U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Venezuela,
As delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper
The United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva
26th Session, November 1, 2016
The United States remains troubled by the human rights situation in Venezuela in light of: lack of respect for separation of powers; actions to bypass the elected National Assembly; suspension of the constitutionally-permitted recall referendum and of regional elections; criminalization of dissent; and continuing media restrictions.
We are concerned that individuals detained during peaceful protests continue to be incarcerated and mistreated; the intelligence agency SEBIN is increasingly used for law enforcement; and the government continues to intimidate workers.
We recommend that the Government of Venezuela:
- Engage in a dialogue among all Venezuelans, including the opposition, to resolve Venezuela’s political divisions, economic crisis, and humanitarian situation.
- Respect citizens’ constitutional right to a recall referendum by allowing the signature collection to proceed.
- Permit genuine expression of dissent, by releasing political prisoners, allowing the elected National Assembly to carry out its functions, and permitting peaceful protests and independent media reporting.