The United States remains deeply concerned by the gross human rights abuses and violations detailed in a recent United Nations Human Rights report on Venezuela.
The report illustrates the depth of the despair and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. It confirms that the former regime of Nicolás Maduro and its security forces are committing gross violations of human rights against the Venezuelan people, including depriving them of their basic rights and freedoms through systemic violent repression, torture, and intimidation.
One of the most unsettling statistics is that the former Maduro regime’s security forces, including the Special Action Forces, killed at least 5,287 people in 2018 and another 1,569 by mid-May 2019. According to the report, “many of these killings may constitute extrajudicial executions.” The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called the number of killings “shockingly high”.
This report follows the alleged torture and killing of Capitán de Corbeta Rafael Acosta Arévalo, a Venezuelan Naval Officer, who died while in arbitrary detention in custody of Maduro’s thugs and their Cuban minders on June 29, 2019. This was not the first time the former Maduro regime used violence against its political prisoners. On October 8, 2018, Councilman Fernando Alban was also murdered while in regime custody.
“No dictatorship lasts forever,” declared State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. “Venezuela will soon be free, and those responsible for abuses and violations of human rights in Venezuela will be held accountable.”
Ms. Ortagus called on the “international community” to “condemn the illegitimate Maduro regime and stand together to fight against its willful disregard for human rights.”
She added, “We appeal to the countries that have not yet formally recognized Interim President [Juan} Guaido to do so as soon as possible and withdraw any lingering support for the former Maduro regime’s de facto hold on power.”