Press Statement by
Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
October 17, 2019
The UN High Commissioner report on Human Rights issued this past July documented egregious human rights abuses of the former Maduro regime in Venezuela. It is sadly no surprise that Maduro shamelessly sought a seat on the UN Human Rights Council in an effort to block any limit to his repressive control of the Venezuelan people. What is truly tragic, however, is that other nations voted to give Maduro’s representative for Venezuela a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. This is a harsh blow not just against the victims of the Venezuelan regime, but also against the cause of human rights around the world.
The Human Rights Council ought to be a protector and defender of human rights of people the world over. It should be speaking out about the daily abuses of the former Maduro regime, and others like it. Instead, the Council has become an exercise in shameless hypocrisy – with some of the world’s most serious offenders sitting on the Council itself. Its membership includes authoritarian governments with unambiguous and abhorrent human rights records, such as China, Cuba, and Venezuela. These are among the reasons why the United States withdrew from the Human Rights Council in 2018.
The United States strongly supports multilateral organizations that sincerely and effectively work to protect human rights. The election to the Human Rights Council of Maduro’s representative is a farce that further undermines the Council’s already frail credibility. We desire to work with our allies and partners in support of Venezuelan interim President Guaidó’s efforts to restore human rights and democracy in Venezuela, a critical objective that reflects the United States’ commitment to human rights and freedom.