US Hammers Venezuela Over Human Rights Abuses at Summit
Washington is continuing to push for more regional action on Venezuela, but I don’t think it’s going to amount to much:
Washington and its hemispheric allies on Saturday took turns hammering Venezuela over its human rights record — urging the region to reject the country’s “sham” May 20 presidential elections and agitating for more sanctions.
But the tough stance drew withering rebukes from Bolivia and Cuba that questioned the United States’ moral authority at a time when it was launching airstrikes on Syria.
Meeting in Lima, Peru for the eighth Summit of the Americas, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence — who was filling in for President Donald Trump — said the United States would not stand by as Venezuela devolved into “dictatorship.” And he called on the region to ramp up sanctions.
But Washington also had plenty of backing, as the leaders of Argentina, Colombia, Panama, Peru and Brazil, among others, questioned Maduro’s attempts to cling to power.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said next month’s vote in Venezuela — which excludes key opposition figures — “is designed to mask a dictatorship,” and Chilean President Sebastián Piñera said “no country that respects democracy should recognize these elections.”