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Women opposition leaders in Venezuela seek support from Geneva International By Michelle Langrand



Women opposition leaders in Venezuela seek support from Geneva International


A group of women political leaders and activists from Venezuela were in Geneva last week to urge international organizations and diplomatic representatives to support a democratic transition in Venezuela and increase the focus on the role of women.

We were sending a strong message from a city like Geneva, where the Human Rights Council is based, said a member of the women’s delegation, Isadora Zubillaga, who also represents the opposition Juan Guaids government in Paris.

Venezuela’s economic and political merger has been at the center of discussions in Geneva at the UN human rights body, where the government of President Nicolas Maduro has been accused of cracking down on the opposition and usurping power through rigged elections in 2018.

A few weeks later, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Guaid, declared himself interim president and has since been embroiled in a power struggle with Maduro.

The country has suffered from a multi-year economic crisis accompanied by rising hyperinflation and a lack of food, medicine and basic services. Since 2018, relocation from Venezuela has quadrupled and is now complete 5.9 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants worldwide.

The women’s group met with several ambassadors at a meeting hosted by the Canadian mission and the Independent Diplomat advisory group, seeking to increase international pressure on Maduro, as well as support for Venezuelan immigrants from host countries.

We asked them to continue to help make the role of women visible in various issues related to Venezuela and to continue to support the process in Mexico because it is an important road ahead, Zubillaga said. We want free and fair presidential elections. Maduro’s regime is not legitimate.

Last week, Maduro’s government cut off negotiations in Mexico with the opposition following the extradition of Venezuelan envoy Alex Saab from Cape Verde to the United States to face money laundering charges. Maduro has entered into talks with the opposition hoping this will lead to the easing of international sanctions.

This shows once again that their interests lie elsewhere and not in resolving the crisis that our people are suffering the most, said Mariela Magallanes, another member of the Geneva women’s group, which is also part of the opposition delegation. in Mexico.

According to Financial Times. The Maduro government has accused the US and Cabo Verde of kidnapping and torturing Saab, and observers have suggested the operation was politically motivated.

The role of Geneva International

The women’s leadership group also called on countries to renew the fact-finding mission of the Venezuelan Human Rights Council, established in September 2019. In a report to the council in September 2020, the expert group support allegations of crimes against humanity and pointing fingers at authorities as potential perpetrators.

The fact-finding mission has done important work. Should it have more impact and last longer, it could not be completed in September 2022, Zubillaga noted. Next year, the group will end its term, and state council members will have to negotiate whether to renew it.

Asked about the role of UN human rights commissioner Michelle Bachelet, Zubillaga said she recognized the key role she had played in reopening the country to UN oversight, but stressed that it was always possible to do so. more.

Geneva Solutions contacted the Venezuelan diplomatic mission in Geneva for comment, but had not yet received a response by the time this article was published.




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