Disinfo: The authors of the UN Human Rights report on Venezuela lack moral authority

Summary

The recent report of the UN Independent International Mission on Venezuela, which denounces alleged crimes against humanity by the Venezuelan government, is a smear act among whose authors there are personalities lacking any moral authority. The report is full of falsities, without any methodological rigour, made by a ghost mission against Venezuela controlled by governments subdued by Washington, and it is important to take into consideration who wrote it.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation on Venezuela, portraying president Nicolás Maduro as its legitimate leader despite that recent elections were neither free, fair, nor credible and lack democratic legitimacy, and framing any criticism of the abuses of his government as a destabilising manoeuvre aimed at regime change.

The report was elaborated by the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on Venezuela, and its authors are well-respected international figures with a long trajectory in investigating human rights violations and defending them from a legal point of view. Contrary to the claim, the report follows highly professional standards, sticking to a small number of cases that can be proven and reviewing an additional 2,891 cases to corroborate patterns of violations and crimes, including the “systematic practice of torture and cruel treatment of people detained in protests carried out, not by rogue elements, but as part of a clear policy.”

Its findings are backed by massive evidence previously exposed by other human rights bodies such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International or local organisations such as Foro Penal or PROVEA, and by international media. By attacking its authors, this pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative aims to discredit the conclusion of the report that Venezuelan security forces committed crimes against humanity.

See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation on Venezuela, such as claims that Venezuelan refugees were trained in a British military base in Guyana to infiltrate their country; that blackouts in Venezuela in 2019 were caused by a US spy plane; that the US was sending a hospital ship to the Caribbean as preparation for a military intervention in the country; or that Washington had plans for the ‘Balkanisation’ and fragmentation of the Venezuelan territory.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 213
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Venezuela
  • Keywords: Nicolas Maduro, Human rights, UN

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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UN human rights report on Venezuela aims to delegitimise the upcoming legislative elections

The recent human rights report on Venezuela aims to delegitimise the upcoming elections. The purpose of the report, elaborated by an independent commission on human rights, is to justify the international plot to deny the legitimacy of the legislative election scheduled for December, and to become a tool for the criminalisation of the Venezuelan authorities and put the basis for several countries not to recognise the election results. Its promoters want to extend the artificial political crisis of the country for another five years, as well as the supposed interim government of the opposition leader Juan Guaidó, backed by the US and its international allies, an essential component for the continuity of the economic blockade.

Disproof

Recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation on Venezuela, portraying President Nicolás Maduro as its legitimate leader despite that recent elections which were neither free, fair, or credible and lack democratic legitimacy, and framing any criticism of the abuses of his government as a destabilising manoeuvre aimed at regime change.

Contrary to the claim, the report doesn’t intend to de-legitimise the December elections in Venezuela nor to criminalise the Venezuelan authorities, but to clarify facts on alleged human rights abuses in the country. The exposure of those abuses and the conclusions of the report - that Venezuelan security forces committed crimes against humanity, almost certainly following orders of president Nicolás Maduro and other top officials- is what leads to the de-legitimisation of the Venezuelan government and its international condemnation, not the other way round.

USSR and Russia never conducted research into the toxic substance Novichok

We (Russia) have repeatedly stated that, unlike Western countries, neither the Soviet Union nor Russia, have ever performed research or experimental projects under the code “Novichok”.

Disproof

This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. The test proving Navalny's poisoning was conducted in a special German military lab. It was something far more dangerous, requiring the attention of the Army’s chemical weapons specialists.

The claim that research and experimental projects under the code "Novichok" have never been implemented in Russia or USSR is not true. The name Novichok means "newcomer" in Russian, and applies to a group of advanced nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s. They were known as fourth-generation chemical weapons and were developed under a Soviet programme codenamed Foliant.

The West’s attack against Belarus is also an attack against Russia

The West’s attack against Belarus is also an attack against Russia. Any attack against a Russian ally is an attack against Russia. Belarus is a real ally of Russia, not just a partner, because of the Union State between Russia and Belarus, because Belarus is an active member of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO). Western states aim to destabilise Belarus and to undermine its sovereignty. The West’s subversive activities in Belarus were planned for months, and NGO and media activism in the country has been sponsored by the West.

Poland and Lithuania are the main actors in the destabilisation of Belarus. The US is also involved because Washington seeks to destroy the Eurasian Economic Union.  The Czech Republic and Ukraine also play a role in the West’s attack against Belarus.

Disproof

This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative portraying popular protests against electoral fraud in Belarus as a Western-led colour revolution that aims to destabilise not only Belarus but also Russia. The article also contains another disinformation narrative that accuses Poland and Lithuania of implementing of anti-Russian policies.

There is no evidence that Poland, the Baltic states, or any other Western governments are involved in organising and funding the protests in Belarus nor that they are conducting any activities aimed at destabilising Belarus.