Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Human Rights Watch Criticizes 'Tactics of an Authoritarian Regime'
Human Rights Watch Criticizes 'Tactics of an Authoritarian Regime'
by John Sexton 21 Feb 2014
Friday Human Rights Watch published a long piece critical of the government of Venezuela, saying it had adopted "tactics of an authoritarian regime."
HRW director Jose Vivanco said "The Venezuelan government has openly embraced the classic tactics of an authoritarian regime, jailing its opponents, muzzling the media, and intimidating civil society." He added "Any leaders genuinely concerned with the well-being of democracy in Venezuela should send a clear message that these authoritarian practices are unacceptable."
The tactics Vivanco is referring to include opening fire on fleeing protesters, beatings, and a media blackout:
Human Rights Watch has received multiple reports from local human rights advocates that Venezuelan security forces in Caracas and other parts of the country have beaten or shot at unarmed protesters since February 12.
A video posted online by the newspaper Ultimas Noticias shows uniformed police accompanied by men in civilian clothing in Caracas who appear to be shooting live ammunition at fleeing protesters – among them 24-year-old Bassil Da Costa, who is seen falling to the ground with a fatal gunshot to the head.
The use of live ammunition by security forces would only be lawful under international standards if their targets pose an imminent threat to the life of or of injury to the security forces or third parties. There is video evidence of anti-government protesters engaging in acts of violence and vandalism, including throwing rocks at police. But the government has not provided, nor has Human Rights Watch been able to find after reviewing dozens of videos posted online, footage showing anti-government protesters carrying firearms or using lethal force against security forces or third parties.
All available accounts from witnesses indicate that the majority of protesters were peaceful, and those that engaged in violence or vandalism did not carry firearms or use lethal force against security forces or third parties.
The only person shot or killed last week who was not a protester was Juan "Juancho" Montoyo. He was a longtime member of a far left collectiva who was on hand riding a motorcycle and working with others to intimidate (and in some cases shoot) protesters. Last June Al Jazeera interviewed Montoyo who told them "Violence is a tool."
Meanwhile, in Valencia this Tuesday, "eight protesters were shot, one fatally, when a group of men in civilian clothes on motorcycles opened fire at demonstrators in Valencia." The individual who was killed was Genesis Carmona, a young beauty queen who had been voted Miss Tourism last year. Conveniently, a longtime ally of President Maduro who is also a current government minister claims the shot that killed Carmona came from a fellow demonstrator.
In addition to the violence, Maduro's government has engaged in a media blackout:
On February 11, William Castillo, director of CONATEL, the state broadcasting authority, warned media outlets that news coverage of violent incidents could violate the Venezuelan broadcasting law. Castillo cited article 27 of the law, which the pro-Chávez National Assembly passed in 2004 and modified in 2010. The article gives the government broad powers to punish private media for broadcasting material that – in the government’s estimation – “foments anxiety in the population or threatens public order,” “denies the authority of the legitimately constituted authorities,” or “incites or promotes hatred and intolerance for religious [or] political reasons.”
On February 12, the government ordered the country’s cable providers to stop transmitting the international news channel NTN 24. President Maduro said the next day that that the order had been a “state decision” in response to the channel’s coverage of the protests, which he characterized as an attempt to “transmit worries of a coup d’état.”
On February 13, President Maduro instructed Communications and Information Minister Delcy Rodríguez to “adopt measures” against correspondents of Agence France-Press for having “distorted the truth about the events of February 12.”
On February 15, the Venezuelan government restricted the ability of Twitter users to send images, a representative of Twitter, Inc. told Bloomberg News.
President Maduro also threatened to shut down CNN in the country if their reporting was not to his liking. This prompted at least one CNN reporter to leave the country.
Moises Naim was the minister of trade and industry for Venezuela, a board member for the International Crisis Group, is a senior associate, International Economics Program for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank), and an advisory council member for Transparency International-USA.
Note: George Soros is a board member for the International Crisis Group, was a benefactor for the Human Rights Watch, and the chairman for the Foundation to Promote Open Society.
Foundation to Promote Open Society was a funder for the Human Rights Watch, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank), and the Aspen Institute (think tank).
Jessica Tuchman Mathews is a board member for the International Crisis Group, the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank), an advisory council member for Transparency International-USA, a director at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (think tank), a director at the American Friends of Bilderberg (think tank), and a 2008 Bilderberg conference participant (think tank).
Ed Griffin’s interview with Norman Dodd in 1982
(The investigation into the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace uncovered the plans for population control by involving the United States in war)
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank) was a funder for the Nuclear Threat Initiative (think tank).
Ted Turner is the co-chairman for the Nuclear Threat Initiative (think tank), and the founder of CNN.
Walter Isaacson was the chairman & CEO for CNN, and is the president & CEO for the Aspen Institute (think tank).
John Brademas was a lifetime trustee at the Aspen Institute (think tank), and is an advisory council member for Transparency International-USA.
Moises Naim was an advisory council member for Transparency International-USA,
a board member for the International Crisis Group, is a senior associate, International Economics Program for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (think tank), and the minister of trade and industry for Venezuela.
Posted by Sam and Bunny Sewell at 12:25 AM