A Member State with an awful background
The United Nations Council that champions and advocates human rights has Venezuela among its members, a systematic offender of the rule of law and human dignity
Still, it betrays the memory of the Holocaust and thousand victims of the Great Wars of the 20th Century. It is disrespect for the obligation of States and Governments to abide by the pro homine et libertatis principle and nevermore under the pro principe paradigm.
Interestingly, when the UN Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to replace the old-fashioned, much criticized and weakened Commission on Human Rights, the current Venezuelan Government would not support the initiative. Now, it shows up as casual as it likes, and it is elected by the General Assembly, after having departed from the Inter-American Human Rights System, thus violating the internal constitutional rules binding upon it and embedding the American Convention in the fundamental architecture of Venezuela.
Therefore, from now on, the UN Council that champions and advocates human rights has Venezuela among its members, a systematic offender of the rule of law and human dignity.
Yet another event also speaks very badly of such election. For a decade, the Government of President Hugo Chávez awarded a human rights prize by dictator Muammar Kaddafi and an ally with the most ominous dictatorships remaining in the world- has failed to submit any report to the Human Rights Council. It does not brief the organ composed of independent experts and enforcing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, on its performance of such a critical instrument of the UN. And the Human Rights Council, including Cuba until recently, deplores in a report extrajudicial executions, torture and excessive use of force by military officers and police agents; poor prison conditions; lack of independence of the judiciary, traffic of women; the situation of street children, and government involvement in trade unions, among other wonders.
The Human Rights Council suffers today from the same cancer that doomed its predecessor to demise. It is bad news for the humankind. Most serious and concerning, as lately noted by ex Brazilian President Fernando Enrique Cardozo, is the vote or silence kept by democratic governments of Latin America and the world.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.