UN expert: West is ‘instrumentalising’ human rights ‘to destroy human rights’

Alfred De Zeyas
Mohamed Elmaazi

Former UN human rights expert Alfred de Zayas has blasted what he called the “weaponisation of human rights”. De Zayas is the first UN investigator to visit Venezuela in 21 years. He was critiquing the use of ‘human rights’ and ‘humanitarian’ language by Western powers, as well as corporate press coverage of the situation in Venezuela.

‘Sanctions kill’

De Zayas told investigative journalist Abby Martin:

He also said:

I see human rights more and more being instrumentalised to destroy human rights. There is a weaponisation of human rights. I see the Rule of Law being instrumentalised to destroy the Rule of Law.

Vanity project for the rich?

Richard Branson arranged a ‘Live-Aid-ish’ concert for ‘humanitarian aid’ on the Venezuelan-Colombian border on 22 February. The billionaire’s ‘Venezuelan connections’ apparently inspired him to arrange this event:

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters took Branson to task for his apparent publicity stunt.

De Zayas, meanwhile, insisted that the solution to Venezuela’s food and medicine problems is “much easier than the band-aid of sending some packages of food”. In other words, the solution is to end the sanctions against Venezuela.

Blocking food and medicine

In fact, the Red Cross and the UN have slammed the West’s ‘politicisation of aid’. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that Maduro has already received aid via the UN, and continues to receive aid.

De Zayas explained that:

In other words, any US-led ‘aid‘ efforts are inherently suspect.

The ‘mainstream press are complicit’

De Zayas explicitly called out the “complicity of the mainstream media”‘ and even human rights organisations like Amnesty International. He argued that, unfortunately, even organisations like Amnesty and Human Rights Watch can be adversely influenced by the interests of larger donors.

The people of Venezuela have every reason to doubt the true nature of any US ‘aid’. Because the US has been sanctioning Venezuela to “make the economy scream”, as establishment experts have admitted. So it’s down to us, in the allegedly ‘democratic’ West, to show our solidarity and demand our governments immediately cease their regime change efforts; before it’s too late.

Featured image via Empire Files/YouTube

Get involved

  • Support the work of Abby Martin’s the Empire Files with a one-time donation or as a monthly sustainer. (US sanctions on Venezuela closed down funding for the Empire Files from the Venezuelan government-funded TeleSUR public broadcaster.)
  • In the US: write to your Congressperson and demand that they oppose the coup and end the crippling US sanctions that are exacerbating the humanitarian situation (be sure to be polite and concise in order to be effective).
  • In the UK: write to your MP and ask them to oppose the coup, the sanctions, and return Venezuela’s gold to the Maduro government, to help alleviate the suffering of Venezuela’s people (be sure to be polite and concise in order to be effective)


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