Ending Torture in Venezuela with Diego Arria

Diego Arria, former Venezuelan politician and diplomat who served as Venezuela’s permanent representative to the UN from 1991 to 1993, addresses the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracysee quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks.

On the being a Venezuelan pro-democracy activist:

“I am one of the thousands of Venezuelans forced into exile  because of a criminal government.”

On election of Venezuela to the UNHRC:

“In October of last year, a very shaemful event took place. The Criminal Gang of Maduro won votes over the oldest democracy of Latin America, Costa Rica. This regime was included in the UNHRC for the second time.”

“Today we begin a campaign to suspend Maduro from the UNHRC, and we hope to continue and revoke his credentials. We are not naive enough to think that the UNHRC will create freedom in the streets, but it’s an important step forward.”

On abuses by Venezuela:

“We have a counselor that was thrown from the 10th floor of a building and police said he committed suicide.”

“And Oscar Perez, and five of his comrads who were slaughtered by 200 policeman and soldiers.”

“We’ve seen horrible murders, its gone beyond 10,000 per year.”

“We have so called exemplary sanctions, that are torture sessions, that is to terrorize men and women.”

On the obligation of the international community to intervene:

“Can the Secretary-General of the UN help? Under the Charter, he should do so. We have enough proof that this is a threat to the maintenace of peace and security.”

“We have a moral equivalency, where perpetrators and victims arep ut on the same footing.”

“We see that power has ruled, not democracy.”

Full Remarks in Spanish. See below for English

Maduro pertenece al Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU?

Pablo Escobar y el Chapo Guzman, dos de los mas famosos Narcos del mundo nunca pudieron gobernar sus países, Colombia y México, sin embargo sus contrapartes y asociados en Venezuela si lograron semejante poder para destruir, devastar y despoblar un pais que fue rico, libre y democrático?

Estos son los principales: Nicolás Maduro, su esposa Cilia Flores y sus dos hijos que sirven una condena en los Estados Unidos por trafico de drogas .El Presidente del Partido del Gobierno, el Chapo Diosdado Cabello, la Vice Presidente Delcy Rodríguez, el Presidente de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, Maikel Moreno, el Ministro de la Defensa, Vladimir Padrino, Tareck el Aisami Vice presidente asuntos industriales, quien está en la lista de los diez personas mas buscadas en los Estados  Unidos, mas otro numeroso contingente de jerarcas civiles y militares. Todos denunciados ante la Corte Penal Internacional, incluyendo a Jorge Arreaza, Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores como inductor y cómplice de crímenes de lesa humanidad.

Todos sancionados por las autoridades de los Estados Unidos por delitos de trafico de drogas, violaciones graves a los derechos humanos y por lavado de dinero. La Comisión Europea se ha sumado, al igual que para impedir su acceso a los 26 países Shengen.

Por que estamos hoy aquí?

Soy uno mas de los miles de venezolanos  forzados al exilio como victima de las conspiraciones para delinquir de Maduro y sus compinches. Mientras representé a mi país ante las Naciones Unidas incluyendo presidir su Consejo de Seguridad defendimos  y promovimos las mejores causas de la humanidad sin  imaginarme que un dia  estaría aquí de nuevo al canto del Palais des Nations  denunciando la naturaleza criminal de Maduro y sus cómplices civiles y militares.

En octubre de 2019 en la Asamblea General de la ONU en la elección de los nuevos miembros del Consejo Derechos Humanos se produjo un resultado avergonzante al elegir por nueve votos de diferencia a la corporación criminal de Maduro derrotando a Costa Rica la mas antigua democracia de la America Latina. Todo a pesar de que sesenta países democráticos solo reconocen a Juan Guaido, como Presidente de Venezuela, pero desde Chávez la narco tiranía ha sido muy generosa con el tesoro de nuestro país para comprar acomodos y complicidades.

Definitivamente Maduro representa una corporación criminal con asociados terroristas internacionales, y así debe ser entendido por todos los que integran el Consejo de Derechos Humanos, y el propio SG Guterres.

Distinguidos amigos: Esa Corporación Criminal ha secuestrado a Venezuela que a pesar de registrar un rechazo popular superior al ochenta por ciento, se mantiene gracias a una cúpula militar corrupta y a la cooperación de Rusia y China.

Pero Cuba es la equivalente de la potencia ocupante que tutela a Venezuela con mas de veinte mil agentes in situ, mas que los españoles a los que combatimos durante nuestra primera Guerra de Independencia. Importante  para el grupo criminal gobernante por los servicios que presta de espionaje y control de civiles y militares, al igual que en técnicas de represión y tortura.

