UN Human Rights Council event on June 17 to examine Venezuela crackdown; National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello says gathering seeks to “discredit” government
GENEVA, June 15, 2014 – The head of the Venezuelan parliament was one of several top Caracas officials to lash out at an upcoming gathering of Venezuelan dissidents at the United Nations Human Rights Council, where the government’s violent repression of protests is expected to come under intense scrutiny.
The first-ever UN summit of Venezuelan dissidents, which will draw together ambassadors, UN officials, and rights activists, is being organized by the Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch, with the co-sponsorship of Iniciativa por Venezuela, Human Rights Foundation and Directorio.
The event will take place this Tuesday, June 17th, at the Palais des Nations headquarters of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. (To request interviews, contact UN Watch).
According to media reports, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello accused the UN Watch event of being “part of the agenda to discredit Venezuela before international bodies.” Cabello is a former military confidante of Hugo Chavez and exercises vast power throughout the government apparatus. The Atlantic Monthly called him “the Frank Underwood of Veneuzela.”
UN Watch confirms the following speakers:
- Julieta Lopez – Aunt of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, who has been imprisoned since February. When Ms. Lopez addressed the Human Rights Council plenary in March, the Venezuelan delegate interrupted her speech and tried to stop her from testifying. (See video here).
- Delphine Patétif – Venezuelan human rights lawyer who has defended political prisoners.
- Eusebio Costa – 22-year-old student activist, President of the Students Centre at the Catholic University Santa Rosa in Caracas. Member of the protest camp in Las Mercedes.
- Alejandro Suarez Teppa – 33-year-old activist and graduate student of Philosophy. National Board Member of the Active Youth Venezuela United ( Juventud Activa Venezuela Unida) JAVU. Leader of protest camp in Stanta Fé.