[Marxism] Human Rights report re: Venezuela

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Sun Jul 7 17:23:23 MDT 2019

Below is the pasted text of a NYT article
the situation regarding human rights in Venezuela. A couple of points:

Of course, the Times publishes this report about Venezuela and not about
Israel or Saudi Arabia, but that doesn't make this report false. As for its
author, former left Argentinian president Bachelet - while she was in
office, she supported Maduro. No, she's not a fighting socialist, but
neither is she simply a stooge for US imperialism.

And why shouldn't the Maduro government carry out this repression since its
policy is to make the workers pay for its foreign debt, just like nearly
every single other capitalist government in the underdeveloped world. (See:
http://laclase.info/content/27542/) Her report is also confirmed by
socialists in Venezuela and some Venezuelan socialists living in the US who
are in contact with their family in that country.

July 4, 2019

"GENEVA — Venezuelan special forces have carried out thousands of
extrajudicial killings in the past 18 months and then manipulated crime
scenes to make it look as if the victims had been resisting arrest, the
United Nations said on Thursday in a report detailing wide-ranging
government abuses targeting political opponents.

"Special Action Forces described by witnesses as “death squads” killed
5,287 people in 2018 and another 1,569 by mid-May of this year, in what are
officially termed by the Venezuelan government “Operations for the
Liberation of the People,” United Nations investigators reported.

"Laying out a detailed description of a lawless system of oppression, the
report says the actual number of deaths could be much higher. It cites
accounts by independent groups who report more than 9,000 killings for
“resistance to authority” over the same period.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe that many of these killings
constitute extrajudicial executions committed by the security forces,” the
investigators said.

"The report, which the United Nation human rights chief Michelle Bachelet
will present to the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday, delivers a
scathing critique of President Nicolás Maduro’s embattled government and
its handling of Venezuela’s deepening political and economic crisis.

"Since 2016, the report says, the government has pursued a strategy “aimed
at neutralizing, repressing and criminalizing political opponents and
people critical of the government.”

"Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry rejected the findings on Thursday, saying the
report offered a “distorted vision” that ignored most of the information
presented by the government to United Nations researchers.

The Special Action Forces, known locally by their Spanish acronym FAES, are
nominally tasked with combating drug trafficking and crime, but United
Nations human rights officials said they were concerned the government was
using these and other security forces “as an instrument to instill fear in
the population and to maintain social control.”

Families of 20 young men who were killed in the last year described a
pattern of violence in which the FAES units arrived in pickup trucks
without license plates, dressed in black and with their faces covered by

They broke into houses, seized belongings and molested women, forcing some
to strip naked. Then “they would separate young men from other family
members before shooting them,” the investigators reported.

In every case described to the investigators, attackers manipulated the
crime scene. “They would plant arms and drugs and fire their weapons
against the walls or in the air to suggest a confrontation and to show the
victim had resisted authority,” the report says.

The investigators said they had also documented the execution of six young
men carried out during one of the house raids, the killings done as a
reprisal for their participation in anti-government demonstrations.

Five special forces members were convicted of attempted murder and other
offenses in 2018, and another 388 members were under investigation for
abuses, according to the report. But few victims, it says, have access to
justice or any redress.

The report also describes routine abuse by security and intelligence
services of people detained for political reasons. In most of the cases,
men and women were subjected to one or more forms of torture, including
electric shock, suffocation with plastic bags, water boarding, beating and
sexual violence. Women were dragged by their hair and threatened with rape,
the report says.

"The report comes two weeks after Ms. Bachelet visited Venezuela. Its
hard-hitting tone was especially eye-opening, given her political
background. In her second term as Chile’s left-leaning president from 2014
to 2018, she was among the few South American leaders who refused to openly
criticize Mr. Maduro’s growing authoritarianism.

"The Venezuelan government had tried to use Ms. Bachelet’s visit to bolster
Mr. Maduro’s international legitimacy. More than 50 nations, including the
United States, have stopped recognizing him as Venezuela’s legitimate
leader, calling his re-election last year fraudulent....

"Ms. Bachelet’s team was given unusual access inside Venezuela, unlike that
given to her predecessor or to other United Nations agencies. Mr. Maduro
heavily publicized his meeting with Ms. Bachelet and promised to consider
allowing her to open a full-time office in the country. The government also
agreed to allow two United Nations human rights staff members to work in
the country and said it would give them full access to detention centers.

"But any hopes that her visit paved the way for a government change of
course on human rights were quickly dampened by the news days later of the
death in custody of a Navy captain, Rafael Acosta, who was detained the day
Ms. Bachelet’s visit ended. His lawyer said he had been in good health at
the time of his arrest, but he died in a military hospital a week later
showing visible signs beatings.

"Ms. Bachelet expressed her shock at Captain Acosta’s death and called for
an investigation, but human rights groups said it showed the limited
outcome from her visit.

"“This case shows that the government of Venezuela is not taking her
seriously,” Ms. Taraciuk said."

John Reimann
*“In politics, abstract terms conceal treachery.” *from "The Black
Jacobins" by C. L. R. James
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook

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