Pero todo esto no es solo mi opinión. Michelle Bachelet, la Alta Comisionada de Derechos Humanos de la ONU, al igual que su antecesor Zeid Raad Al Hussein dijo textualmente en su ultimo informe del 4 de Julio de 2019:

“La situación de derechos humanos sigue afectando a millones de personas. Exhorto-dijo-a todas las personas con poder e influencia-tanto en Venezuela como en el resto del mundo-a que colaboren y contraigan los compromisos necesarios para solucionar esta crisis que está ARRANSANDOLO TODO.”

No pudo ser mas precisa.

No estan solos los Altos Comisionados pues no existe una sola entidad dedicada a los derechos humanos que no se haya pronunciado solidariamente sobre nuestra tragedia. De acuerdo con PROVEA en 2019 las torturas aumentaron en 500%  llegando a 554 victimas. Los dos casos mas recientes fueron el del Concejal Fernando Albán que estando detenido por el SEBIN, Servicio de Inteligencia Militar, la brutal y criminal Stassi Madurista fue lanzado desde un décimo piso, pretendiendo luego que se había suicidado estando bajo su custodia.

El caso del Capitán Rafael Acosta Arévalo detenido 21 de junio del 2019 y torturado a manos de policías y militares hasta su muerte el 28 junio.

Las ejecuciones extrajudiciales superan las diez mil anuales. La FAES Fuerza de Acción Especial de la Policía Bolivariana tiene el infame record de ejecuciones en las barriadas populares recientemente denunciado por Human Rights Watch . De igual modo los otros dos instrumentos de represión y tortura: La DGCIM Direccion de Inteligencia Militar,

 y CICPC Cuerpo Investigaciones Científicas , Penales y Criminalísticas

En todo este horripilante cuadro lo mas condenable es que la tortura es practicada sistemáticamente como política de estado. La llaman, “Sanción Ejemplarizante” para aterrorizar a los disidentes

Sin embargo a pesar de todo lo que les he narrado la próxima semana la corporación criminal de Maduro escondida detrás del nombre de Venezuela, se sentará como uno de los 47 miembros del Consejo de Derechos Humanos, concebido para impedir que los Maduros de este mundo pudiesen colarse allí. Definitivamente no es una manera de celebrar los 75 años de las Naciones Unidas.

A quien apelamos como solicita la Alta Comisionada Bachelet?

El Consejo de Seguridad como cúpula política del mundo debería pronunciarse sobre el caso venezolano-pero no lo hace pues Rusia y China colaboradores de la corporación criminal de Maduro veta toda mención al caso. Ahora por los avances de Rusia en nuestro pais  nos están involucrando en una guerra fría.  Gracias a la iniciativa de Nikki Haley la ex embajadora de los Estados Unidos ante la ONU se celebraron dos reuniones en el Consejo de Seguridad sobre la crisis humanitaria bajo la “Formula Arria”, modalidad que me honra llevando mi nombre..

La Corte Penal Internacional en la Haya?

Lleva mas de dos años procesando información. La Fiscal Fatou Bensouda no muestra interés en tomar acción que permita al mínimo detener el proceso de destrucción de nuestro pais, de la espiral de violencia, de las ejecuciones extrajudiciales, de las torturas, del éxodo forzado que alcanza ya unos cinco millones de compatriotas.

A la Fiscal tampoco le ha sido suficienteel informe presentado por un panel de expertos internacionales independientes designado por el Secretario General de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA) que concluyó que existe fundamento suficiente para considerar que se han cometido crímenes de lesa humanidad en Venezuela. Hasta el ex Fiscal Luis Moreno Ocampo participò en este proceso, al cual se sumaron las denuncias ante la Fiscal de los gobiernos de Canada, Argentina ,Chile Perú, Colombia, Paraguay y Costa Rica. Francia envío comunicación respaldando el informe.

 Lamento decir que afortunadamente durante la tragedia sufrida por el pueblo Bosnio musulman, creamos en el Consejo de Seguridad del cual yo formaba parte, el Tribunal Penal Internacional para la Antigua Yugoslavia y se pudo procesar y condenar a los criminales Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic y el general Ratko Mladic, los carniceros de los Balcanes. Fui testigo de la Fiscalía contra ellos. Si estos procesos hubiesen estado a cargo de la Fiscal Bensouda no tengo dudas que estarían libres-y que Milosevic habría muerto en libertad.

