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OAS Permanent Council Approves Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in Venezuela

  August 28, 2019

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today approved the Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Venezuela, which strongly condemns “the grave and systematic violations of human rights in Venezuela, including the use of torture, illegal and arbitrary detentions, extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances and the denial of the most basic rights and necessities, especially those related to health, food and education.”

The resolution was passed with 21 votes in favor (Argentina, The Bahamas, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, United States, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Dominican Republic, Saint Lucia and Venezuela), 3 votes against (Dominica, Nicaragua and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), 7 abstentions (Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Mexico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago) and 3 countries absent (Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Uruguay), and demands "an independent exhaustive and credible investigation that makes it possible to bring the perpetrators and masterminds of the human rights violations to justice."

The document also resolves “to demand immediate and unhindered access for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to Venezuela,” and “to foster the strengthening of cooperation between the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to monitor the human rights situation in Venezuela.”

During the meeting, the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, affirmed that “the OAS General Secretariat does not find it possible to ignore the denunciations and testimonies presented by Venezuelans who suffer the persecution of the regime. We understand the legal and moral obligation to criminally investigate these cases.” He also recalled the importance of opening an international criminal investigation within the framework of the International Criminal Court to determine individual responsibility for the crimes that have been committed in the country.

Reference: E-058/19