CARACAS – Venezuela’s embattled incumbent Nicolas Maduro said on Monday he had demanded the rectification of what he described as lies included in the latest United Nations report on the situation of human rights in the South American country.
Maduro also said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, had “made a wrong call” with the report’s outcome.
During a press conference at the Miraflores presidential palace, Maduro said that Venezuela’s foreign affairs ministry had called for the “rectification of lies, falsehoods and manipulations” in the report presented by Bachelet.
Maduro added that he would send a personal note to Bachelet – which was set to be published in Geneva within a period of 48 hours – in which he would expose “several truths about the history of Latin America” and would ask her not to turn to “fascism, oligarchy and interventionism.”
He said that the UN report had been written by people who were enemies of Venezuela and the so-called Bolivarian Revolution, while at the same time denying that his regime was under any pressure and dismissing it as “just another report” that he said had been dictated by the United States Department of State.
In the report presented by Bachelet, it is alleged that the Maduro regime and the institutions had set in place a strategy “focused on neutralizing, repressing and criminalizing the political opposition and those who criticize the government” since 2016.
The report was prepared with 500 interviews – conducted in Venezuela and in eight other countries – from alleged witnesses of fundamental human rights violations between January 2018 and May 2019.
Maduro accused the United States Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams of exerting “personal pressure on Bachelet.”
He added that he had welcomed the former Chilean president “with goodwill” and said that she had refused to listen to or see the reality of the country.
Venezuela has been witnessing extreme political tensions since January, when Maduro was sworn in for another six-year term after winning elections which the opposition described as fraudulent. In response, the speaker of the national assembly, Juan Guaido, took oath as the interim president.
Guaido has obtained formal recognition as president from more than 50 governments in a diplomatic blitz spearheaded by the US, despite the fact that he has failed to gain control over the administration or the country’s armed forces.