Saturday, May 23, 2015

Venezuela's deteriorating human rights situation: Where is Leopoldo?

 Bad news on human rights in Venezuela

Leopoldo Lopez imprisoned for over a year now faces  new threat reports his wife
It wasn't supposed to be this way. The reset on Cuba by the Obama Administration was supposed to lead to improvements not only in US-Cuba relations but across the hemisphere. Six months later the human rights situation in both Cuba and Venezuela have worsened. The Summit of the Americas was a disaster that saw the dictatorship flexing its repression in Panama turning the regional meeting into a mockery of the democratic gathering of nations and civil society it was supposed to be.  In the case of Venezuela democratic opposition leaders arbitrarily detained last year during anti-government protests, relatives fear, are being transferred to violent prisons where their physical security cannot be guaranteed. Today over twitter Lillian Tintori denounced not being able to see her husband, opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez.

At 4:36pm she tweeted "Before the absence of proof of the physical integrity of at this hour 4:06pm I am NOT moving from Ramo Verde." She went on tweeting: "We denounce the precarious condition that is in at this moment. No more Abuses!" Nearly an hour and a half later she tweeted: Already 5:56PM time is up for visit to Ramo Verde and I couldn't confirm Leopoldo's status, nor were his lawyers able to pass! Going home where my children need me, with the fear that he will be transferred. She concluded with the ominous tweet:  "They told me not to come tomorrow that they will NOT let us pass."

In 2015 students continue to be shot and killed by agents of the Maduro regime in Venezuela. As has been the case in Cuba, the Venezuelan regime is killing the future. Prison conditions in Venezuela are notoriously unsafe with scores of extrajudicial killings reported in 2015.

The radical appeasement of the Obama Administration on Cuba, that is described by some as a policy reset, is emboldening tyrants in the Americas. The events in Venezuela are a demonstration of this and of the overall decline of human rights both regionally and internationally over the past decade.

Arbitrarily detained and lives endamgered:  Daniel and Leopoldo

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