Salazar Chides Venezuela's Closing of UN Human Rights Office

Salazar Chides Venezuela's Closing of UN Human Rights Office

The lawmakers “condemn the Maduro regime’s flagrant disregard for, and systematic violation of, the rights of Venezuelans.

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
February 19, 2024

Florida Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R) has joined a bipartisan delegation in condemning Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro for closing the United Nation’s human rights office. Maduro ordered the closure of the office after accusing it of engaging in anti-government activity.

As the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee Chairman, Rep. Salazar joined Ranking Member and Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro (D), and Florida Reps. Mike Waltz (R) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) in condemning President Maduro’s decision.

Last Thursday, President Maduro ordered the office to suspend its operations as well as giving its staff 72 hours to leave the country. The reason behind the decision is that the office is accused of assisting both terrorist groups and individuals plotting a coup. The decision comes as the country faces controversy over concerns that it is repressing political opponents during an important election year.

Foreign Affairs Minister Yván Gil made the announcement at a news conference in Caracas, saying that the UN office had “become the private law firm of coup plotters and terrorist groups that permanently conspire against the country.”

In a statement, Rep. Salazar and the rest of the delegation condemned the decision, sharing that they “are deeply concerned by reports that the Maduro regime has ordered the United Nations human rights office to suspend its operations and leave the country, based on spurious accusations that it works on behalf of ‘coup plotters and terrorist groups.’”

The delegation called it “the latest assault on democracy, after the Maduro regime reinstated its ban on opposition leader Maria Corina Machado’s presidential candidacy and forcefully disappeared several pro-democracy organizers and human rights defenders.”

The lawmakers “condemn the Maduro regime’s flagrant disregard for, and systematic violation of, the rights of Venezuelans,” calling “for the immediate reinstatement of the mission and urge swift passage of the AFFECT Human Rights in Venezuela Act to affirm the United States’ support for the Venezuelan people.”

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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