Last week, I was on the schedule to deliver testimony at the United Nations Human Rights Council. I was invited to be part of UN Watch’s campaign to stop Hugo Chavez’s bid to elect Venezuela to a seat on the council this November. NGOs are allotted two minutes to say their peace and contribute to the debate about rights. I sat down to deliver my speech and no sooner had I mentioned the word “Cuba” in the context of human rights violations than the Cuban delegation began to create a scene, going so far as to bang their fists on the table and kick over a chair, to force the council president to interrupt my speech on a point of order (watch the heated exchange in the video below).My name is Thor Halvorssen and I come from Venezuela. In 2004, my mother was shot by the security forces of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Through the Human Rights Foundation, which I founded and direct, I have carefully monitored the Venezuelan state and have established that its current government is among Latin America’s worst human rights violators. In Venezuela, exercising free speech is fraught with risks. Political dissent is criminalized. Property is… Read full this story
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