Testimony delivered by UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer before the United Nations Human Rights Council, Interactive dialogue with Alena Douhan, Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, 15 September 2021. (Video of UN debate: Alena Douhan, Venezuela & other countries | UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer )
Ms. Douhan, your report blames Venezuela’s economic turmoil on Western sanctions. We would like to ask a few questions.
First, while it’s possible that some recent sanctions had some effect on Venezuela’s oil production, why does your report fail to mention how the country’s economic catastrophe was caused by the staggering mismanagement, corruption and assault on democratic institutions by the governments of both Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro?
Why no mention of the price controls, overspending, and over-dependence on a single commodity, which made the economy dysfunctional?
Why does your report not mention the 2018 report by the Brookings Institute, which describes hyperinflation as the product of “monumental government mismanagement”?
Ms. Douhan, why does your report not mention how the governments of Maduro and Chavez destroyed the oil industry, firing 22,000 oil experts who were deemed ideologically unaligned with the revolution?
Are you concerned that the narrative of your report sounds almost identical to the official line of President Maduro, who desperately wants to evade responsibility for causing the worst humanitarian crisis in the history of the region, even as his friends plunder the treasury for their personal gain?
Ms. Douhan, are you concerned that by providing an incomplete assessment of the causes that have led to the suffering of millions of Venezuelans for over two decades, your report will only feed into President Maduro’s systematic denial of responsibility?
I thank you.