After months of lambasting staunch U.S. ally Colombia for its human rights record, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch has published a detailed 236-page report exposing the Venezuelan government of Hugo Chavez’ shabby record with regard to human rights in extensive detail.
Describing everything from the marginalization of political opposition groups to the dismantling of judicial independence in order to make the courts subservient to an increasingly centralized government, the report recounts many specific instances where the populist Chavez governs with little regard for democratic practices. Two senior Human Rights Watch officials were hustled out of their hotels at night and hastily thrown on the first plane out of Venezuela for such a brazen attempt to engage in open, objective criticism of the regime. While we have not always agreed with previous Human Rights Watch positions on Cuba or Colombia, we are pleased to see this report published and commend the readiness of Human Rights Watch to take its case to Caracas and the Venezuelan people. Their treatment by Venezuela authorities and the shrill accusation that those reporting objective truths about the true nature of political life in Venezuela are engaging in a destabilizing conspiracy speaks volumes about the nature of the Chavez regime