El Secretario General de la ONU?

De acuerdo con la carta de las ONU Artículo 99, el Secretario General puede llamar la atención del Consejo de Seguridad hacia cualquier asunto que pueda poner en peligro el mantenimiento de la paz y la seguridad internacionales lo cual debería ser suficiente para que el llamado de alarma de la Alta Comisionada Bachelet ”Antes que todo sea destruido” sea atendido por el SG.

Curiosamente el Secretario General Guterres consulta con grupos regionales como el Africano, sin embargo no lo hace con el Secretario General de la OEA a pesar de que Venezuela es el caso mas critico de nuestra región, al tiempo que continùa la tradición onusiana de  limitarse a insistir en negociaciones sin fin donde consideran como iguales a victimas y victimarios,  la equivalencia amoral que tantos muertos ha causado y sigue causando.

Lo contrario viene sucediendo en los ultimos cuatro años en la OEA donde su secretario general, Luis Almagro ha desenterrado una organización medio agonizante y nunca firme ante tragedias como la venezolana y la cubana. Almagro igual que el SG ONU  tiene la potestad para llevar a la atención del Consejo Permanente cualquier asunto que pudiese afectar la paz y la seguridad del Continente. No cabe duda que el Secretario General Almagro ha asumido con tal firmeza esta potestad, al punto que hoy a días de las elecciones en la OEA algunos países han depositado sus energías en impedir que Almagro siga al frente de la OEA, y con ello continúen las denuncias de regímenes como los de Cuba, Venezuela y Nicaragua, apoyando a otros candidatos con menos credenciales y poca estatura política. Por ello creo que en esta elección se juega en gran medida el rescate de la libertad para países como el mío. 

Amigos todos;

Gracias a UN Watch y muy en especial a su líder Hillel Neur, hoy iniciamos oficialmente una Campaña Global que pretende que la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas suspenda como primer paso a la corporación criminal de Maduro del Consejo de Derechos Humanos, al que seguiría otro para la revocación de sus credenciales ante la ONU.

UN Watch me ha honrado designándome para presidirla campaña para lo cual me acompaña un pequeño grupo de extraordinarios voluntarios, sin lo cual este esfuerzo no seria posible. No es ni fácil ni sencillo lo que pretendemos pero nos anima que UN Watch iniciò una campaña similar en 2011 que facilito que en 2012 el regimen de Ghadafi fuese expulsado del CDH. Pero estamos conscientes de que para que nuestro legitimo reclamo tenga respaldo en la Asamblea General de la ONU debemos obtener el mayor numero de firmas en nuestra petición. Hoy la iniciamos con 126 mil firmas y vamos por el millón.Ayudennos.

En conclusión:

Muy sinceramente creo que los primeros que celebraran el éxito de la campaña será la mayoría de los países integrantes del CDH cuando los liberemos de la odiosa y repugnante presencia de la narco tiranía entre ellos, sin embargo no somos tan ingenuos para pensar que con nuestra campaña suspendiendo al narco tirano Maduro del CDH vamos a rescatar a nuestra libertad , pero si  conocemos la importancia de contar con una  opinión publica internacional bien informada de la  tenebrosa realidad venezolana. Eso pretendemos.

Ante este desolador panorama que en cualquier sociedad podría fulminarla al estar atrapada en un proceso de intimidación, de carencias de todo genero, de inseguridad, de desmembramiento familiar, la resignación puede acabar sellando la suerte de una nación. Y ante a ese peligro estamos.

Y no estamos blindados para que esto no nos ocurra. Pero para impedirlo es indispensable que generemos con urgencia la inspiración colectiva  nacional necesaria para decidir y asumir el precio que estemos dispuestos a pagar para rescatar nuestra libertad y refundar la república. El mundo necesita conocer a que estamos dispuestos hacer ahora, ya en el pasado dimos innumerables pruebas de valor y compromiso a un altísimo costo.

Finalmente les confieso que experimenté una fuerte experiencia personal durante la guerra en Bosnia que ha marcado mi vida. Que me demostró que a pesar de que por tres años denuncie que mientras los Serbios supiesen que nadie les pondría un dedo encima seguirían su carrera genocida, pero los miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad insistieron por cuatro largos años en interminables negociaciones que al final le costo la vida a mas de 200 mil bosnios musulmanes. Maduro y asociados piensan igual. Que nadie les pondrá un dedo encima así que corremos el mismo riesgo de los Bosnios a los cuales al final les impusieron el Acuerdo de Dayton que desde 1995 los tiene atrapados.

