Reblogged from the personal website of Prof. Alfred de Zayas, human rights lawyer and former UN Independent Expert. This is important – please share widely.
OPEN LETTER TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY GENERAL ANTONIO GUTERRES
AND TO THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS MICHELLE BACHELET
from Alfred de Zayas, 23 February 2019
Dear Michelle Bachelet,
Dear Antonio Guterres
As former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order (2012-2018) I would like to urge you to once again make your voices heard and make concrete proposals for mediation and peace in the context of the Venezuelan crisis.
The most noble task of the United Nations is to create the conditions conducive to local, regional and international peace, to work preventively and tirelessly to avoid armed conflicts, to mediate and negotiate to reach peaceful solutions, so that all human beings can live in human dignity and in the enjoyment of the human right to peace and all other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. I am particularly worried by the Orwellian corruption of language, the instrumentalization and weaponization of human rights and now even of humanitarian assistance.
I look back at my UN mission to Venezuela in November/December 2017 as a modest contribution to facilitate the cooperation between the United Nations and the Venezuelan government and to open the door to the visits of other rapporteurs. See my report to the UN Human Rights Council and the relevant recommendations.
I believe that it would be timely and necessary for both of you to issue a statement reaffirming General Assembly Resolutions 2625 and 3314 and the 23 Principles of International Order that I formulated in my 2018 report to the Human Rights Council. See para 14 of [the report].
It would be appropriate to recognize the fact that the government of Venezuela has put into effect some of the recommendations contained in my report — and in the six page confidential memo that I personally gave to Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza upon my departure.
Indeed, first the Venezuelan government released 80 detainees — including Roberto Picón and 23 others whose release I had specifically requested — that was on 23 December 2017, followed by other releases in the course of 2018. Alas, there has been practically no information about this in the mainstream media, although it is easily accessible in the internet. See also the comments of Venezuela on my report.
In particular paragraph 46(xvi):
As a result of this on 23 December 2017, 80 people arrested for acts of violence during the protests in the country were released; and on 1 June 2018, 39 more people were released.
And paragraph 46(xviii):
In this regard, the Venezuelan Government values the willingness and disposition of the Independent Expert, who was pleased to inform the competent authorities of the requests he received from some relatives of the persons deprived of their liberty. His recommendations were accepted.
Shortly after my visit Venezuelan authorities met with the UN agencies and made additional cooperation accords, thanks to the valuable efforts Peter Grohmann, the UNDP representative in Caracas.
Now the government of Venezuela has formally asked the United Nations for humanitarian assistance in connection with the current crisis. We must not let them down.
I think that the US should turn over all the humanitarian assistance and medical supplies it has flown into Colombia and have them distributed as soon as possible with the help of the United Nations and other neutral organizations, including the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Another item of information that is sorely missing from the mainstream media is the delivery last week of 933 tons of food and medicines at port La Guaira — coming from China, Cuba, India, Turkey etc.
Moreover an additional 300 tons of medicines and medical supplies provided by Russia arrived by air.
As I know from my conversations with Venezuelan ministers during my visit in 2017 and the recent conversations I have had with Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Jorge Valero – Venezuela has always welcomed and repeatedly asked for assistance from neutral and friendly governments so as to overcome the adverse human rights impacts of the financial blockade and the sanctions. Such help should be offered in good faith, without strings attached.
I believe that this is the moment for Michelle Bachelet to accept the invitation of the government of Venezuela, extended to her in December 2018, to visit Venezuela personally. Her presence in Venezuela should ban the growing danger of a military intervention by foreign entities. She should endorse the efforts at mediation launched by Mexico and Uruguay at the Montevideo mechanism.
There are ominous parallels with the run-up to the Iraq invasion in 2003 — an illegal war, as Kofi Annan said on repeated occasions.
It is obvious to any first year law student that the constant threats against Venezuela are contrary to article 2(4) of the UN Charter. What many do not realize is that the threats, the economic war, the financial blockade and the sanctions violate the principles contained in Article 3 of the OAS Charter
e. Every State has the right to choose, without external interference, its political, economic, and social system and to organize itself in the way best suited to it, and has the duty to abstain from intervening in the affairs of another State. Subject to the foregoing, the American States shall cooperate fully among themselves, independently of the nature of their political, economic, and social systems; f. The American States condemn war of aggression: victory does not give rights; g. An act of aggression against one American State is an act of aggression against all the other American States; h. Controversies of an international character arising between two or more American States shall be settled by peaceful procedures; I. Social justice and social security are bases of lasting peace…
Moreover, they violate numerous articles of Chapter 4 of the OAS Charter,
Each State has the right to develop its cultural, political, and economic life freely and naturally. In this free development, the State shall respect the rights of the individual and the principles of universal morality.
