In order to support the international call by Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó to apply the doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect” (known as “R2P”) in Venezuela, the Venezuelan Embassy in Canada carried out this international event that began with President Guaidó.
President Guaidó clearly stated that “the international community must maintain a balance between the concept of sovereignty and international responsibility, especially in cases where the state does not fulfill its basic duty of care for its people and acts to the contrary.”
In a frank discussion with recognized experts, he clearly stated: “We promote, together with the international community, the application of the principle of responsibility to protect Venezuelans who are subject to famine and human rights violations that include crimes against humanity. Maduro is directly responsible for and has led the dissolution of the State, the greatest corruption ever known, in association with drug trafficking and terrorist groups and countries. Our responsibility is to protect our people.”
This event was attended by Canadian Professor, former Minister of Justice, Attorney General and Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler, who also led the group of experts that substantiated the lawsuit against Maduro at the International Criminal Court (ICC) submitted by six countries. Cotler advocated insisting on the referral of Maduro to the ICC, on opening cases in courts of free countries against those responsible for human rights violations following the concept of Universal Jurisdiction and supporting international coalitions in support of Venezuela and its parliamentarians, and on the application of Magnitsky sanctions to eliminate “safe havens” for violators and corrupt individuals.
Vanessa Neumann, our ambassador to the United Kingdom, masterfully referred to the relationship between human rights violations and corruption, “very well described in the Fact Finding Mission report that points out the use of torture to protect and continue corruption. She also referred to the illegitimacy of Maduro’s regime, not only because of its original fraud, but also because of its “incapacity as a government and its submission, kneeling before its foreign bosses” with which its claim to sovereignty disappeared.
Bill Browder, an influential businessman, promoter and defender of the Magnitsky Laws in the US, Canada and Europe, shared his vision of globalizing the Magnitsky Laws that seek to impede the corrupt to enjoy the benefits of the West by enjoying their ill-gotten wealth in total impunity and blatancy. Browder, whose lawyer was Sergei Magnitsky, insists on “a practical approach that will eliminate that safe heaven for corrupt and human rights violators. In his opinion, R2P expresses itself “in concrete sanctions that prevent them from free transit in democratic countries.”
Browder expressed his support for sanctions against Venezuelan individuals in Europe, a continent that has been taking steps to adopt these laws on a country-by-country basis.
Congresswoman Delsa Solórzano, a lawyer and president of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Venezuelan Parliament, offered a vision of the gravity of the situation, the difficulties that democratic forces have in rescuing democracy, and the pressing need for international support. In a call to the international community, she expressed the need and the constitutional strength in the continuity of the current National Assembly to lead the country in the coming phase, “in the face of this immense electoral fraud, what is at stake is not the continuity of one man but the continuity of the last vestige of democracy in our country: our National Assembly. In such a complex context, Congresswoman Solórzano made a dramatic call to the international community for the activation of R2P mechanisms: “We cannot go it alone!”
Jared Genser, the special advisor on R2P to OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro, made his public debut at this international event on the occasion of expressing the effort led by Almagro on a vital and unprecedented issue in the region. He informed that the OAS is working towards a mechanism of prevention and response to situations of flagrant and massive human rights violations in the region. “R2P is a priority of the Secretary General, in his work to ensure justice and accountability”. He informed about the formation and activation of work in R2P and particularly on Venezuela, a priority in this sense. He concluded by stating that “The great challenge of Almagro is the formation of an international coalition to confront criminal regimes.
Finally, Ambassador Orlando Viera Blanco pointed out: “in view of the Venezuelan drama, R2P has ceased to be a taboo and forbidden subject of international diplomacy and has become part of the work of Venezuelan diplomacy. Without a doubt, Maduro is in the sights of international justice. The great challenge for President Guaidó and his diplomatic team is to foster international willingness to apply the tools offered by R2P”.