Rubio: Letting Venezuela’s Maduro Lie To World Undermines U.N. Human Rights Council’s Credibility & Venezuelan People
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, today issued the following statement regarding Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s opportunity to address the United Nations Human Rights Council:
“It’s insulting to the cause of defending human rights that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was granted his request to address a special meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council today. His presence before the council that is tasked with examining issues related to human rights abuses around the world directly undermines the credibility of the proceedings.
“Venezuela has rapidly descended into an abyss of repression and fundamental violations of human rights. The new norm in Venezuela is murder, political arrests, intimidation, harassments, detention and an overall disintegration of basic freedoms. The Maduro regime has systematically rejected every attempt by the Inter-American Commission and other UN inspectors to examine claims of human rights abuses made by dissenting and opposition leaders.
“The UN Human Rights Council should never have allowed Maduro to address this forum, which the world’s most notorious human rights violators have been trying to hijack and exploit for years. At the very least, the council should have provided opposition leaders like Lilian Tintori, whose husband Leopoldo Lopez has been unjustly sentenced to 14 years in prison, an opportunity to tell their story about the miserable reality that the Venezuelan people endure today. By allowing Maduro to speak unchallenged, the UN Human Rights Council has once again abdicated its supposed leadership role in protecting human rights around the world.
“As the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said, ‘All victims of human rights abuses should be able to look to the UN Human Rights Council as a forum and a springboard for action’. Today, it was tarnished by serving as a place where human rights violators can lie and deceive the world.”