Respect for and the faithful observance of treaties constitute standards for the development of peaceful relations among States. International treaties and agreements should be public.
No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.
No State may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another State and obtain from it advantages of any kind.
Dear Michelle Bachelet, dear Antonio Guterres: The world looks up to you in the hope that you can avert even greater suffering to the peoples of Venezuela. They need international solidarity as expressed in the report of Virginia Dandan, the then independent expert on human rights and international solidarity.
I remain respectfully yours
Professor Dr. Alfred de Zayas, Geneva School of Diplomacy
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It’s a pity Branson can’t organise a pop concert in Yemen or Gaza for all the starving people there.
Me, me me… It is difficult to say if this a letter of the author to himself for the purposes of self-canonisation or a plea for Venezuela. Jesus Christ, is this the calibre of diplomacy reached by the crooks that run the UN…???!!! In any case, the author forgot to realise that it is Venezuela and its Bolivarian ultra-liberal regime, that is attacking the rest of the region and even beyond, with mass waves of migration…!!!
More hasbara garbage.
The Zionist Regime and its legions of 30 shekel whores in Washington have been targeting Venezuela for destruction ever since it broke off diplomatic relations and recognised Palestine after one of the many genocidal Zionist massacres in Gaza.
Mark the Venezuelan regime are terrorists and mafia combined. You know nothing, neither does afred de zayas. The UN should listen to the millions of Venezuelans who have been forced to flee in order that they can feed themselves and provide for family back home. Most of them left long before any sanctions targeted the Venezuelan state. Until recently these sanctions were strictly limited to the personal wealth of the leaders, stolen from the state and Venezuelan taxpayers. Venezuela has no justice system and no functional state institutions. It is merely a vast slave colony with people able to earn no more than 5 dollars a month while the leaders have vast wealth and investments across the world not possible to have accrued with just their government and party salaries. This letter is pathetic.
Canthama sums up the aftermath of Feb23 and reviews Uncle $cam’s prospects of getting his AZC hands on oil rich Venezuela and Iran. From SyrPer #287576:
[After Uncle’s failure in Syria] I still don’t buy an attack on Iran, it is simply improbable to happen without triggering a huge and broader conflict in the region and maybe Europe with it, so it is possible but not probable. I do not think there are a lot of adventurers today in EU that would support a war in Iran, and I also doubt most of Arab countries would support it. I can only see 5 Eyes, Israel and KSA thinking of it, but no one else.
Yes, there is a strange sense of hurry in the US to oust the elected Gov of Venezuela, and yes it is related to the oil as well, but it is also related to:
1) Russia possible response to the US dropping from INF…one way for Russia to counter any placements in EU is to place mid range missiles in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela….
2) China, US is placing the same Aegis systems all over Japan, aiming eastern Russia and mostly China, so China may try the same in Venezuela and Nicaragua (pending new canal construction).
3) The collapse of shale oil/gas production and companies in the US. All the shale companies are beyond fixing in leveraging. Without this expensive [shale] oil/gas, the US would have to return big time to import oil.
So Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua have suddenly become a National Security issue for the US, due to Uncle’s own wrong doing, as well as a possible life boat at the shale oil/gas crossing ahead.
Re Canthama’s prediction of stormy waters and probable shipwreck ahead for U$$ $hale, together with BigB’s net negative assessment of that tarry stinky stuff, and our running discussion re ongoing environmental catastrophes, the following thought strikes me:
For 20,000 years the Red Indians and the buffalo have been roaming the great grasslands: countless millions of buffalo eating the grass, and 100 million Red Indians eating the buffalo; with, reciprocally, both Buffalo and Red Indians fertilizing the grasslands with the N from their pee and kaki, the P from their bones and the K from their blood. A balanced system that was stable for 200 centuries. Then came the Anglo. In the first 2 centuries they wiped out the countless million buffalo and 100 million Red Indians. The Anglo became Capitalists and were joined by the Zios. In the last 100 years the AZC, with their intensive Financial Return on Capital, have turned grasslands into a dust bowl, f*cked up the water with fracking, and polluted the air with carbon gas to the point where climate scientists are seriously concerned for the future of homo sapiens and other species.
“Ms.Albright, as an Anglo Zio Capitalist yourself with diamond necklace and mining property to prove it, do you think the slaughter of countless million buffalo and 100 million Red Indians was a price worth paying in exchange for 300 million U$ citizens a few of whom are even richer than yourself?”
