U.N. rights boss decries Venezuela crackdown; says sanctions may worsen crisis
21 Mar 2019

Venezuelan security forces, backed by pro-government militias, have quashed peaceful protests with excessive use of force, killings and torture, U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday.

The country was plunged into a political crisis in January when Juan Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled congress, invoked the constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was not legitimate.

Bachelet told the U.N. Human Rights Council that she had information, without elaborating, that the National Police’s Special Actions Force (FAES) had executed 37 people in January in Caracas in illegal house raids in poor areas supporting the opposition.

– By Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, 20 March 2019.

Link to Reuters

KYC360 Story Update: In an emailed statement to KYC360, a State Department spokesman said: “U.S. sanctions need not be permanent; they are intended to change behavior. The United States will continue to take appropriate action, including designating persons for sanctions, to respond to the situation in Venezuela as it develops.

“We would consider lifting sanctions if there are concrete and meaningful actions to restore democratic order, end human rights abuses, and to combat corruption in Venezuela.”

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