Bachelet regretted that the economic and social programs implemented in recent years have failed to raise an income level that continues to be “dramatically low”, “insufficient to guarantee an adequate standard of living.”
In this sense, he called for a reinforcement of basic services, “particularly for the most vulnerable groups,” and regretted “the absence of public data to adequately monitor and inform public policies.”
Bachelet considers that the humanitarian and economic situation that Venezuela has been dragging on for years was “aggravated” both by the pandemic and by “sector sanctions”, which “even more” limits the population’s access to basic services.
“I reiterate my call for the sectoral sanctions to be lifted,” he said.
The Maduro government used this part of Bachelet’s report to denounce the “perverse effect” of the punishments, for which Caracas mainly blames Washington.
He estimates that revenues fell by 99% and believes that the sanctions amount to “crimes against humanity”, something that he also wielded before the International Criminal Court (ICC). However, the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry also considers that the report reproduces “failures” of other previous documents and affirmations “without any basis” and that “they have not been duly verified.”
Likewise, the former Chilean president indicated concern about “the additional restrictions and the continuous reports of intimidation and criminalization of human rights defenders and union leaders for their legitimate activities,” she added, reiterating one of her usual criticisms.
Another of the recurring demands of the Human Rights office involves police and judicial reforms, to which Bachelet also adds a call “for the full release of all those arbitrarily detained.”
The former Chilean president assured that 152 people were released since June 2020 in the framework of the cases shared through cooperation mechanisms.
The National Communication Center, which operates as Juan Guaidó’s media arm, believes that this analysis “once again reveals” Maduro’s “dictatorship.”
In this sense, the Venezuelan Government rejected “the false assertions of the report on alleged arbitrary detentions or persecutions for the exercise or defense of human rights”, which is framed “in the political script of those who use this matter to attack Venezuela.”
The Venezuelan authorities and Bachelet’s office renewed their cooperation agreement for a year, something that for Caracas confirms their willingness to cooperate.
However, the Ministry headed by Félix Plasencia also urged the UN to act “based on respect for the truth and the principles of objectivity, non-selectivity, impartiality, non-interference in internal affairs and constructive dialogue.”