans. Only seven weeks to go for the presidential election, where Trump’s reelection is at stake. Joe Biden said he’s committed “to restoring democracy in Venezuela” and promised to lead international pressure to obtain free and fair elections and granting TPS for Venezuelans as soon as he’s in power.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.