Arria's speech

By Luis Manuel Aguana

Certainly, on other occasions I have highlighted the permanent interventions made by Ambassador Diego Arria, former President of the UN Security Council, in relation to the political, social and economic tragedy that afflicts Venezuelans, since without a doubt, in my modest opinion, Arria has become the best ambassador to the world of the cause for freedom in Venezuela.

However, on this occasion, Ambassador Arria took a definite step forward and beyond that role, following his speech at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on September 11, by responding to the intervention of the regime's Chancellor in the UN Human Rights Council, who has accused of lying, not only to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, but to all Venezuelans, in the report published by UNHCHR on August 30 (see Venezuela accuses UN Human Rights Office of lying
http://www.abc.es/internacional/abci-venezuela-acusa-oficina-derechos-humanos-mentir-201709111317_noticia.html). I don’t believe that there is any Venezuelan who, in one way or another, has not suffered in his or her own flesh as indicated by UNHCHR in that historic report, making it clear who is really lying.

The regime definitely believes that they can cheat the world in the same way that their information network and kidnapped public media do in Venezuela. The rigorous investigation carried out by UNHCHR is already endorsed around the world and constitutes evidence of support for the innumerable allegations of human rights violations by the regime's main officials, starting with Nicolás Maduro himself.

In the Forum “The Response: The Truth About Human Rights in Venezuela” sponsored by UN Watch, an independent organization recognized by the UN based in Geneva, whose mandate is to supervise the United Nations' performance in accordance with the UN Charter itself, it was given a response to the affirmations of the Foreign Minister of the regime, Jorge Arreaza Montserrat, given that Nicolás himself declined without explanation its participation in the UN Human Rights Council.

This response was considered necessary and pertinent as Venezuela is paradoxically a member of the UN Human Rights Council, a membership that is clearly considered contradictory and illegitimate given the actions of Nicolás Maduro's regime, and even more so after the report presented to the world by the UNHCHR. That is why Julieta López, Leopoldo López’s aunt, Rosaura Valentini, Jon Goicoechea’s wife and Zahir Mundaraín, former prosecutor of the Venezuelan Public Prosecutor's Office, confirmed what the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights stated in his report (see the video of the speakers' speeches in (https://www.facebook.com/unwatch/videos/10154759904836561/).

But beyond the confirmation of the crimes committed -and still committed- by the regime, and which was clearly established by the interventions of López, Valentini and Mundaraín, Ambassador Arria clarified in his intervention the three fundamental aspects that characterize the regime of Nicolás Maduro as a militarized drug tyranny, as Arria himself has baptized it: who they are, what they are doing to us and what we can do to remedy it.

According to Arria: a) We’re not in the hands of a government, but of a criminal cartel. Its main representatives have been pointed out by international justice and imposed sanctions for serious crimes: “There are no precedents in the world. Narcos and criminals are in full control of a nation with the complicity of corrupt generals and traitors, who are sitting on the world’s largest oil reserves. It represents without doubt the most serious threat to the stability of regional peace. Never, never anywhere in the world has organized crime had such power. And to the shame of the UN they are also sitting on the Human Rights Council”; b) “The balance of terror and the indescribable pain of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights... I am convinced that the use of torture, sexual crimes, and methodical murders of unarmed civilians protesting in the streets amount to crimes of the Humanity defined by the Rome Statute...”; c) “the OAS initiative on crimes against humanity in Venezuela: the three reports by Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS on the grave situation in Venezuela (May 2016, March 2017, July 2017) and the decision to recruit the former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno Ocampo, to analyze the allegations of human rights violations in Venezuela” (see Almagro recruits former International Criminal Court prosecutor to study allegations against Bolivarian government https://www.lapatilla.com/site/2017/07/25/almagro-recluta-exfiscal-de-corte-penal-internacional-para-estudiar-denuncias-contra-gobierno-bolivariano/).

Arria informs us that “In the OAS of the 35 countries, 28 of them are signatories to the Rome Statute, and it is enough for a single country to refer the case to the International Criminal Court for there to be an obligation to consider it. This initiative is accelerating. In three days' time, Venezuelan victims of this regime will be in Washington in public session. A day later, there will be military. There are two Venezuelan generals and a colonel, who are going to specify what the chain of command was, how the Armed Forces operated in the commission of these crimes. In the third phase there will be former prosecutors, and actual prosecutors and former judges and actual judges who will present evidence of how these matters were handled in order to commit these crimes. And finally, a group of specialists hired by the OAS under a special fund will produce a report. The Secretary General is going to submit this report to the Permanent Council of the OAS and submit it to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, who I repeat, has an obligation to investigate it with only one country. I trust that country will show up. There is no doubt that the report of the UN High Commissioner represents a very important conclusion and it will be for the first time an unprecedented event, in which the regional organization that is the OAS cooperates with the political leadership of the world that is really the United Nations and its Security Council, to present before the International Criminal Court a denunciation of the militarized drug regime...” (min 58:54 from the video of the speakers mentioned above) (It is important to mention that the proceedings before the International Criminal Court were explained in my earlier note “Prosecuted but not sentenced” in http://ticsddhh.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html).

In addition to mentioning his commitment to bring Nicolás Maduro and his accomplices before international justice, and going beyond his self-imposed status as an international spokesman and defender of our human rights, Arria reveals himself to be the most qualified representative of Venezuelans abroad, considered fully legitimate to embody this role by the most important organizations in the region (OAS) and the world (UN), to represent our case, given his unique condition of Venezuelan, diplomat and former President of the UN Security Council. Knowing his character's modesty, it is possible that even he himself has not realized the role that, without pretending it, it is his responsibility to play in the actual international scene because of the same situation that our country has reached.

The figure of Diego Arria must henceforth unite all the democratic forces that immediately push for freedom for our country from abroad, with the full consensus of the nations that want a democratic solution for Venezuela. This goes beyond the miseries and pettiness of local politics and the pseudo-leaderships that currently control it. And it is a fact that Venezuelans should think about in the face of the upcoming political events that are to come...

Caracas, September 12,2017

Twitter:@laguana