Chavezism asked the IACHR for help in April 2002
NGO Provea provided advice to three government supporters
"Nothing to do with me," an idiom fit for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) as far as Chavezism is concerned. Today, they rail on the organization, but on April 12, 2002, they appealed to the IACHR help.
At that time, Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez went to Fuerte Tiuna Fort to surrender himself to the troops that demanded his resignation. The military rebels blamed him for the violent events near Miraflores presidential palace where 19 people were killed and more than 100 were injured. Hours later, three of his followers showed up at the NGO Venezuelan Program of Education-Action in Human Rights (Provea). They wanted the NGO to order the de facto government to protect the lives both of the president, deposed for a while, and his second-in-command Diosdado Cabello.
In the four-page paper, Ricardo Dorado, appointed in February 2006 Minister of Labor; Rubén Darío González, a government legal counsel, and socialist trade unionist Rodolfo Ascanio, asked the NGO attached to the Organization of American States (OAS) to issue "precautionary measures" on behalf of the Head of State and the current Speaker of the National Assembly.
The government authorities requested the IACHR to order Chávez's captors to show him, to let him see his attorneys and to give assurances for his life.
On that same day, Colombian NGO Minga made at the IACHR a similar request on behalf of the Head of State, ousted at that moment.
The IACHR handled the applications and forwarded a letter to the impromptu Venezuelan government asking for information on the president's whereabouts.
Precisely, that very notice sent to IACHR Executive Secretary Santiago Cantón to the de facto Minister of Foreign Affairs José Rodríguez Iturbe has been used by the Venezuelan leader and his subalterns to blame the organization for "acknowledging" the government led by Pedro Carmona.
IACHR officials have taken issue and denied that story. "Whom else were we going to query about the president's status but those who had detained him?" they wonder. "The coup was by no means acknowledged or vouched in that letter," they clarify.
Chávez's return to power some hours later made the IACHR to shelve the applications.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."