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U.S. Deeply Concerned by Venezuelan Government’s Response to Ongoing Protests
March 13, 2014

Venezuela: Response to pronouncements by the Prosecutor General of Venezuela at a side event at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

As Delivered by Scott Busby
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State
for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

The United States remains deeply concerned by the government’s response to the ongoing protests in Venezuela.  The government’s arbitrary detention and excessive use of force against protesters and journalists, lack of due process, and the shutdown of foreign media and Internet, endanger human rights.

We join with the international community to call for an end to violence, respect for human rights, support for the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, due process of law, and release of those detained for exercising their right to peaceful protest and free expression.

We join the six UN human rights rapporteurs and urgently call for a thorough investigation into the violence, and bring to justice perpetrators of those senseless acts.

The Venezuelan government has a responsibility to respect and protect its citizens’ safety and human rights.

The situation in Venezuela today makes it imperative that trusted third parties facilitate the conversation as Venezuelans search for solutions to end the violence and to deal with political divisions in a democratic fashion.  It will also require an end to attempts to suppress free speech and peaceful assembly and a release of protesters.

We call for authentically inclusive dialogue between the government and the opposition with third-party mediation.