UN Investigators Say Venezuela Committed 'Crimes Against Humanity'

AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

Someone should call Sean Penn and tell him his Venezuelan heroes have feet of clay.

The regime the left loves to love is a brutal, murderous, torturing, state that suppresses the political opposition and terrorizes its own people into submission. That’s the conclusion of a United Nations investigation into reports of atrocities committed by Venezuelan security services and the government that directs them.


What the investigators found isn’t surprising. Stories about state sponsored murders and tortured prisoners have been coming out of Venezuela since the Hugo Chavez regime. So it isn’t surprising that Chavez’s successor — Nicolas Maduro — would follow in his role model’s footsteps.


In the report of its findings on Wednesday, the UN team said Venezuela’s security services had been engaged in a pattern of systematic violence since 2014, aimed at suppressing political opposition and generally terrorising the population.

Mr Maduro and the ministers of interior and defence were not only aware of the crimes, but gave orders, co-ordinated operations and supplied resources, the report said.

“The mission found the government, state agents, and groups working with them had committed egregious violations,” it said.

For once, the UN investigators pulled no punches in accusing Maduro and his henchmen of “crimes against humanity.”

“The mission found reasonable grounds to believe that Venezuelan authorities and security forces have since 2014 planned and executed serious human rights violations, some of which – including arbitrary killings and the systematic use of torture – amount to crimes against humanity,” the mission’s chairperson, Marta Valiñas, said in a statement.

“Far from being isolated acts, these crimes were coordinated and committed pursuant to state policies, with the knowledge or direct support of commanding officers and senior government officials.”


This is right out of the Fidel Castro terror playbook.

A typical operation might involve weapons being planted in an area thought to be loyal to the opposition, with security services then entering the area and shooting people at point blank range, or detaining them, torturing them, and killing them.

The violence against the political opposition has only picked up as the economic crisis has worsened. But the question of what can be done about it remains. The U.S. has sanctioned Venezuela and it’s leaders severely. But with so many millions on the edge of starvation, any further sanctions could cause mass starvation.

Sanctions against individuals are easily evaded and sanctioning the military has resulted in Russia and China picking up the slack to supply the regime with weapons. And Cuba is still hip-deep in its involvement in the regime’s campaign of terror against its own citizens.

There doesn’t seem like there’s much any nation can do individually. But the UN investigation came up with several dozen names of perpetrators — something that could be used to build an international case against them.

The UN investigators have a list of 45 names of those believed to have been directly involved. The UN Human Rights Council is designed to investigate violations, to advise on upholding human rights, but not to sanction. That is the job of the UN Security Council, and here Russia and China, who regularly oppose what they see as meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state, may oppose any action.

But that list of 45 names is significant; it suggests the UN investigators believe they may have a role to play building a case for a prosecution for crimes against humanity in an international tribunal.


Indirectly, such a tribunal could put pressure on Maduro to exit the country. But thanks to China and Russia, collective action against Venezuela is out of the question.

So we’re back to the basic question; how do the victims and their families receive justice?

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