Luis Almagro Accuses Venezuela of Crimes Against Humanity

OAS panel requests ICC to issue detention orders against mid and high-ranking Venezuelan officials for crimes against humanity. The ICC has been investigating Venezuela since 2018, with the Venezuelan government rejecting the investigation as politically motivated.

Nimrah Khatoon
New Update
Luis Almagro Accuses Venezuela of Crimes Against Humanity

Luis Almagro Accuses Venezuela of Crimes Against Humanity

On May 3, 2024, a panel from the Organization of American States (OAS) requested the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue detention orders against mid and high-ranking officials in the Venezuelan government. This decision comes after the panel concluded that the Venezuelan government is not cooperating with the investigation of crimes against humanity.

Why this matters: The accusation of crimes against humanity in Venezuela has far-reaching implications for the country's political stability and the rule of law in the region. If the ICC proceeds with the investigation, it could lead to accountability for government officials and potentially pave the way for democratic reforms in Venezuela.

The OAS panel, led by Joanna Frivet, stated that Venezuela "is not complying with its obligations of accountability" and recommended that the ICC's prosecutor's office take a deeper role in examining the nature of these crimes. "The intervention of the ICC's prosecutor's office is key to take the crimes against humanity in Venezuela before the courts," Frivet emphasized.

A day prior to the panel's request, the OAS presented a report by the CASLA Institute, which documented the Cuban government's complicity in the crimes attributed to its Venezuelan counterpart. The report revealed the involvement of Cuban agents in the preparation and execution of crimes against humanity in Venezuela, motivated by the desire to exploit the country's extensive resources since Hugo Chavez took office in 1999.

The ICC received the accusation against Venezuela in 2018 and decided to begin an investigation in 2021. Caracas appealed the decision in 2022, but the ICC rejected it in 2023, deciding to move ahead with the investigation. Following another rejected appeal, the court resumed its investigation in March 2024.

The Venezuelan government has rejected the investigation, claiming it is politically motivated. Foreign Minister Yván Gil stated that "this maneuver has been built through the manipulation of a small group of crimes that are being properly investigated and sanctioned by the Venezuelan judiciary."

Opponents of the Venezuelan government celebrated the OAS panel's decision and requested that the ICC include recent events that could also be considered crimes against humanity. One such case is the arrest of human rights activist Rocío San Miguel in February, who was accused by the government of "terrorism," "conspiracy," and "betrayal of the homeland," alleging her involvement in an alleged plot to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro, which the opposition disputes.

Key Takeaways

  • OAS panel requests ICC detention orders for Venezuelan officials.
  • Venezuela accused of crimes against humanity, non-cooperation with investigation.
  • ICC investigation could lead to accountability, democratic reforms in Venezuela.
  • Cuban government implicated in Venezuelan crimes against humanity.
  • Venezuelan government rejects investigation, claims political motivation.