As Venezuela’s socialist order circles the drain during President Nicolas Maduro’s bloody crackdown against his opposition, the United Nations high commissioner of human rights has demanded the release of jailed government protesters.
Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein’s call might even have some force, too, if the world body’s Human Rights Council got behind it. But despite at least 100 reported deaths after three months of civilian confrontations with Mr. Maduro’s “law enforcement” — which allegedly has dropped tear gas from helicopters — the U.N.’s pre-eminent human rights panel remains silent.
Of course, silence is the council’s default response when about half of its 47 members — including Venezuela — are dictatorships. It is what syndicated foreign affairs columnist Andres Oppenheimer calls a “mutual protection society.”
“The council is entitled to call an emergency session on Venezuela any day, and given what is happening on the streets there, they should have done that,” says Hillel Neuer, head of the advocacy group U.N. Watch. But more than that, Venezuela should have been kicked off the council.
Instead, Venezuela’s 18-year socialist regime has planted thumb to nose and has wiggled its fingers at the rest of the world.
With or without the United States, the Human Rights Council has devolved into a more meaningless farce than the U.N. Commission on Human Rights it replaced years ago. The council deserves neither U.S. membership nor America’s share of the council’s funding.
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