Venezuela was elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on October 17 with 105 votes and a round of applause despite its well-documented records of human rights abuses. The 193 member body elected 14 members to the 47-member council on Thursday for three-year terms starting in January with Venezuela claiming one of the two seats allocated to Latin America with 105 votes. Costa Rica garnered 96 votes despite entering this race later this month. Along with Brazil, the three countries were competing for two seats on the 47-member Human Rights Council starting Jan. 1. Brazil was re-elected for a second consecutive three-year term with 153 votes. The member nations can only serve for two consecutive terms.
Venezuela won a contested election for a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council despite a campaign by more than 50 organizations and many countries opposed to Nicolas Maduro's government and its rights record. https://t.co/zoP5kb7gIU— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 18, 2019
The US has been trying for months to overthrow Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro who is accused of corruption, human rights violations, rigging a 2018 presidential election, and ignored the drastic fall of the economy. More than 50 nations have recognised opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president. Guaido invoked Venezuela’s constitution in January to assume an interim presidency of the OPEC nation. He said that Venezuela's win on the council is unfair and referred to the extra-judicial lynchings by security forces that have been documented by human rights groups. He said that Venezuela won the seat the same day the opposition activist was found dead in a Caracas slum after being shot and set on fire. He condemned the incident and blamed the police special forces unit FAES.
The Information Ministry of Venezuela did not comment on anything to request on Rada's death.
Earlier, the Chief of UN Human Rights has released a report on Venezuela criticising its widespread cases of torture, extrajudicial killings, and withholding food and medicines from civilians. The US withdrew from the Geneva-based council in the middle of 2018 through a three-year term which it called chronic bias against Israel and a lack of reform. The council agreed last month to set up an international fact-finding mission to document violations in Venezuela which include tortures and hundreds of executions. The UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet stated in a report that Venezuelan security forces were sending death squads to the young men and creating scenes to make it appear like the victims resisted arrest.
(With inputs from Agencies)