La verdad que hoy para nosotros la verdadera comunidad internacional se reduce a Estados Unidos. Europa como en Bosnia seguirá exigiendo negociacionescomo si fuera posible hacerlo con una corporación criminal que no  cederá su poder graciosamente . Los europeos que ya sufrieron esta experiencia siguen actuando en negación de la realidad que nos amenaza con perpetuarse .Corporación criminal tratada con deferencia y cordialidad  hasta por el propio SG ONU y de la ONU que les invita a formar parte del CDH.   De seguir así la comunidad internacional sabe que se perpetuaría la tiranía

Amigos todos: A pesar de todos estos obstáculos nunca nos rendiremos.

Porque no puedo olvidar que todo lo que soy se lo debo a ser venezolano.

Porque me anima y me inspira recordar a tantos venezolanos que han dado su vida por nuestra causa.

Aqui con nosotros Rosa Orozco, madre de Geraldine asesinada a sangre fría por guardias nacionales en una manifestación pacífica. Solo tenía 23 años, igual que mis hijas morochas

Por nuestros cientos de presos políticos.

Por nuestros compatriotas desterrados.

Por los jóvenes que les han impedido hasta soñar

Por todo, y para que no olvidemos  les recuerdo hoy a Václav Havel que decía:

“No debemos tener miedo de soñar lo aparentemente imposible,

Si queremos que lo aparentemente imposible se convierta en realidad.”

We must not be afraid of dreaming the seemingly impossible, if we want the seemingly impossibly to become a reality.

Esa tarea nos toca a todos los venezolanos.

Full Remarks in English

Maduro belongs to the UN Human Rights Council?

I’m sure you all know Pablo Escobar and El Chapo Guzman, two of the most famous drug smugglers in the world. They would never be able to govern their countries, Colombia and Mexico. However their counterparts and associates in Venezuela assumed such power to destroy, devastate and depopulate a country that was rich, free and democratic.

These are the main culprits: Nicolás Maduro, his wife Cilia Flores and their two children who are serving a sentence in the United States for drug trafficking. The President of the ruling party Chapo Diosdado Cabello, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez, the President of the Supreme Court of Justice Maikel Moreno, the Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino, Tareck el Aisami, Vice President of Industrial Affairs, who is on the list of the ten most wanted people in the United States, plus numerous other civil and military leaders. All denounced before the International Criminal Court, including Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as inducer and accomplice of crimes against humanity.

All sanctioned by the United States authorities for drug trafficking crimes, serious human rights violations and money laundering. The European Commission has joined, likewise, to restrict their access to the 26 Schengen signatory countries.

Why are we here today?

I am one of the thousands of Venezuelans forced into exile as a victim of conspiracies to commit crimes by Maduro and his cronies. While I represented my country before the United Nations, including presiding over the Security Council, we defended and promoted the best causes of humanity without imagining that one day I would be here again by the Palais des Nations denouncing the criminal nature of Maduro and his civilian and military accomplices.

In October 2019 at the UN General Assembly during the election of the new members of the Human Rights Council, a very shameful event took place. The criminal gang of Maduro was elected by a nine vote margin over Costa Rica, the oldest democracy in Latin America. All despite the fact that sixty democratic countries recognize only Juan Guaido as President of Venezuela. However, Chávez, the narco-tyrant, has been very generous with the wealth of our country in buying votes and complicity.

Distinguished friends, this criminal corporation has kidnapped Venezuela, which despite recording a popular rejection of more than 80%, is supported by a corrupt military leadership and the cooperation of Russia and China. 

Cuba is the equivalent of the occupying power that protects Venezuela with more than twenty thousand agents on the ground, more than the Spaniards whom we fought during our first war of independence. It is important for the ruling criminal group that services of espionage and control of civilians and military are maintained, as well as techniques of repression and torture.

But this is not just my opinion. Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, like her predecessor Zeid Raad Al Hussein, explicitly stated in her last report on July 4, 2019:

“The human rights situation continues to affect millions of people. I urge,” she said, “all people with power and influence – both in Venezuela and in the rest of the world – to collaborate and make the necessary commitments to solve this crisis that is destroying everything.” 

Couldn’t be more precise. 

