(Photo: Ariana Cubillos AP)
What a travesty. Despite Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s bloody repression of opposition protests that has resulted in more than 100 dead, thousands of wounded and hundreds of political prisoners over the past three months, the United Nations Human Rights Council, UNHRC, has not uttered a single word about Venezuela’s human rights crisis.
The Geneva-based UNHRC, whose job is to “uphold the highest standards” of human rights across the world, has not issued one single resolution about Venezuela, nor convened any urgent session to discuss the crisis there, nor called for any inquiry into the deaths of protesters by armed government-backed mobs.
There is a reason for that inaction, of course. About half of the council’s 47 member countries are dictatorships — including Cuba, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela — who defend one another against charges of human-rights violations. In fact, the UNHRC is a mutual protection society for the world’s worst dictatorships.
“The council is entitled to call an emergency session on Venezuela any day, and given what is happening on the streets there, they should have done that,” says Hillel Neuer, head of U.N. Watch, a Geneva-based advocacy group. “But they have never called for an emergency session on Venezuela.
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