Friday: Venezuelan pro-democracy opposition leaders in Geneva to demand international action

Dissidents to participate in summit of Socialist International
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GENEVA, Dec 10, 2014 – Three leaders of the Venezuelan democratic opposition, Lilian Tintori, Carlos Vecchio and Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, will visit Geneva on Friday, December 12, to attend a meeting of the Council of Socialist International where the Venezuela situation will be on the agenda. (See bios below)
Last month, a senior Socialist International delegation visiting Venezuela was prohibited from seeing imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, Tintori’s husband. When Lopez and his comrades lifted a written sign between the bars of their cells, the guards sounded the siren of a military vehicle, creating a deafening noise that silenced the political prisoners’ voices. The matter will be discussed at Friday’s SI Council meeting in Geneva.
The UN Human Rights Council’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has recently demanded Lopez’s release. Venezuela, despite being an elected member of the Council, rejected the ruling, calling it an “intervention of the United Nations into its internal affairs.”
In October, Tintori, the wife of Leopoldo Lopez, became the first family member of a political prisoner to meet with new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.
The High Commissioner called for the immediate release of Lopez and “all those detained for exercising their legitimate right to express themselves and protest peacefully,” some 70 people in total.
UN Watch has hosted many members of the Venezuelan democratic opposition, most recently in June 2014, when Lopez’s aunt and students leaders addressed a parallel UN event. Venezuelan opposition leader Maria Corina Machado, has confirmed her participation at the 2015 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.

Ramon Guillermo Aveledo

Former Executive Director of the opposition electoral Coalition for Democratic Unity, now serving as its International Relations Coordinator. He was elected to the Venezuela Chamber of Deputies three times and served as its President twice.


Carlos Vecchio

National Political Coordinator of “Voluntad Popular,” a Venezuelan social and political movement aiming to eliminate poverty peacefully and within democracy. After receiving threats from the regime in July, he now lives in exile where he has taken an active role in raising awareness on human rights violations in the country.


Lilian Tintori

Human Rights Activist, Wife of Leopoldo López.

UN Watch