The High Commissioner is not alone. There is not a single entity dedicated to human rights that has not expressed solidarity to our tragedy. According to PROVEA, in 2019 torture increased by 500%, reaching 554 victims. The two most recent cases were that of Councilman Fernando Albán who, while being detained by SEBIN, the Military Intelligence Service, was thrown from the tenth floor by the brutal and criminal Stasi-like Madurista, who later claimed that he had committed suicide while in their custody. Also, the case of Captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo, detained on 21 June 2019 and tortured at the hands of police and military until his death on 28 June. 

Extrajudicial executions are in the ten thousands annually. The FAES (Special Action Force of the Bolivarian Police) has the infamous record of executions in popular neighborhoods recently denounced by Human Rights Watch. Similarly, the other two instruments of repression and torture: the DGCIM, (Directorate of Military Intelligence) and the CICPC (Scientific, Penal, and Criminal Investigations Corps).

In this all horrifying picture, the most reprehensible thing is that torture is systematically practiced as a state policy. They call it, “Exemplary Sanction” to terrorize dissidents.

Despite everything I have told you, next week, Maduro’s criminal corporation, hidden behind the name of Venezuela, will sit as one of the 47 members of the Human Rights Council, which was conceived to prevent the “Maduros” of this world from sneaking in. It is definitely not a way to celebrate 75 years of the United Nations.

To whom do we appeal as requested by High Commissioner Bachelet? 

Who can we call upon, if not the Security Council, as Russia and China will automatically veto any resolution about Venezuela. Now, due to Russia’s advances in our country, they are involving us in a cold war. Thanks to the initiative of Nikki Haley, the former United States ambassador to the UN, two meetings were held in the Security Council on the humanitarian crisis under the “Formula Arria,” a modality that honors me by bearing my name.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague? Even less so. They have been studying relevant documentation for more than two years. Six countries have given information, the prosecutor has looked at this and many countries have joined in. But they are not in any rush and the pace of violence has not slowed down.

Nor has the report presented by a panel of independent international experts appointed by the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) that concluded that there are sufficient grounds to consider that crimes against humanity have been committed in Venezuela being enough for the Prosecutor. Even the former Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo participated in this process, in which the complaints before the Prosecutor of the governments of Canada, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay and Costa Rica were added. France sent a communication supporting the report.

I am sorry to say that during the tragedy suffered by the Muslim minority in Bosnia, the Security Council, of which I was a member, established the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Through that mechanism it was made possible to prosecute and sentence criminals Slobodan Milosevic, Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic, the butchers of the Balkans. I was a witness for the prosecution against them. If these processes had been made under the current International Criminal Court Prosecutor, I have no doubt that they would have received no sentence and that Milosevic would have died in freedom. 

The Secretary-General of the UN?

In accordance with UN Charter Article 99, the Secretary-General may draw the Security Council’s attention to any matter that may endanger the maintenance of international peace and security. It should have been sufficient that High Commissioner Bachelet explicitly said that action needs to be taken “before everything is destroyed.”

One can only wonder why Secretary-General Guterres consults with regional groups such as the African Group, however he does not do so with the Secretary-General of the OAS despite the fact that Venezuela is the most critical case in our region, while continuing the UN tradition of limiting itself to insisting in endless negotiations where victims and perpetrators are considered as equals, the amoral equivalence that has caused and continues to cause so many deaths. 

The opposite has been happening in the last four years in the OAS, where its secretary-general, Luis Almagro, has unearthed an organization that is half dying and never turns a blind eye in the face of tragedies like the Venezuelan and the Cuban. Almagro, like the UN Secretary-General, has the power to bring to the attention of the Permanent Council any matter that could affect the peace and security of the continent. There is no doubt that Secretary-General Almagro has assumed this power with such firmness, to the point that today, days before the OAS elections, some countries have focused their efforts into preventing Almagro from continuing to lead the OAS, and thus continue the denunciations of regimes such as those of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, supporting other candidates with fewer credentials and little political stature. That is why I believe that in this election the price of freedom for countries like mine is largely at stake. 

Dear friends, thanks to UN Watch, and especially to its leader Hillel Neuer, today we officially launched a global campaign that seeks to have the United Nations General Assembly suspend Maduro’s criminal corporation from the Human Rights Council as a first step, which would be followed by another for the revocation of his UN credentials.

