Today, February 4th, 2020, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), was preparing to enter the national territory after having agreed, at the invitation of the legitimate government of the Republic, to hold an on-site visit to Venezuela, however, in its arrogance, the factual power that usurps the democratic institutions of our country, arbitrarily and unconstitutionally decided not to allow the IACHR on the plane that would bring them to Caracas since, as is public knowledge, they have adopted a hostile attitude against not only the Universal Protection System (UN), but also, and more virulently, against the Inter-American Human Rights System (ISHR).
Despite this circumstance, the IACHR will continue to hold hearings and an on-site visit on the Colombian-Venezuelan border. The fact that the Inter-American Commission has not been able to enter Venezuela does not mean that the observation activity will stop, and it is precisely for that reason that the Presidential Commission for Human Rights and Attention to Victims has decided to directly accompany a group of victims to the Colombian-Venezuelan border, where the IACHR will be established. Their right to be heard should not remain illusory, and it is the duty of the Interim Government to guarantee their presence during the in loco visits.
But even if the on-site visit does take place, the Presidential Commission cannot ignore the deplorable treatment that the IACHR delegation received when they were preparing to board their flight from Panama City to Maiquetía International Airport at which time they were prevented by the airline from doing so. It is unacceptable that the IACHR did not arrive in our country, especially when the Legitimate Government of Venezuela had invited it to Venezuela. The Presidential Commission reaffirms the validity of the IACHR’s mandate over the national territory. The fact that they cannot enter is an unnecessary obstacle to the realization of Article 106 of the OAS Charter and Article 41 of the American Convention on Human Rights, according to which it is the primary function of the Inter-American Commission to ensure the observance, promotion, and defense of human rights.
Furthermore, we endorse the words of the IACHR, which are that: “it is characteristic of authoritarian regimes not to allow international scrutiny or observance of the human rights situation, which is especially detrimental to the victims of human rights violations”. The gravity of the Venezuelan case lies in the concealment of the human rights situation. Countries throughout the region, governed by different and often antagonistic political tendencies, have recently allowed the IACHR to enter their countries. The cases of Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador are paradigmatic, these countries understand that no political agenda should be above the right of the victims to be heard by an impartial human rights body. Therefore, we ask ourselves, what does the usurpation want to hide? If it is true that they respect the fundamental rights of Venezuelans, they should allow the IACHR to enter, then why don’t they do so?
One of the many subterfuges they have presented since the usurpation is the fact that Venezuela supposedly denounced the OAS Charter on April 27th, 2019, a claim that is not true, since Venezuela never withdrew from the OAS. We must remember that a sine qua non condition for the consolidation of a denunciation to a Treaty according to the rules of the Vienna Convention on the Rights of Treaties, is that it has been executed by a legitimately constituted authority in the denouncing State, therefore, a usurping factual power does not have legal capacity of any kind to denounce a treaty, especially when on April 10th, 2019, the Permanent Council of the OAS accepted Ambassador Gustavo Tarre as Venezuela’s interim representative to that organization, and he in turn extended a visit to the IACHR to visit our country. In other words, it must be very clear that a denial by a de facto power, under no circumstances, can alter the actions of the legitimate government within the framework of an in loco visit by the IACHR.
But even in the forlorn case and not accepted by the Presidential Commission for Human Rights and attention to the victims that the complaint had been filled in the minimum extremes of international law in order to be perfected, this could not generate valid legal effects either, since the Venezuelan State, as a consequence of the deficient management of the usurpation, owes the amount of US$ 8.7 million to the OAS for outstanding membership fees, and until this amount is honored in the OAS, Venezuela cannot withdraw from that organization.
The Presidential Commissioner for Human Rights and Attention to Victims wants to be emphatic about one thing: those who suffer the pernicious consequences of the impediment of an onsite visit by the IACHR to Venezuela are the victims of human rights violations.
The fact that the IACHR has not been able to enter Venezuela means that the Commission will not be able to visit the J.M. de los Ríos Hospital where children struggle daily between life and death. It means that the relatives of persons who have been forcibly disappeared, extrajudicially executed, or tortured will not be able to testify directly to the Commissioners about the suffering involved in losing a loved one for reasons that have no justification, because no one deserves to be killed or tortured. It means that those hundreds of journalists who daily seek to broadcast serious reports and report on national events will continue to be persecuted by the Usurpation. It means that the persecutions against Deputies will continue to be plunged into absolute impunity. It means that the rectors of Venezuelan universities will be condemned to see how the erosion of university autonomy will continue to be progressively accentuated, without being able to denounce the interference of an authoritarian power incapable of accepting more than one line of thought. This means that all Venezuelans will continue to be abused by a usurped Judicial Power that, far from serving justice, the common good and legal security, has chosen to be a servile deer to the interests of usurpation.
In short, it means condemning to impunity, silence and oblivion all those who deserve memory, reparation and justice. Not allowing the IACHR to enter, regardless of any dogmatic normative conceptualization, translates into an authentic crime against people who have already suffered enough. We are with them and we repeat, enough is enough. It is enough, that is why the Interim Government keeps open the invitation to the IACHR to carry out an in loco visit within the Venezuelan Territory. For the time being, the Presidential Commission for Human Rights and Attention to Victims will support the IACHR’s on-site visit by accompanying a group of victims to the Colombian-Venezuelan border, where they will be able to directly denounce before the IACHR Commissioners the despicable violations of their fundamental rights. They deserve justice.