“Yes, I think the price was worth paying by the Red Indians and the buffalo”.
Good point but doubt 100 million ‘red’ indians…
I’ve been watching the whole unfolding US Regime Change Scam in Venezuela and I’ve been scratching my head in disbelief.
I don’t know what other people think, but it seems to have an amateurish, clownish, vaudeville quality about it. I keep expecting John Cleese or Michael Palin to turn up. Either one of them would make a fine Gweedo.
The whole cast of characters has the same unreal quality about it. Abrams is the cartoon villain, a sort of Terry Thomas character trying to do an unconvincing imitation of Blofeld, with Bolton, Pompeo (in between his six meals a day) and Trump himself issuing coup instructions by Twitter that nobody at all takes any notice of.
It is all reminiscent of the 1923 Munich Beer Hall Putsch, with the novel addition of a Branson pop concert. The whole operation appears to be degenerating into broad farce.
The level of incompetence is quite staggering.
The only explanation I can think of is that they are so arrogant, incompetent, ignorant and deluded, that they believe they can just appoint foreign presidents by tweet, and whatever pronouncements they make will automatically come to pass, like Hitler issuing instructions to non existent armies from the bunker in 1945.
The absurdity reached new heights this weekend. We had “Little Marco” Rubio tearing around Colombia, issuing Napoleonic orders and making very unconvincing threats to Venezuelan generals. He looked off his head, like he had been consuming too much of the local product.
A bunch of youths were freighted in to burn some tyres and start some fires under a bridge, with an obliging CNN film crew misrepresenting this as the evil Maduro’s security deliberately torching US aid.
You know that all these people are evil, but don’t expect them to be quite so obviously clueless with all the world watching. This was like a damp squib that failed to go off. It is already a busted flush.
This is going nowhere.
The Venezuelan security forces are loyal and cannot be suborned. The leadership is loyal to Maduro.
There is no proxy terrorist force in situ, as in Syria. Attempts to smuggle arms into the country have gone off at half cock.
The level of violence is “normal” for the Venezuelan opposition and can probably be kept under control by vigorous policing.
They could try to murder Maduro (they have done so already), like they murdered Chavez. Even if they succeeded, it could just make things worse from their point of view.
There are no internal sectarian divisions to exploit, like the Sunni/ Shia divide. The people are Roman Catholics. There is a racial divide, and they will continue to champion the rich white comprador elite, but this is not a winning strategy.
Gweedo will probably carry on issuing “presidential decrees” nobody takes any notice of. He said he was going to lead a great aid convoy across the border this weekend, but seems to have thought better of it and just made himself scarce.
The coup has no support in the security forces, no broad popular support, and has failed to seize control of the borders this weekend.
Hopefully even people like Pompeo, Bolton and Trump are not crazy enough to stage an actual invasion. If they do, they are invading a continent, not a country, and starting an open ended conflict completely beyond their control. I say hopefully, but it is by no means certain. Pompeo has been spouting nonsense about Hezbollah and Iran invading the country.
This has Netanyahu and the Zionist Lobby’s fingerprints all over it. Pompeo, America’s “Chief Diplomat”, is none too bright and this was probably fed to him from that quarter.
Hopefully what has begun in farce will not end in tragedy.
But who knows?
“Pompeo has been spouting nonsense about Hezbollah and Iran invading the country.”
There are a surprising number of Lebanese and Syrians immigrants in Venezuela, together numbering around a million, maybe more — at least 3% of the population. Though they have assimilated well, the circumstances of their continued immigration over the years has also kept their local communal ties and their connections with Levantine politics strong, certainly strong enough to worry a Hezbollah- and Muslim-averse, paranoia-afflicted US Administration into extending its stateless war on Middle Eastern / Muslim “terrorism” into the unholy triangle of Nicaraguan, Cuban and Venezuelan socialism squatting there, right in its own back yard. People who do not pay attention to the microcosm often miss the complexities of the macrocosm, for “as above, so below” so “as below, so above”.
There are a lot of ” unholy triangles” in the world. An obvious one in the western hemisphere is the Trump Regime and its fascist satraps in Colombia and Brazil. Another “unholy triangle” is the Zionist Apartheid Regime, Shady Wahabia, and the barbaric medieval Gulf Dictatorships. Or the Fascist Coup Regime in Ukraine, the shitty little Nazi Baltic countries, and the rabid neocon fanatics in Poland.
4 million Lebanese live in Lebanon. Another 12 million live outside the country.
Like 6.5 million Jews live in Occupied Palestine, and several times as many live elsewhere, keeping their communal ties and connections with Zionist politics. Certainly strong enough to worry most people.