UN Watch has honored me by appointing me to chair the campaign for which I am accompanied by a small group of extraordinary volunteers, without whom this effort would not be possible. Our goal is neither easy nor simple, yet we are encouraged by the fact that UN Watch started a similar campaign in 2011 which facilitated the Gaddafi regime’s expulsion from the Human Rights Council in 2012. But we are aware that for our legitimate claim to gain support at the UN General Assembly, we must obtain the largest number of signatures in our petition. Today we started with 126,000 signatures and we are aiming at 1,000,000. Please support us.

In conclusion, I sincerely believe that the first to celebrate the success of the campaign will be the majority of the member countries of the HRC when we free them from the hateful and disgusting presence of a drug tyranny among them. However, we are not so naive as to think that with our campaign to suspend the drug tyrant Maduro from the HRC we will be able to ensure our freedom. But we do know the importance of having a well-informed international public opinion of the dark Venezuelan reality. That’s what we intend. 

Faced with this bleak vision that could strike down any society trapped in a process of intimidation, lack of goods, insecurity, and families being separated, resignation can end up sealing the fate of a nation. And we are facing that danger.

And we are not armored so that this does not happen to us. But to prevent it, it is essential that we urgently generate the national collective inspiration necessary to decide and assume the price that we are willing to pay to rescue our freedom and refound the Republic. The world needs to know what we are willing to do now, considering that in the past we endured and passed innumerable tests of courage and commitment at a very high cost.

Finally, I confess that my experience from the war in Bosnia has marked my life. Despite the fact that for three years I highlighted that as long as the Serbs knew that no one would lay a finger on them they would continue their genocidal spree, the permanent members of the Security Council insisted for four long years in endless negotiations that in the end cost the lives of more than 200,000 Bosnians belonging to the Muslim minority. Maduro and his accomplices think the same; that no one will lay a finger on them. In consequence, we run the same risk as the Bosnians, to whom the Dayton Agreement was finally imposed and has bound them since 1995. 

The truth is that today, an actual international community can only be found in the United States. Europe, as it was the case with Bosnia, will continue to demand negotiations as if it were possible to do so when across the table is sitting a criminal corporation that will not give up its power gracefully. Europeans who have already suffered this experience continue to act in denial of the reality that threatens to perpetuate itself. Criminal corporations are treated with complaisance and cordiality even by the UN Secretary-General and the UN as an establishment that invites them to be part of the UN Human Rights Council. If such a relationship is maintained, the international community must know that the tyranny will be perpetuated

Friends, despite all obstacles we will never give up.

Because I can’t forget that everything I am I owe to being Venezuelan. 

Because it encourages and inspires me to remember so many Venezuelans who have given their lives for our cause. 

Here with us is Rosa Orozco, mother of Geraldine, who was murdered in cold blood by national guardsmen in a peaceful demonstration. She was only 23 years old, just like my own daughters

For our hundreds of political prisoners. 

For our exiled compatriots. 

For the young people who have been prevented from daring to dream. 

For everything, and so that we do not forget, I remind you today of Václav Havel who said: 

“We must not be afraid to dream of the seemingly impossible if we want the seemingly impossible to become reality.” 

That task falls to all Venezuelans.

12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, UN Opening, Monday, February 17, 2020

On Venezuela being ruled by criminals:

“I am sure you know about Pablo Escobar and Chapo Guzman, the two most important traffickers in the world. They were not able to rule Columbia or Mexico. But their counterparts in Venezuala are able to. Maduro and his wife have been indicted by the US treasury for trafficking.”

On Venezuela being a member of the UNHRC:

“It is inexplicable that a criminal Maduro regime could be a member of this organization for the second time.”

“Next week, in this building, Venezuala will sit among 47 members of the UN Human Rights Council. This is a shameful day for all the members of the United Nations.”

On Venezuela’s policy of torture:

“The regime has created exemplary sanctions. That is the torture, of woman and men, violated sexually as prisoners to instill fear.”

Speakers and Participants

Diego Arria

Former Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN and President of the Security Council

Related

Human Rights

Do Human Rights Matter? with Alfred Moses

Alfred Moses, UN Watch Chair and a former special advisor to President Carter, addresses the 9th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. On the legacy of the fall of the Berlin Wall: “After the Berlin Wall came down, and

Human Rights

Why Burn Yourself Alive? with Dicki Chhoyang

Dicki Chhoyang, Minister for Development and International Relations for the Central Tibetan Administration, the Tibetan government in exile, addresses the 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy – see quotes below, followed by full prepared remarks. Quotes: To Be Confirmed Full Remarks To Be Confirmed 7th Annual Geneva Summit for Human