Venezuela rigs U.N. speakers list to ensure stellar review of rights record

Today Venezuela’s UPR report is scheduled to be adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council at 3 pm Geneva time. Each review lasts one hour, during which state representatives have 20 minutes to discuss the report, accept or reject its recommendations, and respond to any questions from the floor.

The other 40 minutes are divided equally between states and NGOs, each getting two minutes to speak. That means a maximum of 10 states and 10 NGOs can take the floor.

As reported, the list of speakers is as follows:

Countries

1. Cuba
2. Nicaragua
3. Vietnam
4. China
5. Uruguay
6. Dominican Republic
7. Iran
8. North Korea
9. Syria
10. Myanmar [List of states to be cut here due to time  limit]
11. Ecuador
12. Laos
13. Philippines
14. Zimbabwe
15. Russia
16. Morocco
17. Sri Lanka
18. U.S.A.
19. India
20. Belarus
21. Paraguay

NGOs

1. Defensora del Pueblo Gabriela Ramirez
2. Indian Council of South America
3. Cuban Women Federation
4. Word Federation of Trade Unions
5. Cuban Association for the United Nations
6. North-South XXI
7. Organización International de aportación de voluntarios para mujeres, educación y desarrollo (VIDES)
8. Association for the Prevention of Torture
9. Human Rights Watch
10. Article 19  [List of states to be cut here due to time  limit]
11. CIVICUS
12. Instituto internacional de Maria Auxiliadora (IIMA)
13. United Nations Watch (UN Watch)
14. Save the Children
15. Amnesty International
16. Encuentro africano por la defensa de los derechos humanos

What is clear from the above is that the Venezuelan government, aided no doubt by the experienced Cuban diplomats,  rallied their close friends — governments and phony NGOs  (known as “GONGOs”, or Government-operated NGOs) — to monopolize the limited time of the debate.

For example, there are several pro-Castro NGOs on the list as well as the North-South XXI group, which was created by the Qaddafi regime. We shall be lucky to hear even six minutes of genuine scrutiny of the Chavez regime’s violations of human rights.

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