portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

alternative media | human & civil rights

Human Rights Watch and New York Times weapons of the US State Department

They have never denounced:
More than 250 peasants killed
April 11, 2002 coup against President Chavez
Paramilitary presence in the violent protests against the government
Millions of dollars donated from the State Department to the Venezuelan opposition.
Nobel Peace Laureates to Human Rights Watch: Close Your Revolving Door to U.S. Government
 link to www.alternet.org

Human Rights Watch in Venezuela: Lies, Crimes and Cover-ups  http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=1755

Letter to Human Right Watch
Human Rights Watch

350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor
New York, NY 10118-3299 USA
To the Board of Directors,

Open Letter to Human Right Watch

350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA To the Board of Directors

We must remember the words of the song by Florence Reece

"Which Side Are You On?"

We, the undersigned, represent organizations dedicated to the defense of human rights, the provision of adequate healthcare, housing, and nutrition for all the world's people-the 99%, as stated in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. We are writing to protest a series of reports by Human Rights Watch, which demean, malign, and slander the Government of Venezuela while constantly describing it as "repressive", "dictatorial", etc.

In your February 21, 2014 article you stated,

Nicolas Maduro government's immediate response to the violence on February 12 was to blame Lopez and other opposition leaders. Minister of Foreign Affairs Elías Jaua declared that Lopez was the 'intellectual author' of the killings, and a judge promptly ordered that Lopez be detained. The government has not made public any credible evidence to substantiate these allegations.

Shocking is an understatement to this accusation. Both Leopoldo Lopez and Marina Corina Machado went on national television and declared war against the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro in what was called, La Salida. Is an all-out call to violence on national television insufficient "credible evidence"?

What would occur if U.S. citizens appeared on national television and made an all-out call to end President Obama's second term? These people would have immediately been incarcerated, with or without charges, and the networks would have been shut-down for permitting it. Ironically, in Venezuela, the networks still continue their media distortion campaigns. And although Lopez should have been charged with terrorism because of the violence that has been unleashed on the country due to "La Salida", he was only charged with inciting violence and so will be in jail for less than two years. Equally, It is outrageous that as a supposed defender of human rights, HRW has NEVER condemned the assassination of over 250 peasants who have been murdered by paramilitaries and mercenaries contracted by big-land owners in Venezuela. Do you not have sufficient "credible evidence" to denounce this? An evident attack rather than an objective evaluation is clearly seen by the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Ken Roth, when he stated in 2012 that Venezuela is "the most abusive" nation in Latin America; even though, Colombia, the neighboring country, is known to have some of the worst human rights violations in all of Latin America.

These sweeping condemnations of the Venezuelan government consists largely of unsubstantiated claims by political opponents, examples taken out of context, gross exaggerations, and illogical arguments; it is a total usurp of your ethical and fact-finding standards which state, "We are committed to maintaining high standards of accuracy and fairness, including by seeking out multiple perspectives to develop an in- depth, analytic understanding of events."

At the same time, Human Rights Watch has chosen to ignore or belittle the great achievements of the Venezuelan government in the areas of education, nutrition, health care, political participation, employment, and many other spheres of activity which are fundamental to the effective exercise of human rights and democracy.

By consistently echoing U.S. State department charges while ignoring, minimizing, or justifying the violent activities of the Venezuelan opposition, Human Rights Watch is defying its mission statement, "Human Rights Watch is an independent, international organization that works as part of a vibrant movement to uphold human dignity and advance the cause of human rights for all."

In other words, you have not condemned the opposition for the continual serious attacks on the human rights of all Venezuelan citizens: the guarimba violence by the opposition has killed over 47 people—including a young pregnant woman and caused over US$10 billion in damages.

Moreover, any Democratic Government in the world has the right and duty to protect its citizens and the government against violent protest. Objected evidence shows that the Venezuelan Government has allowed any and all peaceful protest to occur in 2014 and for the prior decade. What they cannot and will not allow is random or targeted violent attacks against individuals or property. Unfortunately, HRW's reporting completely ignores the preplanned violence of many of the protests of the opposition and by doing this, you completely discredit any objectivity of your organization.

