While saying it is a “good friend” of Venezuela and his president, Hugo Chavez, the Brazilian government has questioned the Venezuelan government guarantees for freedom of expression and Judiciary branch independence.
“Subtly, the Brazilian government sent its first public message of disappointment to President Chavez in Venezuela: the defense of human rights, needs of freedom of the press and an independent Justice”, according to diplomatic sources quoted in the Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paulo.
“The guarantee of human rights needs independence of the Judiciary branch and full freedom of expression and freedom of the press,” pointed out the Brazilian government through its ambassador in Geneva before the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“I would like to invite the Venezuelan delegation to present details on the functioning of the judiciary branch in Venezuela, particularly on guarantees for an independent and impartial justice”, said Ambassador Maria Nazareth Farani Azevedo during the Council’s debates.
The petition was presented by the Brazilian ambassador before the human rights council last Friday.
Ambassador Farani Azevedo also requested that “Venezuela allow the access of United Nations rapporteurs to investigate possible abuses and the strengthening of protection for human rights activists and appealed to the government of President Chavez to elaborate a national human rights plan in conformity with UN rules.”
The Brazilian ambassador petition follows the Venezuelan government statement that is would only abide by those UN Human Rights Council recommendations which do not infringe the Venezuelan constitution.
“We are not willing to accept any recommendation that infringes our constitution, our legality and the dignity of our country, of our people”, said Venezuelan Foreign Affairs minister Nicolas Maduro, who is currently in Geneva.
Maduro said that Venezuela was not going to take any criticism from the United States, Israel or any of its NATO allies.
“The proposals from the US are aggressive, cynical and boil down to a slap in the face to the dignity of our people,” said Maduro.
The Venezuelan official said that “only twelve countries, among which the US, criticized the alleged lack of the Judiciary branch autonomy, aggressions to non government organizations and limitations to freedom of expression”.
On Tuesday the Council will make public its report and recommendations on human rights in different countries.
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