The Center for Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) expresses its solidarity with the organization Human Rights Watch for the expulsion of its directives after presenting in Caracas a critical report about the government of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela. For Gabriel Salvia, chairman of CADAL, “this is a new example for the dictatorial style of Chávez and a new call for attention for the democratic governments of the region who have maintained themselves obliged by the intolerant practices of the Venezuelan caudillo”.
The report of Human Rights Watch comprehending 267 pages and titled “One decade Chávez: Political intolerance and lost opportunities for the progress of Human Rights in Venezuela” (http://hrw.org/spanish/reports/2008/venezuela0908/), analyzes the impact of the administration of Chávez in essential institutions to guarantee the respect for Human Rights and the rule of law: tribunals, media, labor unions and civil society.
“Ten years ago, Chávez promoted a new constitution that could notably have turned into the better the situation of Human Rights in Venezuela”, as José Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas of Human Rights Watch, pointed out. “Nevertheless, instead of promoting public liberties and their protection mechanisms, since back then the administration acted in a contradictive way, sacrificing fundamental guarantees for political interests”, he added.
For CADAL, Human Rights Watch is an example for the unconditional defense of fundamental democratic liberties. This could be seen in the presentation of the mentioned report about Venezuela: “The deepest violation against the rule of law in Venezuela during the last ten years was the coup d’état in 2002 against Chávez”, asserted Vivanco. And he added “Luckily it only lasted two days. But unfortunately the government of Chávez exploited the coup since then for justifying policies degrading democracy in the country”.
Human Rights Watch emphasizes in its report that “before the absence of a credible judicial control the administration of Chávez has systematically applied discriminatory policies that limited the exertion of the liberty of expression by journalists, the right for labour union liberty of the workers and the capacity of the civil society to promote Human Rights in Venezuela”.
Finally, Gabriel Salvia announced that “CADAL will send a letter to the foreign ministries of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, keeping in mind that the mentioned countries integrate the UN Human Rights Council, in order to issue respect for the report realized by Human Rights Watch about Venezuela and the intolerant decision of the administration of Hugo Chávez to expel the directive of the prestigious international human rights organization from his country”. For Salvia, “the countries of the South Cone have to appeal less to the rhetoric and the double speeches and instead present themselves steadier in the international commitment defending Human Rights”.
Buenos Aires, September 20, 2008.