While the State has deployed efforts to guarantee citizens' access to health, education, food, jobs or housing, the government can not undermine or fail to promote guarantees such as right to life, equality and freedom of expression.
The warning was made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in its report "Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela," released on Wednesday in Washington.
"The Commission emphasizes that observance of other fundamental rights cannot be sacrificed for the sake of realizing economic, social, and cultural rights. Human rights constitute an indissoluble whole, and, as the American Convention sets forth in its preamble, 'the ideal of free men enjoying freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his economic, social, and cultural rights, as well as his civil and political rights."
The IACHR recognized in the over 300-page report the State's achievements with regard to the eradication of illiteracy, the set up of a primary health network, land distribution and the reduction of poverty.
However, the report also complained about violations to fundamental guarantees such as the right to life, through extrajudicial executions, and increasing insecurity; constraints on freedom of expression, with situations such as the revocation of licenses to broadcast to 30 radio stations and threats against another 200 more radio stations; and the lack of independence of the Judiciary in Venezuela, embodied in the temporary nature of judges and prosecutors.
This is the second report published by the IACHR devoted to Venezuela in the last ten years. The first was published in 2003, after the on-site visit to the country that the IACHR made in May 2002 following the coup d'état.
The government of President Hugo Chávez has refused to allow the IACHR to visit the country, arguing that this OAS body is an instrument of the United States and is biased.
Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas
Oil and gas; gold and diamonds; coltan, coal, iron, bauxite, copper: the Venezuelan economy is extractive, as it relies on taking mineral substances from the earth for sale or trade.