On Tuesday, Jan. 25, the United Nations Human Rights Council will analyze Venezuela’s dramatic human rights situation during its Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is how the organization’s member countries can expose the socialist authorities’ blatant disregard for the organization’s member countries for the fundamental rights of their citizens. 

The UPR is a cooperative human rights mechanism through which each country’s human rights record is exposed and subject to peer review by other states every four to five years.

Notably, Venezuela has not implemented most of the recommendations it received following the last UPR reviews in 2011 and 2016.

Today it is Venezuela’s turn again, and its non-compliance with the most basic rights of its citizens are again expected to be exposed, Human Rights Watch reported.

During this review, the regime will have to respond to questions posed by various countries to assess compliance with previous recommendations of the Council. Among the questions that have been sent previously are some related to the rights of political prisoners, democratic freedoms, women’s rights, and others related to the disappearance of persons and repression of dissidents.

Prior to this year’s review, Human Rights Watch presented a summary of Venezuela’s dire human rights situation, issuing recommendations to reestablish the rule of law and implement reforms to protect it.

The report details that under the socialist regime of Nicolás Maduro, a context prevails in which agents of the security forces and pro-government armed groups commit abhorrent abuses, including extrajudicial executions, short-term enforced disappearances, arbitrary detentions, and torture.

The authorities are also reported harassing and criminally prosecuting civil society organizations working to protect human rights and respond to humanitarian emergencies. The emergency has deprived millions of people of access to basic medical care and adequate nutrition, leaving the country in an unfavorable position to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result of this catastrophic situation, the Venezuelan refugee crisis has increased exponentially in Latin America in recent years. Estimates stipulate that nearly 6 million out of a total of 32 million citizens have fled their country since 2014.

It is no coincidence that nearly 20% of Venezuela’s total population has decided to leave their country. Today presents a new opportunity to expose the socialist regime and the countries that support it to explain the distressing situation to the international community.

According to Human Right Watch, among the demands to the regime that states should prioritize today at the assembly are the immediate release of political prisoners; reforming the Bolivarian National Police; reforming the judiciary; ending censorship of journalists and thinkers; establishing conditions for free and fair elections, and promptly and thoroughly investigate all allegations of human rights violations since 2014.

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