The Human Rights Commissioner rejects the threats made by the President of the spurious National Constituent Assembly of the de facto regime, who made intimidating statements against the Academy of Physical, Mathematical, and Natural Sciences following the publication of the report “Current State of the COVID-19 Epidemic in Venezuela and its Possible Trajectories under Various Scenarios.” In that study, of a technical nature, the Academy analyzed the possible scenarios for the progression of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19), reported the situation of under-recording of positive cases in our country and warned of the possible consequences of an epidemiological peak in the coming months.
Cabello Rondón, in the program “Con el Mazo Dando” – a platform that has become a mechanism of constant intimidation and harassment through the state media – said that the Academy “is generating alarm”, while making an “invitation to the security agencies to visit these people (…) it is an invitation for a tun tun (…) this is enough to generate terror in the people (…) what they unveil there, with numbers that have no support of any kind, this must be the object of an investigation, and those responsible, ah well, must assume their responsibility, our responsibility as a revolution is to investigate it.”
The Commissioner states that this type of threat and intimidation clearly represents a campaign to discredit the activity of disseminating scientific knowledge, and a notorious violation of the right to free research activity. That right is enshrined in our Constitution and in international covenants duly signed and ratified by the Republic.
This Commissioner firmly believes that today more than ever, in the context of the global pandemic in which we find ourselves – worsened, incidentally, by the most inhumane negligence of the regime in the management of the public health system – is when the knowledge of experts in the field is more essential than ever to save lives. Cabello Rondón’s statements betray the policy of opacity and censorship characteristic of the usurper regime, which is willing to silence the truth under threat and violence.
For this reason, this Commissioner, denouncing and categorically rejecting the persistent behavior of the de facto government in violation of human rights, joins the statement issued today by the Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences, in which they support the conclusions issued in their report and reiterate that “the use of scientific tools can contribute to foresee the demands and needs of hospital infrastructure and health personnel in the critical stages of the epidemic and to the planning of quarantine strategies.”
In view of the above considerations, the Presidential Commission for Human Rights and Care of Victims requests the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to:
1. Make a statement on the events that occurred on May 13th of this year and on anything that may occur in the same context in the future;
2. Urge the authorities who hold de facto power to prevent, impede and guarantee the non-repetition of practices equal to or similar to those carried out to date against the Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences or any other organization which, in exercise of its right to academic and scientific freedom, carries out studies of any nature or kind, whether or not in the context of the global SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)
3. Urge the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the organizations Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the International Federation for Human Rights, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Service for Human Rights to be on the alert for this type of intimidating and discrediting campaign against our Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences.