On February 20th, Venezuela’s military attaché to the United Nations, Colonel Pedro Chirinos announced his support of US-Proclaimed Interim President Juan Guaido.
— CNW (@ConflictsW) February 20, 2019
“I recognize, and offer my support and obedience, to the transition government led by the president, Juan Guaido,” Chirinos said.
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he was not aware of any notifications from the Venezuelan U.N. mission on changes to its delegation.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton used the chance to once more claim that Chirinos is another example of an official who has “chosen democracy over Maduro’s tyranny.”
Separately, US Southern Command Commander Craig Faller held a meeting with the head of the Colombian Armed Forces on the same day. In his address he warned the Venezuelan military:
“This message is for the Venezuelan military, you will ultimately be responsible for your actions. Do the right thing. Save your people and your country.”
Craig Faller, commander of the US Southern Command: “This message is for the Venezuelan military, you will ultimately be responsible for your actions, do the right thing," #Venezuela #20F pic.twitter.com/PA6KNk63Eo
— CNW (@ConflictsW) February 20, 2019
John Bolton also appeared to have set his sights on one of the supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government. In a tweet he warned Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, repeating a warning that US President Donald Trump issued on February 18th.
The Ortega regime has sentenced three farm leaders to 550 years in prison for their roles in protests in 2018, where Ortega’s police forces reportedly killed 300 activists. As President Trump said Monday, Ortega’s days are numbered and the Nicaraguan people will soon be free.
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) February 20, 2019
Also Andrew McCabe, who has been in the limelight recently in his book claimed that Trump wanted war in Venezuela because “they have all that oil.”
Meanwhile, media reported that Juan Guaido is to leave for Colombia, despite being banned from leaving the country by the Venezuelan supreme court. He is to visit the neighboring country in order to arrange the delivery of US humanitarian aid on the deadline he gave – February 23rd.
He rallied bus drivers who, according to him, are willing to join the opposition’s cause and assist in the delivery of aid.
¡El sector transporte se une a nuestra ruta!
Nuestros transportistas ya se sumaron a la lucha por la reconstrucción de Venezuela.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) 21 February 2019
He also thanked Puerto Rico for sending a ship loaded with 250 tons of humanitarian aid.
Hoy salió desde Puerto Rico una embarcación con 250 toneladas de ayuda humanitaria para nuestro país.
Contenedores llenos de esperanza y oportunidades para muchos venezolanos, pero también llenos de libertad.
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 20, 2019
Finally, on February 20th Amnesty International released a report on Venezuela titled “Hunger, punishment and fear, the formula for repression used by authorities under Nicolás Maduro.”
We gathered 50+ testimonies & 15 emblematic cases—some of serious human rights violations—during a research mission in #Venezuela. The evidence indicates that state authorities carried out selective extrajudicial executions as method of social control. https://t.co/etxQLgtAZ1
— Amnesty International (@amnesty) February 20, 2019
According to the report, at least 41 people died during five days of protests from January 21st to 25th, almost all of them from gunshot wounds, while 900 were arrested.
Amnesty called on the UN Human Rights Council to take action to address the “total impunity that prevails in Venezuela” by creating an independent investigative body to report on the human rights situation.
“The authorities under Nicolás Maduro are trying to use fear and punishment to impose a repulsive strategy of social control against those who demand change,” Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International said.
Amnesty noted a significant number of extrajudicial executions, as well as constant excessive use of force and arbitrary detentions.
“As we have seen many times in Venezuela, the authorities want us to believe that those who died during the protests – mainly young people from low-income areas – were criminals. Their only crime was daring to ask for change and to demand a dignified existence,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas.
“Arbitrarily detaining more than a hundred adolescents and subjecting them to cruel treatment, which at times may have constituted torture, shows how far the authorities are willing to go in their desperate attempts to stop the protests and subdue the population,” she also said.
According to the Amnesty, the solution is to employ international justice.
Erika Guevara-Rosas also noted that Venezuelan authorities have a “policy of abandoning the victims of human rights violations.”
“International justice is the only hope for victims of human rights violations in Venezuela. It is time to activate all available mechanisms to prevent further atrocities,” she concluded.
The recent developments show that the US and US-affilated entities are set continue their pressure on the Venezuelan government in the ongoing awttempt to overthrow it.
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