A law professor who specializes in human rights claims that Venezuelans are “better off” because of Hugo Chávez and are currently enjoying “free and fair” elections.
Daniel Kovalik, who teaches international human rights law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, argues in a recent op-ed for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that U.S. media coverage of Venezuela “ignores the fact” that the U.S. is the “greatest impediment to democracy” in Venezuela and “throughout Latin America.”
Kovalik asserts that the “true patriots” of Venezuela “resent” the “devastating economic sanctions” imposed by the U.S., claiming that a vote for current socialist President Nicolás Maduro “was a vote against U.S. meddling” in the country’s affairs.
[RELATED: College defends decision to host Venezuelan officials]
“Venezuela’s electoral system...is an inspiring process that guarantees one person, one vote, and includes multiple auditing procedures to ensure a free and fair election,” Kovalik claims.
A 2017 World Report by Human Rights Watch (HRC), however, documents multiple instances of abuse against political opponents and citizens who were critical of the current Venezuelan government.
According to the report, between April and July of last year, “security force personnel have shot demonstrators at point-blank range with riot-control munitions, run over demonstrators with an armored vehicle, brutally beaten people who offered no resistance, and staged violent raids on apartment buildings.”
Likewise, the the human rights watchdog notes that the United States Attorney General’s Office reported 124 deaths that occured in Venezuela during “incidents related to the protests” as of July 2017. In August of the same year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is also said to have concluded that “more than half of the deaths had been caused by security agents.”
“Security forces often held protesters incommunicado on military bases for 48 hours or more, and in some cases, committed egregious human rights violations, including severe beatings, electric shocks or burns, and forcing detainees to squat or kneel without moving for hours,” the report adds.
[RELATED: UCF socialists: Republicans are ‘terrorists,’ &l
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=11022