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CARACAS, Wednesday January 22, 2014 | Update
 
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HUMAN RIGHTS | Report 2014 claims "abusive majoritarianism"

HRW lists Venezuela as "feigned democracy"

Based on this category prepared by Kenneth Roth, the CEO of Human Rights Watch, Venezuela appears in a chapter entitled Rights Struggles of 2013, along with Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Burma, Thailand, Kenya, Russia, Ukraine and China

In 2013, followers of Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski were severely repressed in Barquisimeto, the capital city of Lara state (Handout photo)
ELVIA GÓMEZ |  EL UNIVERSAL
Wednesday January 22, 2014  09:12 AM
NGO Human Rights Watch has included Venezuela in the list of countries under "fictitious democracies," where their governments commit "abusive majoritarianism," to the detriment of the practice of dissent by political minorities.

"This feigned democracy rejects basic principles, such as that governments must be accountable under the rule of the law, limited by the human rights that protect minorities, and committed to allowing free and continuous public debate," states the World Report 2014, introduced on Tuesday concomitantly in Berlin and other capital cities around the world.

Based on this category prepared by Kenneth Roth, the CEO of HRW, Venezuela appears in a chapter entitled Rights Struggles of 2013, along with Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Burma, Thailand, Kenya, Russia, Ukraine and China.

"Democracy has three essential components: periodic elections, the rule of law, and respect for the human rights of all. (...) But authoritarian governments have also learned that it is possible to adopt the form but not the substance of democracy, permitting elections, often controlled, but nothing more. (...) Some leaders also seemed to adopt a conveniently narrow vision of democracy in which all that matters is a vote on election day, not public debate the rest of the year. Resenting the give and take of ordinary politics, they tried to suppress the public protests and criticism in the press and on social media that are also a staple of any meaningful democracy."

"In Venezuela, after Nicolás Maduro was declared the winner of the April presidential election, the results of which were disputed by the opposition, state security forces beat and arbitrarily detained supporters of his opponent, Henrique Capriles, who staged anti-government rallies. Some of those arrested reported being asked, ‘Who is your president?' and being beaten if they did not respond "Nicolás Maduro," yet public prosecutors failed to investigate credible allegations of abuse," the report reveals, noting that Diosdado Cabello, the president of the National Assembly, "refused to give fellow legislators the right to speak until they individually recognized Maduro's victory."

Translated by Conchita Delgado
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