Statement by Ambassador Andrew Bremberg
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva
Geneva, July 2, 2020
High Commissioner Bachelet’s July 2 report vividly documents the continuing deterioration of human rights in Venezuela under the corrupt leadership of Nicolas Maduro. Despite the High Commissioner’s expressions of serious concern last year, the report makes clear the Maduro regime continues to torture, terrorize, and kill its political opponents. Today’s report, documenting over 1,300 extrajudicial killings, widespread use of torture and forced disappearances, and systemic impunity for the vast majority of these crimes demonstrates Maduro’s disregard for human rights in his quest to retain power.
It is evident the biggest threat to Venezuela’s peace and prosperity is Maduro. His roughshod attempt to delegitimize the democratically elected opposition and establish sham parliamentary elections in 2020 is an assault on the core of Venezuelan society. The High Commissioner clearly documents Maduro’s attacks against democracy, including stripping opposition legislators of parliamentary immunity, subjecting opposition leaders to prolonged detention without charges, and driving dozens of elected opposition leaders into exile. Her oral report raised the alarm on Maduro’s hijacking of the National Electoral Council and his co-opting of two major independent political parties.
The Democratic Transition Framework proposes a common sense path to get Venezuela to free and fair presidential and parliamentary elections, and outlines at each step of the process how the future of Venezuela will be restored. Together, we must stop Maduro’s continued consolidation of authoritarian power if we are committed to seeing free and fair elections, and subsequently a viable path to a prosperous future for Venezuela.