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What is the new UN Committee in Venezuela about?

Last Friday, the UN Human Rights Council approved the creation of an independent international committee that investigates human rights violations in Venezuela.

UN Committee

UN Committee / Reference image / Taken from: panorama.com

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Leer en español: ¿De qué se trata el nuevo Comité de la ONU en Venezuela?

The creation of this comes as good news for countries that have been asking the UN to investigate torture, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances and other abuses by the authority that different people and NGOs have denounced.

The Lima Group, made up of several Latin American countries, and who in recent months have bet on what they call "restoring democracy in Venezuela," was responsible for presenting this proposal to investigate the abuses since 2014. The decision was taken after strong criticism against the Venezuelan president and his regime was received at the General Assembly 74 of the UN.

This news, however, did not like all parties. According to Reuters, the Venezuelan ambassador to the UN Council rejected the measure by calling it a "hostile resolution" and being part of the US-led plot.

Months ago, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, visited Venezuela and had the opportunity to speak with both Nicolás Maduro and Juan Guaidó. During their visit, more than 500 people had the opportunity to express how they have been victims of human rights violations.

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After this, the organization issued a report denouncing the same in-depth. However, the problem for the investigation of these cases has been the fact that there are no official figures. Hence the importance of the creation of this independent committee has emerged so that the alleged violations can be investigated for a possible further penalty.

LatinAmerican Post spoke with Andrés Valdivieso, an internationalist specialist in Human Rights, to understand the operation of this committee and what it could imply for the Nicolás Maduro regime. However, for this Colombian, the panorama is not very fruitful, and the creation of the committee turns out to be warm water cloths that will not solveVenezuela's problem.

First, before beginning to analyze the specific situation of Venezuela and this new provisional or "independent" committee, it is necessary to understand their scope. “The UN missions are exceptional organizations, they are not carried out within the framework of the United Nations. That is why they address specific problems or cases that need special attention, ”says Valdivieso. With this in mind, the simple creation of a special mission to determine the abuses and scope of the regime in Venezuela demonstrates the magnitude of the problem. Therefore, it is an advance that the international organization of such magnitude focuses on an investigation on the subject.

The UN Human Rights Council affirmed that the intention of this investigative committee will be to ensure accountability to those responsible in order to respond to the victims and that justice is done in cases where their rights have been violated. Regarding this, Valdivieso affirms his skepticism about the scopes. Well, according to him, beyond the research that can be achieved, the committee cannot take action against what is allegedly happening in the Latin American country.

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On the one hand, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the body really capable of taking action against individual responsibilities such as those that seek to be proven. “This mission would imply generating very high political costs for the international community; it is to generate a new initiative that would double the research initiative and weaken the ICC,” says Valdivieso. This implies that the intervention would imply weakening the judicial powers of the court.

But beyond that, the investigation of the mission is created as a recommendation, since it has no capacity to prosecute. In that sense, you cannot make decisions of any kind. Although it would serve as research material for the ICC.

“The committee will serve as a kind of oversight and will seek to consolidate some evidence that may serve in the future, but we cannot think that by the creation of the latter, the UN will have the power to lower Nicolás Maduro from power, much less, which is what many people think,” said the internationalist.

Finally, Valdivieso gave his opinion of what would be the possible way to end the Maduro regime. Although, as with the Committee's performance, he sees it as impractical in practice. For him, there are many political and economic interests involved by the international community and that is what prevents a true union to "restore democracy" in Venezuela. To achieve alignment, the solution would include that countries such as Russia, which supports the Venezuelan regime, could reach an agreement to approve an intervention endorsed by the UN Security Council.

Meanwhile, the committee may delve into information to continue imposing sanctions of a political and moral nature, such as the fact that more than 50 countries do not recognize Nicolás Maduro as president but Juan Guaidó.

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