The “unholy triangles” you mention are what you think of as such, the one I referenced, specific to your comment, is what the current US administration thinks of as such. It really is a total fucking bore to find that almost the entire vocal left is increasingly composed of such leaden spirited bumpkins that even only slightly understated irony slides right over the vestigial appendages they probably call their heads. Would some trigger warnings or smileys help? And perhaps a trowel to lay them on with?
de Zayas managed to get an unequivocal hit on the legitimacy of Guaidó’s attempted usurpation and its origins in the US administration on Al Jazeera yesterday (or maybe Saturday) despite some serious moving right along from interviewer Darren Jordan, who clearly had some genuine time contraints but also–or, so it seemed–some externally imposed contraint constraints–to work to. Whenever Al Jazeera’s oft self-proclaimed fearless independence moves too far from the Al Thani political calculations, things always seem to get a bit squirmy at the anchor desk.
Says it all, Bro or Sis. With the aid of a hybrid harvey wallbanger / screaming yellow zonker, your message cast aside any time constraint, whether it moved left or right, up or down..
As you noted, sometimes an externally imposed constraint constrains us, as it will, and our oft-self-proclaimed fearless independepence is cast aside, as things always get a bit squirmy at the anchor desk..
Remember the failed CIA coup in Turkey, when CIA said Erdogan is fleeing the country, and we all had to accept the inevitable? And it didn’t happen, and instead Erdogan said, Oh, yeah? Fuck your shitty NATO, and effected a rapproachment with Russia? That was kind of humiliating for CIA.
Well CIA did better this time. They had a coup in Venezuela and the president fled to Colombia and we all have to bow to the inevitable. Except, uh, the president is CIA’s puppet ruler, now hiding out in exile like a little pencil-neck wussy coward.
Haspel is a fuckup of historic proportions and now CIA is limper than Bolton’s dick at Plato’s Retreat.
The idea of impartial humanitarian aid is no more when it is coming from Western powers. The fact that aid lorries and medical supplies have been used as a foil for weapon smuggling and Mal intent, means they can no longer be trusted. The erosion of sanctuary of aid, shows how deceitful and immoral the warmongers are. Not that this comes as any surprise sadly. Honorability, decency and honesty are long dead .
On another point. It is good to hear that Roger Waters has once again called out truths against the lies on Venezuela. As he did on the White Helmets in Syria. Thank god there are some high profile voices speaking up.
Red Cross “aid convoys” were routinely used to ferry jihadi headchoppers and their supplies across the Turkish border into Syria.
Abrams routinely used “aid flights” into El Salvador and Guatemala to smuggle in weapons in the 80s. He said this was perfectly ok, there was nothing wrong with it.
It was interesting to see on RT yesterday that the Red Cross had issued a statement saying that they were aware that there were people at the Colombia/Venezuela border wearing what appeared to be Red Cross apparel. Diplomatically, the Red Cross said that these people may well have good intentions but they were not Red Cross employees or representatives. If that doesn’t arouse suspicion about the true purpose of the “aid” convoys then nothing will.
I can just picture that pathetic puppet Guaidó kneeling on that bridge wailing
“A humanitarian aid truck, a humanitarian aid truck, a humanitarian aid truck for my Venezuela”.
Let him be buried in a car park for the next 500 years. Nobody would miss him.
There have been some pluses.
Who can forget a tearful Sir Richard belting out harmonies when John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ was performed at the climax of his regime-change concert?
Having done their utmost to destroy Venezuela Branson recognises how the US now wants to help by delivering aid and installing a right-wing puppet administration primed to undertake a massive program of asset stripping.
Viva Sir Richard.
Viva Elliot Abrams.
Viva La Guardian.
Branson was the subject of a local radio phone-in show back in the ’80s when his star was still rising. One old girl called in and said, “We used to have people like him during the war. Today they call them entrepreneurs but back then we called ’em spivs.”
Published on 22 Feb 2019
On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN investigator and human rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas.
An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose Coup
Yes definitely share this and John Pilger’s piece on Venezuela.
Where he highlights towards the end the faux liberation politics of the Guardian.
It is never ending the craven lip service the Guardian provides to the Neo-liberal cause all in the name of independent journalism. Seriously, what a joke! John Pilger writes about the newspaper which will no longer publish his work:
“The Guardian correspondent, Tom Phillips, has tweeted a picture of a cap on which the words in Spanish mean in local slang: “Make Venezuela fucking cool again.” The reporter as clown may be the final stage of much of mainstream journalism’s degeneration…
And finally he writes,
“Under the last Washington-controlled government in Caracas, poverty reached historic proportions. There was no healthcare for those could not pay. There was no universal education; Mavis Mendez, and millions like her, could not read or write. How cool is that, Tom?”
