Following a press release by the Organization of American States-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that condemned so-called “strongly repressive” actions taken by the Venezuelan government, the Bolivarian republic issued a statement strongly rejecting the IACHR's accusations, which it said lacked objectivity, ignored the ways the government has attempted to maintain peace, and deliberately failed to acknowledge opposition violence.
The IACHR “neglects its role of promoting and protecting human rights by not issuing a statement regarding violent opposition groups in Venezuela,” the Venezuelan government's press release said.
“We reiterate once more that this deliberate omission on the IACHR's part is a clear transgression of the international legality that must preside over the functioning of the IACHR,” they said. They added that the failure to acknowledge opposition violence “constitutes an endorsement to the sectors that attempt to undermine democratic stability in Venezuela through violence and widespread vandalism."
The government criticized the organization for publishing conclusions "without a balanced, rigourous investigation into the facts."
The communication emphasized that Venezuela recognizes and respects the right to “peaceful and unarmed protest and freedom of expression.” They added that it is because of this respect they have and will continue to punish those who are responsible for violence, whether they are civilian protesters or state security forces.
The OAS affiliated IACHR accused the Venezuelan government in a statement on Wednesday of “systematic and indiscriminate repression,” in the form of “military operations” against protesters. The document places blame for the violence on the government, but doesn't speak of the widely noted violence of opposition protesters.
The organization's statement came just following a the helicopter attack on Venezuela's Supreme Court building. It did not acknowledge the attack.
According to the IACHR's website, the organization is “a principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and defense of human rights in the region, and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area.”
The OAS has been strongly criticized by Venezuela, as well as other member nations, for not respecting the autonomy and sovereignty of Venezuela as it has continually prioritized the internal political matters of the Bolivarian nation in its meetings. Venezuela has initiated the process of withdrawing from the organization.