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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Nothing is impossible: Maduro addresses the UN Human Rights Council

Updated: Mar 5, 2021

"Let's change the predatory capitalist economic system that has generated so much pain, death, war and misery."

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Here we share the impassioned address of Nicolás Maduro, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, to the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on February 22. In it he calls for an end to the "predatory capitalist system" and the creation of "a system of justice and equality, based on the pillars of respect for Human Rights, Social Rights and International Law."

Thank you very much, President*.

On this occasion, I am pleased to attend this important session of the Human Rights Council on behalf of the people of Venezuela. The serious and unexpected circumstances of COVID-19 that humanity faces require a greater commitment from world leaders in working for a better, common and shared destiny.

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of 2.4 million people and infected more than 109 million worldwide, exacerbating social injustices and inequalities. An emergency of such magnitude has highlighted the need to make health a fundamental human right. Multilateralism is showing that it is the only possible way to overcome global difficulties and build better living conditions for the peoples. In this sense, we want to acknowledge the guiding work of the World Health Organization, which has achieved coordination between States, to avoid an even greater tragedy.

Venezuela, for its part, has managed to mitigate and control the pandemic thanks to a pre-existing social policy of free and quality public health, of social security and the implementation of biosafety methodologies based on citizen participation, as well as the application of complementary and combined scientific treatments that we make available to the Member States, with the greatest humility.

It has not been easy. Our Homeland faces a multidimensional war, aimed at ending the inclusive social model built by the Bolivarian Revolution. There have been actions of excessive pressure, of persecution against our country, through the imposition of more than 450 unilateral and illegal coercive measures, which have resulted in a blockade and an obsessive persecution of the capacities of the Venezuelan State and society.

Through the sanctions, Venezuela has been deprived of at least 30 billion dollars in cash, which are part of the Republic's assets abroad, resources that should have, and should be, used to care for the health, food and comprehensive rights of our people. The kidnappers of the assets and resources of the Venezuelan State have shown great cruelty, even in pandemic circumstances, highlighting and disregarding the calls of the international community, the Secretary General of the United Nations, the High Commissioner and, especially the Venezuelan people, and they have increased the economic aggressions, generating a humanitarian crisis in a malicious and premeditated manner.

Even in these hostile circumstances, we have made great efforts to guarantee the Bolivarian Social Welfare State, which today has been deeply harmed by coercive, illegal and unilateral sanctions. We will not stop, however, the advance of programs aimed at guaranteeing the social security of the Venezuelan people. To this end, we have strengthened our cooperation with the United Nations systems in an integrated manner, with all its specialized agencies, programs, and funds.

Madam President,

The Venezuelan Government renewed in September 2020, for one more year, the Memorandum of Understanding with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue strengthening ties of cooperation and technical assistance in the promotion and protection of human rights in Venezuela.

I reiterate that the Venezuelan State will work decisively with the members of this Human Rights Council, as well as I also affirm that we will not accept the interference or intervention of any inquisitive mechanism against our Homeland Venezuela, which intends to use the just cause of human rights as a political tool, for a change of government, a change of regime by force in our country.

Those who believe that Venezuela will decrease the cooperation achieved with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as a consequence of these ideological provocations by a group of governments, are wrong.

Madam President,

I would like to inform the member states that a few days ago the visit of Dr. Alena Douhan, Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, ended with the focus on the subject of the negative repercussions of the Unilateral Coercive Measures systematically applied against the Venezuelan people. Dr. Alena Douhan held a wide number of meetings that allowed her to dialogue with various political, business and social actors about the reality of Venezuela. The conclusions of its preliminary report are conclusive in showing that the sanctions and unilateral coercive measures applied by the United States and the European Union, as a deliberate tool to achieve regime change in Venezuela, flagrantly violate international law and universal and regional human rights.

The report specifically recognizes that these extraterritorial actions threaten the life of the Venezuelan people and work against the full enjoyment of the economic and social rights democratically won over the last two decades.

The Rapporteur demanded the lifting of sanctions against Venezuela, the return of its assets and guarantees of access by the Venezuelan State to resources that have been illegally frozen globally, as well as access to the global financial system.

This is the cry of almost 30 million Venezuelans who are victims of these coercive, unilateral, illegal measures of multidimensional economic aggression.

Madam President,

Despite the campaign against Venezuelan Democracy and the boycotts orchestrated from Washington and Bogotá, on December 6, the Venezuelan people elected their new National Assembly, their new Legislative Power from among almost 14 thousand male and female candidates, belonging to 107 political organizations. representative of all the ideological and political tendencies of the country. The day passed in peace and the new parliamentary body is already legislating to further protect the political guarantees of the people of Venezuela.

In this sense, we reiterate our call to respect the self-determination of the peoples, and we join efforts to strengthen multilateralism, the conception of a multipolar world, without hegemony, while reaffirming our commitment to the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. No aggression will divert our country from this noble purpose.

The Liberator Simón Bolívar, Liberator of America, affirmed 200 years ago that the most perfect system of government is the one that offers its citizens the highest amount of happiness possible, the highest amount of social security and the highest amount of political stability, we believe this and we urge that all the members of the Human Rights Council and the United Nations make these principles our own throughout the United Nations and jointly guarantee the happiness, security and stability of humanity. Let's change the predatory capitalist economic system that has generated so much pain, death, war and misery. Thinking about the future of the species, nothing is impossible, let us create a system of justice and equality, based on the pillars of respect for Human Rights, Social Rights and International Law.

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Human Rights Council, Madam President, thank you very much.

*President of the Human Rights Council Nazhat Shameem.



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