18:04 GMT27 February 2020
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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (578)

    CARACAS (Sputnik) – Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, said she paid a "crucial" visit to Venezuela, adding that a team of human rights officers would be deployed in the country to provide assistance and monitor the human rights situation in Venezuela.

    "We have reached an agreement with the Government for a small team of human rights officers to be based here, with the mandate to provide technical assistance and advice, as well as – importantly – to continue to monitor the human rights situation in Venezuela", Bachelet told reporters late on Friday, as quoted in a press released by her office, on the results of her visit to Venezuela.

    Bachelet also expressed concern over the acute healthcare crisis caused by a shortage of medicine and equipment, as well as an exodus of professionals and fall in other required supplies.

    The UN high commissioner noted she had met with victims of human rights abuse, both by the opposition and the authorities, saying they needed redress regardless of who the perpetrators of the human rights violations were.

    Additionally, Bachelet spoke about the economic crisis in Venezuela.

    "The causes of this immense economic crisis, which has been increasing dramatically from at least 2013, are manifold and I have discussed with the State the need to tackle them as a matter of priority with the support of the UN agencies that have recently been able to strengthen their presence in Venezuela. I am concerned that the sanctions imposed this year by the US on oil exports and gold trading are exacerbating and aggravating the pre-existing economic crisis", Bachelet pointed out.

    The UN official added she had met with the leaders of various Venezuelan political forces and called on the Venezuelan parties to "engage constructively with the talks facilitated by Norway and other such efforts to address the current political situation in Venezuela".

    The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is ready to assist the Venezuelan political leaders in reaching compromise, Bachelet pointed out.

    The situation in Venezuela has been tense since January, when anti-government protests, fueled by opposition leader Juan Guaido’s move to proclaim himself the country’s interim president, erupted.

    Constitutionally-elected Maduro, who is backed by Russia, China, Turkey and several other countries, has slammed Guaido, saying he acted at the orders of the United States, which sought to install him as the country’s president and get hold of Venezuela’s oil assets. The sides held talks, mediated by Norway, however, no deal has been reached so far.

    The political crisis has exacerbated the economic situation in the country which has been suffering from high inflation rates and shortages in living essentials.

    Political Crisis in Venezuela (578)


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