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The Washington Post published this Friday a harsh editorial condemning and denouncing the violation of citizens’ human rights by the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela.
The editorial highlights the report published by the Independent Mission of the United Nations Organization detailing how the regime of Nicolás Maduro used state agencies to persecute, intimidate, and assassinate political dissidents.
“Venezuela’s sorrows under the rule of President Nicolás Maduro and his mentor Hugo Chávez are evident for all to see —years of severe economic decline, sundering of democracy and an epic exodus out of the country. Now come details of how Mr. Maduro personally has directed the brutal security services to silence dissent,” reads the editorial.
The WaPo editorial board notes that “The 2020 report found that law enforcement and intelligence services were key to the systemic repression.” It further explains that the Maduro regime received support from Cuba to carry out these bloody practices.
“The new report points to the Directorate General of Military Counter-Intelligence (DGCIM), and the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN),” the liberal newspaper writes, regarding which Venezuelan state institutions are in charge of the persecution and mistreatment of opponents of Chavism.
The newspaper also refers to the tortures used by Venezuelan officials and describes them as “appalling punishments.” The UN report, quoted by the newspaper, details that the tortures are “severe beatings with bats and sharp objects; electric shocks to sensitive parts of the body; asphyxiation with toxic substances and water; cuts and mutilations including on the soles of the feet and under the nails… rape with objects; blows and electric shocks to the genitals; constant lighting or constant darkness; extreme heat or extreme cold; forced feeding of feces and vomit; and death threats and threats of rape to the victims and their families.”
WaPo highlights the attempts of Joe Biden’s administration to reestablish relations with the Chavista regime and concludes by insisting that any political decision must take into account the crimes committed by Maduro and his officials.
“The report comes at a delicate time for U.S. policy, which has sought to isolate the Maduro regime and still recognizes democratically elected Juan Guaidó as interim president, although Mr. Maduro appears to be strengthening his hold. Leftist governments coming to power in Latin America seem ready to reestablish ties with Venezuela.”
“U.S. officials have met directly with the Venezuelan government twice this year to discuss releasing U.S. citizens,” he added.
Finally, the WaPo editorial argues that while these meetings are taking place, hundreds of Venezuelans continue to leave their country, generating a migration crisis in the West. “Meanwhile, the stream of Venezuelan refugees are a heavy burden for the Western Hemisphere and the United States. In all this, Mr. Maduro’s crimes must not be overlooked.”