News Release

Former UN Expert on Venezuela: U.S. Government “Weaponizing Aid”

ALFRED DE ZAYAS, alfreddezayas at gmail.com, @alfreddezayas
Alfred de Zayas was the first UN rapporteur (independent expert) to visit and report from Venezuela in 21 years.

He just appeared on Al Jazeera English, charging that the U.S. government was engaging in the “weaponization of human rights and the weaponization of aid” in its actions against Venezuela. See video. [See from FAIR: “Western Media Fall in Lockstep for Cheap Trump/Rubio Venezuela Aid PR Stunt” and from PBS: “Red Cross warns U.S. about risks of sending aid to Venezuela.” See piece in the New York Times from 1987 on recently-named Venezuelan envoy Elliott Abrams having “defended his role in authorizing the shipment of weapons on a humanitarian aid flight to Nicaraguan rebels.”]

Alfred de Zayas also just sent an “Open Letter to The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres and to the High Commissioner For Human Rights Michelle Bachelet“: “As former UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order (2012-2018) I would like to urge you to once again make your voices heard and make concrete proposals for mediation and peace in the context of the Venezuelan crisis. … I think that the U.S. should turn over all the humanitarian assistance and medical supplies it has flown into Colombia and have them distributed as soon as possible with the help of the United Nations and other neutral organizations. …

“It would be appropriate to recognize the fact that the government of Venezuela has put into effect some of the recommendations contained in my report … Indeed, first the Venezuelan government released 80 detainees — including Roberto Picón and 23 others whose release I had specifically requested — that was on 23 December 2017, followed by other releases in the course of 2018. Alas, there has been practically no information about this in the mainstream media, although it is easily accessible in the internet. …

“Another item of information that is sorely missing from the mainstream media is the delivery last week of 933 tons of food and medicines at port La Guaira — coming from China, Cuba, India, Turkey etc.

Alfred de Zayas’ open letter was just initiated as a Change.org petition. Also, see just-launched petition from RootsAction: “Email your Representative and Senators to Block U.S. War on Venezuela.”

Over the weekend, Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted a photo of former Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi as he was being sexually and fatally assaulted. Alfred de Zayas recently wrote the piece “As a former UN special rapporteur, the coup in Venezuela reminds me of the rush to war in Iraq” for the British Independent: “In 2011, another oil rich state was devastated, Libya, with the aggression similarly preceded by systematic governmental and media disinformation. Today’s crisis in Venezuela has much in common with the prior aggressions against the two other oil-producing countries.”