Venezuela turns UN Human Rights debate into 'dictatorfest'

Author: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, U.S. Representative Florida District 18
Published On: Mar 15 2012 07:15:29 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 15 2012 07:16:57 PM EDT

"‘Dictatorfest’ is taking place today at the UN Human Rights Council, with all benefits going to the Venezuelan regime. 

“In order to ensure that it is not held accountable for its human rights violations during its Universal Periodic Review at the UN Human Rights Council, Venezuela has stacked the debate time with representatives from like-minded oppressive dictatorships.   Chavez’s cronies from the abusive regimes in Cuba, Nicaragua, Vietnam, China, Burma, Iran, and Syria are all guaranteed a platform to speak, while the voices of responsible nations will largely not be heard. 

“It is outrageous and dangerous that tyrants continue to hijack the Human Rights Council and other UN bodies in order to protect each other, while condemning free democracies such as the United States and Israel.

“Hugo Chavez has ruthlessly expanded his authority in Venezuela at the expense of the fundamental freedoms of the Venezuelan people.  By monopolizing the debate time today at the UN, Chavez is once again demonstrating that he fears the voices of free people, and the UN is again demonstrating its fecklessness in the face of the world’s dictators.”  

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Member of Congress