U.S. says Maduro should not have representative on U.N. Human Rights Council

Unless the international community intervenes, Nicolás Maduro may get a representative on the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) despite his record of brutality and repression.

When the U.N. General Assembly votes to elect new members for the 47-seat Human Rights Council October 17, Venezuela will be one of three candidates for two seats representing Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ahead of that vote, many in the international community have pointed to the former Maduro regime’s abysmal human rights record. In fact, the HRC recently voted at its 42nd session to urgently dispatch a fact-finding mission to Venezuela to investigate egregious human rights violations.

“We have witnessed this regime silence media, jail dissenters, and attempt to dismantle all elements of democracy, including the National Assembly,” Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said in a meeting of regional foreign ministers held in September.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet in a July 4 report condemned Maduro and his cronies for committing grave human rights violations and abuses, including approximately 7,000 extrajudicial killings since 2018, torture, politically motivated imprisonment, and criminalizing protest and criticism of the government.

A follow-up report in September by the commissioner noted that in July alone there were 57 new cases of presumed extrajudicial killings at the hands of Maduro’s special police force, the FAES.

Today, as a result of the former Maduro regime’s corruption and mismanagement, 90% of Venezuelans live in poverty and well over 4 million have fled to other countries within the region, the largest displacement of individuals in the Western Hemisphere’s history.

Although the U.N. currently recognizes Maduro’s envoy, the U.S. and 54 other countries recognize Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate interim president.