We see here in these two quotes the obsequious nature of the Guardian that is everywhere when you flick through its pages. For flick through you must to understand the real nature of fake journalism and the distraction of liberal ideas and politics.
On a lighter note, here is an up-to-date report of the situation on the ground, including the Virgin Airlines nosedive, from a Syrian source. Why Syrian? Because we are all Venezuelans now: the global AZC is uniting the world — against it.
First major PR day for the coup in Venezuela ended up in total fiasco:
1) 24 supposed military defected to Guaidó at the border with Colombia, initially presented as Military Officers and latter shared they were 19 militias and 5 low ranking from different areas of the Venezuelan Armed Forces. Guaidó was filmed receiving those traitors as if the army was defecting in drove.
2) Guaidó was caught lying life on CNN when he sent a tweet celebrating the one truck that crossed the border from Brazil to Venezuela, and the CNN guy was watching the truck just in front of him far from Venezuela and the 2nd one broken on the road far from there as well. That was a very bad publicity.
3) No truck crossed any border today.
4) Guaidó’s gang burned two truck inside Colombia and filmed as if Venezuelan armed forces had done it, that was so amateur that they could film the border with Venezuela 200 meters away from where they were. Pathetic and very poorly executed.
5) Last but [also] least, the early morning [Richard Branson] concert was another fiasco, some 5,000 people on the side of Colombia watching that show while on the Venezuelan side of the border with a lot of people (at least 10-15X the amount on the other side of the border) the picture captured by a drone is telling.
…blah blah MSM but on the ground, today has shown that it ain’t be easy to implement a criminal regime change in Venezuela.
Welcome to Latin America, the US will have a hard time to implement any of its sh•t here.”
Trump and Sir Richard will have to declare victory and fly away to repeat the performance elsewhere.
I would have liked to see some links for your excellent post.
With regard to Point 4 of Vexarb’s post (the burning of the aid trucks by right-wing opposition thugs on the Colombian side while Venezuelan troops guarded the border), go to Canthama’s Twitter account (you can Google the guy’s name) and go down the various tweets until you come to this tweet thread:
Comments here can only hold a maximum of two or three links to external posts to get posted quickly to this thread.
The reason that Syrians are interested in the situation in Venezuela as it develops is that a lot of people in Venezuela have Lebanese or Syrian ancestry and still have family contacts in Lebanon and Syria.
The Universe came from chaos and it appears the world as we know it will end in chaos.
No superheroes are gonna come to our rescue.
Anyway, they’d be outnumbered by the psychopaths who rule.
@Dinkum: “No superheroes are gonna come to our rescue.”
They never did. The greatest superhero in human history was taken up to a high place by the Devil and tempted to Save the World. He replied, this is the way to salvation: blessed are the peacemakers, the meek shall inherit the Kingdom. He died on the cross, the most fiendishly ingenious torture ever devised by the misapplied genius of homo not-so-sapiens.
Like it or not, we have free choice.
Shouldn’t it read:
There are ominous parallels with the run-up to the Vietnam war, the Yugoslavia war, the first Iraq war, the Afghanistan invasion, the Iraq invasion in 2003, the war on Libya, the bombing and support of terrorists to topple Assad in Syria and no one said that on repeated occasions.
The lawless, corporate Fascist Military US Regime reminds me of a very funny movie by Mel Brooks – ‘Life Stinks’ and it is quite the fit when thinking about life having turned into misery the world over by the US. At least at the beginning in the morning conference. Mel Brooks plays a total scumbag (US) and is surrounded by his lawyers. The lawyers report that there are thousands of children dying from the sanctions. The scumbag responds with “And?”. “Well, the newspapers are writing about it.” “And?” “Well, it’s bad publicity and people might not want to go to war.” “I see. Tell the newspapers to write that the Iraqis are throwing newborns on the ground and trample them to death.” “What else?” “Well, some countries say that Iraq poses no threat.” “And?” “Well it will make it harder to invade them.” “I see. Let Colin Powell speak at the United Nations and tell them that Iraq has weapons of mass distraction.”
Of course it is not a hundred percent match, but the “AND?” is what gets me, because that is how the US responds to any and all concerns by the majority of governments of the world.
And to listen to Herman Pompeo and Joseph Bolton, or wait, was it Mike Göring and John Goebbels? It’s really hard to keep up with the Fascists. Actually, it doesn’t matter. They both belong to the large family of the Psychopaths.