Venezuela: the lack of guarantees for fundamental freedoms requires the Council's continuous scrutiny

Statement at the 52nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue on the High Commissioner oral update on Venezuela

Delivered by Marysabel Rodríguez, 

Thank you Mr President,

In Venezuela there are no guarantees for freedom of expression, peaceful protest and the right to association. Violations of civil liberties affect demands for economic and social rights.

In 2022, at least 80 radio stations were closed down by government orders. Arbitrary and non-transparent management by the National Telecommunications Commission has left most radio stations in legal uncertainty for years.

The "anti-hate law" continues to be used against people for expressing themselves. At least 11 arbitrary arrests were recorded last year.

Social protest is repressed. In recent days public workers and teachers have been harassed, dismissed and threatened. Strikes are criminalised; in January, 18 workers of the Venezuelan Guyana Corporation were arrested and prosecuted for demanding better working conditions.

Two legal initiatives to regulate the right of association are advancing. if passed, they will consolidate the criminalisation of individuals, collectives and organisations engaged in social, humanitarian and human rights work. None of the draft laws are publicly accessible nor have they been officially released.

We urge this Council to maintain its attention on Venezuela and we ask the High Commissioner what the Council can do to consolidate OHCHR presence in the country, to support the work of the Fact Finding Mission and any initiative that avoids further restrictions to civic space in the country.

Thank you very much.

 Civic space in Venezuela is rated as "Repressed" by the CIVICUS Monitor