Rights activists hail Venezuela’s departure from UN Human Rights Council – by Andrew Parr from Guadalupe.me
The US Congress passed a symbolic resolution this week denouncing Venezuela’s move at the UN Human Rights Council: ‘Resolution to recognize that Venezuela lacks internal and external political stability, which is hindering its progress on human rights, and that the President of Venezuela’s refusal to hold free and fair presidential elections is undermining democratic governance’.
The symbolic language is in keeping with the US administration’s policy of using the Human Rights Council as a sounding board and a forum for condemning human rights-abusing governments on the international level.
Even if this resolution, signed by the US House of Representatives, makes it to the senate and is ratified there, it will probably not change the human rights situation in Venezuela, for this is not the first time. The government in Caracas has made clear that “there will be no vote” at the UN Human Rights Council, as the government has declared that a violation of its sovereignty will be a violation of international law.
But in a way it does.
The Human Rights Council was originally set up (in 1969) to respond to a problem that had arisen in the early 1960s: The Soviet Union at the UN had been lobbying for recognition of the new state of the People’s Republic of China but since the Communist regime in Beijing had only just started to exercise the very rights it had been advocating in its bid for independence.
The Soviet Union’s attempts to bring the issue to the attention of the UN’s most powerful state body had been made with a view to using it as a vehicle to undermine the new regime in Beijing.
The US response, made simultaneously with the Soviet effort but in secret, was to call on those participating in the vote to recognize the new regime in China, which had been established by its troops in the Korean peninsula against the wishes of the US-supported regime in Pyongyang.
In other words the US was calling on those countries at the UN to recognize the new state of the People’s Republic of China, while simultaneously trying to ensure that the Communist Party of China would be given a chance of winning the vote.
The US response would have