[News] Human Rights Watch attacks Venezuela's Chavez

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jun 18 19:52:56 EDT 2004


Published: Friday, June 18, 2004
Bylined to: <mailto:oscar at vheadline.com>Oscar Heck

Oscar Heck: Human Rights Watch! Wow! What a powerful statement!

VHeadline.com commentarist Oscar Heck writes:  On June 17, 2004, Human 
Rights Watch and Jose Miguel Vivanco published an article called 
“Venezuela: Judicial Independence Under Siege.” The article criticizes and 
ostracizes Chavez and his government for attempting to change the laws 
regarding the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ).

But who is Jose Miguel Vivanco?

What is Human Rights Watch?

What are their roles?

What do they have to do with Venezuela?

Maybe some readers can help out here 
 because I have found some 
information which I cannot decipher (mentioned later below regarding Jose 
Miguel Vivanco).

According to <http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a392db7a801ea.htm>a Counter 
Punch article dated May 25, 2000 ...“Jose Miguel Vivanco, a Chilean-born, 
Harvard-educated lawyer who heads Human Rights Watch Americas

The article goes on to say: ”The fact that Human Rights Watch should lend 
itself vigorously to the effort to push the military aid package (for the 
Colombian “drug” wars) through Congress is bad enough 

“...People like Vivanco and unscrupulous outfits like Human Rights Watch 
will testifying glowingly to great progress in imparting respect for human 
rights in the Colombian police and military. The killings of labor 
organizers, peasant leaders, church workers and any other threat to the 
right wing drug lords in Colombia will go on, done by the paramilitary 
death squads supervised by the army and the drug lords (very often 
identical) with extra direction from the CIA.”

The above statement, I believe, speaks for itself and clearly outlines 
HRW’s support for the US-invented “war on drugs.”

What more does HRW support ... I wonder?

Here is a very interesting looking piece of information which I am not able 
to decipher or to understand. It is called a “social network diagram” and 
it appears that Jose Miguel Vivanco is linked to people like Colombia’s 
President Uribe, US-backed Colombian General Alejo Del Rio (who some claim 
was directly involved in attrocities), AUC’s Carlos Castano, Luis Camilo 
Osorio (Colombia’s Attorney General), Wayne S. Smith (head of the Center 
for International Policy, Cuba Project) ... and lots of other “influential” 

If any readers out there can 
<http://www.namebase.org/cgi-bin/nb06?_VIVANCO_JOSE_MIGUEL>decipher the 
“social network diagram,” it would be interesting to get some feedback.

Now ... what is Human Rights Watch?

Human Rights Watch is a NY-based organization which has offices in New 
York, Brussels, London, Moscow, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and 
of course .... Washington(!).

HRW’s claims “We challenge governments and those who hold power to end 
abusive practices and respect international human rights law.”

If this were truly the case, why would HRW and Vivanco state the following?

“In the 2002 coup, Venezuela’s democratic order was attacked by some of 
Chávez’s opponents. But today the biggest threat to the country’s rule of 
law comes from the government itself,“ and ... “The Venezuelan government 
is undermining the independence of the country’s judiciary ahead of a 
presidential recall referendum...”  (He is referring to the fact that the 
National Assembly is passing laws to change the judiciary regulations 
regarding judges’ appointments to the Supreme Court.)

Especially being a Harvard graduate with all sorts of connections to 
“influential” people, Vivanco seems to have little understanding of 
democracy. It is the elected representational National Assembly which 
through democratic majority vote, is pressing for modifications to the 
Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ). Vivanco, who obviously sides with the 
USA and with the Venezuelan opposition insinuates, through HRW’s latest 
attack on Venezuela, that Chavez and the Chavez government are acting 
undemocratically ... “President Chavez’ governing coalition has begun 
implementing a new court-packing law that will strip the Supreme Court of 
its autonomy.” The Venezuelan TSJ has traditionally never been autonomous 
and has been composed primarily of a bunch of more-than-lazy, 
Miami-vacationing, corrupt, president-hand-picked semi-professional, 
bribe-taking pseudo-lawyers. It is about time that the Venezuelan 
government, through majority vote, act ... and quickly.

Also, for Vivanco’s information, a majority vote in the National Assembly 
is a majority vote, which means 50% +1. It may not be convenient for the 
Venezuelan opposition or for the US government that pro-Chavez elected 
National Assembly members represent over 50% of the house ... but that is 
reality ... and it is just too bad for Vivanco and gang.

Being so “pro-humanity” Vivanco should be able to accept a majority 
democratic vote with no question.

This is the way life is. Simple as that.

This is how it works and it is a fair way ... as any rational human would 

Majority rules.

Does it mean that because the Venezuelan National Assembly is using a 
majority-vote system to modify/create laws that the Venezuelan government 
is being abusive?

Not for a minute.

Abusive were the Venezuelan governments of the past, which ran the country, 
including the TSJ, by uncontestable decrees ... and if anybody dared speak 
up against the President, he/she would simply be disappeared ... 
journalists and “human rights activists” included. Furthermore, as far as I 
know, the TSJ has been one of the most corrupt institutions in Venezuela 
and was never and independent body. The TSJ bent to the threats of the 
President or to the whims of the highest bidder.

Vivanco should go get a job with the US State Department or the Central 
“Intelligence” Agency.
    * Personally, I believe that Vivanco is either a CIA employee (due to 
the inaccuracies in his “intelligence”) or a puppet of the US State 
Department (due to the inaccuracies in his “intelligence”).

Most strikingly is the fact the oh-so-suddenly, just before the referendum 
is to take place, HRW coincidentally publishes a lengthy report criticizing 
the Venezuelan government ... while coincidentally a slew of anti-Chavez 
articles are published in the mainstream US media ... and coincidentally, 
the US State department vilely attacks Venezuela again.

HRW is a so-called human rights organization which bases its statements on 
false information (“intelligence”) and pro-USA stances ... just as the 
killer-Bush government used false and fabricated “intelligence” to justify 
their murdering of over 10,000 innocent Iraqis in order to gain full 
control of some of the world’s largest oil reserves.

Vivanco and gang dare to call themselves supporters of “human rights,” when 
in fact, they are promoting anti-human-rights groups like the Venezuelan 
opposition and openly discrediting a majority-vote National Assembly 
democratic process ... simply because Chavez and his government are not 
“suitable-money-hungry-power-hungry-exploiting-war-killer-machine” partners 
to the USA’s dehumanizing attacks on Latin America ... attacks which HRW 
appears to wholly support (as in the USA-invented “war on drugs,” which is 
a facade for the USA to acquire the natural resources in the region and to 
gain full control of the highly profitable coca and opium plantations).

Human Rights Watch should seriously consider becoming a direct branch of 
the US State Department ... or the fountain of “intelligence” for the US 
Defense Department.
    * I may be wrong, but I cannot find any statement from HRW which 
condemns the USA’s criminal invasion of Iraq. Instead, when reading through 
their website, they appear to put the USA on a pedestal as the world’s 
leader in human rights related issues. (Humph!)

One of the few relatively meaningful statements I found on their website 
regarding the USA’s committing of atrocities and injustices abroad was: “It 
is unlawful for the United States to hold detainees in Iraq without charge 
or trial while claiming it has transferred sovereignty to an Iraqi 

Wow! What a powerful statement!

Oscar Heck
<mailto:oscar at vheadline.com>oscar at vheadline.com

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