Newsdeck

United Nations

Venezuela asks UN human rights staff to leave country amid review

Venezuela asks UN human rights staff to leave country amid review
United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Michael Fakhri addresses a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela, 14 February 2024. Fakhri said that problems persist in accessing food in Venezuela, especially for ‘vulnerable groups’ such as prisoners, children and women. EPA-EFE/RAYNER PENA R

CARACAS, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Venezuela's government has asked staff from the United Nations' human rights body to leave the country within three days, saying it will conduct a revision of its cooperation with the organization, with the UN saying it would evaluate next steps.

The South American country’s government said it had made a decision “to suspend the activities of the technical advisory office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and carry out a holistic revision of the technical cooperation terms.”

The review will take place over the next 30 days, the government said in a statement, adding that all UN personnel connected to the office must leave the country during the next 72 hours.

“We regret this announcement and are evaluating the next steps. We continue to engage with the authorities and other stakeholders,” UN Human Rights Office spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani said in response to questions from Reuters. “Our guiding principle has been and remains the promotion and protection of the human rights of the people of Venezuela.

Venezuelan state television on Wednesday harshly criticized comments by the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food, Michael Fakhri, who just concluded a visit to Venezuela.

Fakhri had said in a statement the government food program does not tackle the root causes of hunger and is susceptible to political influences.

The UN human rights office, which has operated in Venezuela since 2019 and has 13 staff in the country, must rectify its “colonialist, abusive and violating attitude,” the government’s statement added.

The office has played an “inappropriate role” in the country and supported impunity for people involved in attempts at assassination, coups, conspiracies and other plots, it said.

The Venezuelan government regularly accuses members of the political opposition of plotting takeovers or the assassination of President Nicolas Maduro, all accusations vehemently denied by opposition parties and their members.

The United States, the UN and others have decried the detention and arraignment this week of defense expert Rocio San Miguel. Some members of her family were also detained, though four have been released.

“Obviously that’s something that we are concerned about and obviously going to continue to monitor,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said when asked on Thursday about Venezuela’s decision on the human rights body. Other UN bodies including the World Food Programme and children’s agency UNICEF also operate in Venezuela.

(Reporting by Vivian Sequera in CaracasAdditional reporting by Michelle Nichols in New York and Matt Spetalnick in WashingtonWriting by Julia Symmes CobbEditing by Matthew Lewis)

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • stallioncurt36 says:

    The rest of the World need to follow this example and expel the UN from their shore’s..The UN is the biggest Terrorist Organisation posing as an unelected Government. They are the biggest violators of Human Rights Abuse in the world.. Yet they still want to dictate to the world how to act think and behave.. When it’s them who have lost their identity direction and state of mind through their Misinterpretation of ignorance Arrogance and Defiance as Intelligence.The sooner they’re held accountable and disbanded the sooner the Societies of the world will return to normal.

  • Ben Harper says:

    And this is the model the eff want to follow

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Elections24 Newsletter Banner

On May 29 2024, South Africans will make their mark in another way.

Get your exclusive, in-depth Election 2024 newsletter curated by Ferial Haffajee delivered straight to your inbox.