Statement by UN Watch
General Debate Item 3, 32nd Session of UN Human Rights Council
Delivered by Ambassador Victor Rodriguez Cedeno, 21 June 2016
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman,
My name is Victor Rodriguez Cedeño, I was Venezuela’s ambassador to the UN, and deputy chairman of the Commission on Human Rights which preceded this Council, and involved for many years in diverse legal and universal human rights bodies. I have the honor to speak on behalf of UN Watch.
Mr. President, I come today to express my deep concern with the greatest responsibility, to appeal to this Council to ensure the universal rights of Venezuelans.
Venezuela is currently undergoing an unprecedented political, economic and social crisis, which the government denies repeatedly:
- In addition to more than 100 political prisoners, recognized by the Council, two of whom, the mayor Antonio Ledezma, and Leopoldo Lopez, were recently honored by UN Watch;
- To not recognize the existence and functioning of the National Assembly, which is now majority opposition;
- And to deny the exercise of our right to democracy and to decide our fate through a constitutional tool such as the recall referendum,
- The Venezuelan government, Mr. President, violates the right to food and the right to health:
There is no bread, milk or toilet paper. With a shortage of 85% of essential goods and 95% of medicines, malnutrition and chronic diseases such as cancer, HIV, diabetes or hypertension; the re-emergence of infectious diseases such as malaria, and new diseases such as Zika, cannot be treated.
Recent deaths of children due to lack of medicines or hospital supplies exposed a situation that must be addressed without further delay, to avoid new victims.
Venezuelans are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, which in no way affects national sovereignty nor does it interfere in the internal affairs of a state, as claimed by Venezuelan government representatives, who must accept reality and thus, humanitarian aid, which is based on the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, non-discrimination and international solidarity.
Thank you very much, Mr. President.