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UN Mission warns of an upsurge in violence in Venezuela ahead of elections

Archive.  Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado speaks with her supporters during a demonstration in Guacara, Carabobo state, Venezuela, on March 13, 2024. "Freedom, freedom, freedom!" shouts a euphoric crowd when María Corina Machado climbs onto the platform of a truck: this Venezuelan opposition member rules out leaving the "mandate" that he received in the primaries to face President Nicolás Maduro in the July 28 elections.

A report presented by the United Nations Mission that investigates human rights violations in the country warns of intimidation of opponents by the Government of Nicolás Maduro and of a “reactivation of the most violent form of repression by the authorities” in the country. atmosphere prior to the presidential elections. The Foreign Ministry of the South American country attacked the mission.

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This Wednesday, March 20, Marta Valiñas, president of the UN Independent International Mission for Venezuela, which investigates human rights violations in the country, assured that the Venezuelan State has resumed repressive and more violent actions against opposition figures. that could be relevant during this year's presidential elections.

According to Valiñas, the Maduro Government has two modalities for said repression. One would be through violence to “silence opposition voices.” The other would be linked to the creation of a climate of fear and intimidation that “restricts the free exercise of fundamental rights.”

The president of the mission also assured that the Venezuelan Government has not fulfilled the agreements to which it committed in October of last year in Barbados, where certain electoral guarantees were agreed.


In Barbados, both the ruling party and the opposition committed to allowing free participation of candidates for the presidential elections and to allowing a “peaceful and unrestricted electoral process.”

In accordance with the agreement, the Venezuelan Government released five opponents who were serving preventive detention, although the UN Mission assures that these people continue to face criminal proceedings due to their political inclination.

For its part, the United States, involved in the Barbados Agreement, freed 20 Venezuelans and 10 Americans accused of criminal ties with the Venezuelan Government, including Alex Saab, a close associate of Chavismo.

Reports of non-compliance

The report of this March 20 condemned the decision of the Supreme Court of Justice to annul the results of the primary elections held on October 22, which declared María Corina Machado as the winner.

The opposition candidate was disqualified from holding public office for 15 years and although she continues to campaign for the presidential elections, her participation is in question.


Archive. Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado speaks with her supporters during a demonstration in Guacara, Carabobo state, Venezuela, on March 13, 2024. “Freedom, freedom, freedom!” shouts a euphoric crowd when María Corina Machado climbs onto the platform of a truck: this Venezuelan opponent rules out abandoning the “mandate” she received in the primaries to face President Nicolás Maduro in the July 28 elections. AFP – GABRIELA ORAA

The report also referred to the case of Rocío San Miguel, a well-known human rights defender in Venezuela detained without a court order on February 9. Her whereabouts were unknown for five days until the authorities recognized that they had her in their possession.

It is known that San Miguel was taken to El Helicoide prison, where, according to the Mission, cases of torture have been documented. The daughter of the human rights defender was also arrested and is in preventive detention.

Valiñas reported that another 18 women have been accused of being involved in “conspiracies” against the Venezuelan Government, accused of being involved in at least two plans that supposedly sought to end Maduro's life.

Likewise, the UN report ensures that the Venezuelan Government has carried out raids on union members, unjustified arrests and intimidation, both of opponents and their families.

The document concludes by saying that the Venezuelan Government “responds to a pattern” that had already been previously reported in other missions and reiterated “its willingness to cooperate with the authorities within the scope of its mandate.”

The Venezuelan Government disqualifies the UN Mission

The Executive of Nicolás Maduro has assured that the report of the UN Independent International Mission is loaded with “ridiculous lies and unfounded accusations.”

Caracas accuses the Mission of being complicit with “extremist sectors” that supposedly seek to carry out plans to end the life of the president and presidential candidate, Nicolás Maduro.


“Venezuela does not and will not accept any measure that arises from this affront, presented to a Council that has done nothing to stop the genocide of the Palestinian people,” said the Venezuelan Executive regarding the presentation of the report to the United Nations Human Rights Council. United.

The UN requests the return of its officials to Venezuela

A day earlier, the UN Office for Human Rights had asked the Venezuelan Government to let its officials return, after, in mid-February, the Foreign Ministry of that country gave a period of 72 hours to leave Venezuela at 13 UN officials, after accusing them of being a “private law firm for coup plotters and terrorist groups.”

“We hope that our office will soon be able to fully resume its work serving the people of Venezuela, and strengthen our cooperation with the authorities on the basis of mutual respect and frank and transparent dialogue,” said Nada Al-Nashif, deputy high commissioner for United Nations for Human Rights before the UN Human Rights Council.

With EFE and local media



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