Not surprisingly, your biases are evidenced throughout the Americas: legitimizing the overthrow of democratically elected President Aristide in the 2004 coup in Haiti, the coup in 2009 in Honduras, when HRW did not denounce the killings, arbitrary detentions, physical assaults, or the attacks on the press, many of which have been thoroughly documented, including by the United States government, as revealed in Wikileaks documents.

In the case of Cuba HRW has never denounced that over 3000 Cubans have died in violent assaults and terrorist acts from counter-revolutionary Cuban-American exiles operating from US soil, against US formal law, but with the support or tolerance of US authorities since the triumph of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Economic sabotage and the impact of US sanctions have caused billions of dollars in physical damage to the Cuban economy. In the mid-1970s an official US Senate Report documented hundreds of assassination plots against Cuban leaders and even biological attacks against Cuban crops by CIA operatives. HRW NEVER has denounce the US hostility, aggression, and intervention which has not stopped for one second from President Dwight Eisenhower to President Barack Obama against Cuba.

Human Rights Watch's origins were in 1978 was as a propaganda arm of the US State Department's "Helsinki Watch," part of US-Soviet negotiations over bilateral relations. Since then it has become nominally independent, but its personnel and advisors regularly go back-and-forth between government-business-finance and the burgeoning "human rights" industry in the "West."

The "Advisory Committee" of HRW's "Americas Watch" in includes Myles Frechette, Washington's former Ambassador to Colombia, where right-wing paramilitaries carried out notorious massacres, not to speak of being linchpins of the cocaine industry, as well as Michael Shifter, who is a former director of the notoriously subversive National Endowment for Democracy, financed by the US government. Another stellar HRW operative has been Miguel Díaz, a Central Intelligence Agency analyst in the 1990s. Diaz sat on HRW advisory committee from 2003-11. He is now back at the art the State Department serving as "an interlocutor between the intelligence community and non-government experts."

In October 2013 HRW's "Americas Watch" announced that Joel Motley, managing director at Public Capital Advisors, and Hassan Elmasry, managing partner at Independent Franchise Partners, would be elevated to the Board, two investment bankers, to the Human Rights Watch Board. Motley was a former aide to the late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a notorious supporter of the Vietnam War and President Richard Nixon and hero to conservatives who were alarmed by the growing movement for Black rights in the United States.

In 1981, following the triumph of the Nicaraguan Revolution and the collapse of the US-backed Somoza family dictatorship, HRW's was founded. Washington was anxious that the Sandinista triumph would not extend to El Salvador and Guatemala where revolutionary guerrilla wars were advancing against murderous US-backed regimes.

The Reagan Administration launched a bloody "contra" war against Nicaragua and stepped up its support to the military "death-squad" regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala. HRW's "Americas Watch" was a propaganda arm of these renewed US counter-revolutionary policies. They pretended to be "balanced" but mainly aimed at discrediting the revolutionary forces and, as is standard policy, downplayed social and economic injustices and inequality.

The above demonstrates that Human Rights Watch disgracefully supports violent demonstrators who are attempting to overthrow Venezuela's democratically elected government and that HRW is simply another puppet of U.S. terrorism abroad.

Due to the fact that you choose not to denounce the human rights violations perpetrated on all Venezuelans, we ask for the resignation of Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, an end to your political anti-democratic agenda in Venezuela. For an institution such as yours to regain validity and to maintain honesty, credibility, and independence-- you need to close your revolving door to the U.S. government.

We ask that you defend all people's human rights, and not lie, distort the truth, or manipulate to protect the 1%. And once and for all, take a stand: are you on the side of politics, or on the side of human rights?


Sincerely,

Please sent your email to  cbalbertolovera@gmail.com with your name endorsing this letter