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.
De Zayas told investigative journalist Abby Martin:
"When you deliberately impose sanctions, & financial blockades & an economic war, that asphyxiate a country's economy… and as a consequence thousands of people die you have a case of crime against humanity"@Alfreddezayas tells @AbbyMartin re #Venezuelahttps://t.co/5yrfItXBwF pic.twitter.com/RnOG3gXqkz
— M. A. E. (@MElmaazi) February 23, 2019
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:
Richard Branson’s Live Aid interventionist propaganda show has brought the reality of Venezuela’s “humanitarian crisis” into the open:
A local bus line is offering affluent Venezuelan opposition supporters luxury vacation packages to “the most trendy concert of the decade” pic.twitter.com/J0iJEwaFS0
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) February 20, 2019
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:
US sanctions & the "threat of enormous [financial] penalties" by the US Treasury has starved #Venezuela for cash & blocked food, medicine & medical equipment from going into the country, says UN expert @Alfreddezayas to @AbbyMartin, @EmpireFiles.#VenezuelaAidLive pic.twitter.com/6rLkINSU8I
— M. A. E. (@MElmaazi) February 23, 2019
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
- 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)
Since you're here ...
We know you don't need a lecture. You wouldn't be here if you didn't care.
Now, more than ever, we need your help to challenge the rightwing press and hold power to account. Please help us survive and thrive.