UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet to Visit Venezuela

Michele Bachelet, Presidente of Chile speaks during Special Session of the Human Rights Council. 29 March 2017. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré (file photo)
Michele Bachelet, Presidente of Chile speaks during Special Session of the Human Rights Council. 29 March 2017. UN Photo / Jean-Marc Ferré (file photo)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet is due to visit Venezuela at the invitation of the Government from 19 to 21 June.

During her visit to Caracas, the High Commissioner will meet President Nicolás Maduro Moros. She will also have exchanges with a number of Government ministers and officials, as well as the president of the Supreme Court, the Attorney General and the Ombudsman.

Venezuela is currently facing an extreme political crisis amid efforts by the opposition led by Juan Guaidó to unseat the socialist president, Nicolás Maduro. As a result of the political turmoil, the South American country is experiencing hyperinflation, power cuts, and shortages of food and medicine. Reports suggest that more than 3 million Venezuelans have left the country in recent years.

Tension had been mounting in Venezuela ever since 23 January, when Guaidó declared himself acting president with the assertion that he would assume the powers of the executive branch. With this decision, Guaidó challenged the authority of President Maduro, who had been sworn in to a second six-year term in office.

The UN Human Rights Chief will hold discussions with the President of the National Assembly and its members as well as the President of the Constituent Assembly and its members.

Bachelet will engage with victims of human rights violations and abuses and with their relatives. She will also interact with civil society representatives, members of the business community and trade unions, religious leaders, and academics.

The High Commissioner will deliver a statement at the end of her visit on 21 June.

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