GENEVA / BACHELET VENEZUELA

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20-Mar-2019 00:02:32
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said she was “deeply concerned by the magnitude and gravity of the human rights impact of the current crisis” in Venezuela which she described as a “worrying destabilizing factor in the region.” UNTV CH / UNIFFED

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STORY: GENEVA / BACHELET VENEZUELA
TRT: 2:32
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / SPANISH / NATS

DATELINE: 20 MARCH 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

20 MARCH 2019, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations exterior
2. Wide shot, Human Rights Council
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“I am deeply concerned by the magnitude and gravity of the human rights impact of the current crisis, which is also a worrying destabilizing factor in the region. A technical team from my Office is currently in the country. I view this as a positive first step, which I trust will lead to continued access for the Office in the future. It is important that the team have completely unhindered access, with no reprisals against any person who has met, or sought to meet, with them.”
4. Rack focus, viewfinder to Bachelet
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The recent nation-wide electricity blackout has exacerbated this situation, further reducing people’s access to food, water and medication, and severely affecting hospitals. The full extent of the damage, and the number of direct casualties, is not yet known, but the unusually long blackout embodies the infrastructure challenges that Venezuela faces.”
6. Med shot, Venezuelan ambassador
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“Divisions are exacerbating an already critical situation. There is a need for common agreement on a political solution by all stakeholders, with actions to improve a wide range of urgent human rights issues. I call on the authorities to take steps to demonstrate their real commitment to addressing the many challenging issues reported across the country.”
8. Wide shot, delegates
9. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Jorge Valero, Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva:
“We have had thousands of peaceful demonstrations in Venezuela since 1999, reflecting the full enjoyment of the right to unarmed peaceful demonstration. But we draw a distinction between this constitutional right and the acts of vandalism and criminality which have been recorded in Venezuela in the recent years promoted by a violent portion of the opposition whipped up by foreign funding. They burned people alive and destroyed many public and private possessions. We have irrefutable proof that this is not peaceful demonstration, and that they are being enflamed by regional powers and the minions of the United States.”
10. Various shots, several delegations walking out as Venezuelan ambassador takes floor

STORYLINE:

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said she was “deeply concerned by the magnitude and gravity of the human rights impact of the current crisis” in Venezuela which she described as a “worrying destabilizing factor in the region.”

Addressing the Human Rights Council today (20 Mar), Bachelet said a technical team from her Office was currently in the country adding that this was “a positive first step” which she trusted would “lead to continued access for the Office in the future.” She added, “It is important that the team have completely unhindered access, with no reprisals against any person who has met, or sought to meet, with them.”

The High Commissioner said vulnerable populations, such as children, pregnant women, the elderly and indigenous peoples have been particularly affected by the deterioration of economic and social rights in Venezuela. She noted that the extent and severity of the crises in food, health care and basic services, have not been fully acknowledged by the authorities, and as such, the measures they have adopted have been insufficient.

SOUNDBITE (English) Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights:
“The recent nation-wide electricity blackout has exacerbated this situation, further reducing people’s access to food, water and medication, and severely affecting hospitals. The full extent of the damage, and the number of direct casualties, is not yet known, but the unusually long blackout embodies the infrastructure challenges that Venezuela faces.”

Bachelet said the health system in Venezuela continued to deteriorate, with very significant impact on maternal mortality and morbidity and infant mortality. She added that more than one million children no longer attend school, according to a recent survey, mostly due to the fact that parents cannot feed breakfast to their children.

The High Commissioner expressed concern about the shrinking of the democratic space, especially the continued criminalization of peaceful protest and dissent. She said that her office had continued to investigate reports of possible extrajudicial executions by security forces.

Bachelet said that although the economic and social crisis in Venezuela began before the imposition of the first economic sanctions in 2017, she was concerned that the recent sanctions on financial transfers related to the sale of Venezuelan oil within the United States may contribute to aggravating the economic crisis, with possible repercussions on people's basic rights and wellbeing.

The human rights chief underscored that divisions were “exacerbating an already critical situation.” She added, “There is a need for common agreement on a political solution by all stakeholders, with actions to improve a wide range of urgent human rights issues. I call on the authorities to take steps to demonstrate their real commitment to addressing the many challenging issues reported across the country.”

Venezuelan ambassador Jorge Valero his Government was cooperating with the UN human rights office and stressed that Venezuela is free and democratic where human rights are fully enjoyed. He said President Nicholas Maduro extended an invitation to Bachelet to visit the country where she could see the genuine situation on the ground which he said had been distorted by a baseless international media campaign.

SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Jorge Valero, Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva:
“We have had thousands of peaceful demonstrations in Venezuela since 1999, reflecting the full enjoyment of the right to unarmed peaceful demonstration. But we draw a distinction between this constitutional right and the acts of vandalism and criminality which have been recorded in Venezuela in the recent years promoted by a violent portion of the opposition whipped up by foreign funding. They burned people alive and destroyed many public and private possessions. We have irrefutable proof that this is not peaceful demonstration, and that they are being enflamed by regional powers and the minions of the United States.”

Valero said the US was pillaging Venezuela’s economic resources and denying it the possibility of acquiring food and medicines for its people. He said the economic difficulties facing the country were the result of unilateral coercive measures imposed on Venezuela which began in 2014.

The Venezuelan ambassador said government efforts have led to the return of some 313,000 people to the country. He added that despite challenges, social investment increased by 74 percent, unemployment dropped by six percent, and some six million families benefited from free food supplies.
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unifeed190320d
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