Members of Venezuelan Government Opposition Barred From Travel and Protests Intensify as Maduro Seeks to Change Constitution

By: Max Cohen
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

CARACAS, Venezuela -Paulina Facchin, a representative of the Venezuelan opposition group Mesa de la Unidad Democratica in Peru, was barred back in January from getting her Venezuelan passport for the charge of “inciting hatred”. Ms. Facchin had previously done an interview with Peruvian press in which she was deeply critical of the current crisis in Venezuela, and had driven around an opposition legislator during his visit there. Then in mid-May, the leader of Venezuela’s opposition party Henrique Capriles was barred from travelling to New York to meet with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Al Hussein.

A protestor brandishes a molotov cocktail during a march by healthcare workers. Photo courtesy of Agence France-Presse.

The protests in Venezuela meanwhile, have only grown more violent and out of control. In one example, a lynch mob drenched a person in gasoline and lit them on fire. The violence of the protestors has been met by the government with escalating deadly force. At least 55 people on both sides have been killed in the past seven weeks, with more than a thousand injured. However, it should be noted that the protestors have largely been peaceful, and the ones causing violence appear to be in the minority.

As his people protest in the street, Maduro is seeking to put together a constituent assembly to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution. Critics however, fear that his success in doing so would only further escalate the violence

For more information, please see:

Human Rights Watch – Harassing Opposition Activists Abroad – 30 May, 2017

Washington Post – Venezuela is sliding into anarchy – 24 May, 2017

UN News Centre – Venezuela: UN human rights chief regrets opposition leader being blocked to travel – 19 May, 2017

Author: Max Cohen

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