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9,000 victims of chavism denounce Venezuela for crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court

The accusations come at the same time that the United States unblocked a humanitarian aid fund for the Bolivarian Republic.

El mandatario venezolano Nicolás Maduro durante un discurso.

(Cordon Press)

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Human Rights is an ongoing unresolved issue in Venezuela. In recent days there have been developments in two possible areas of relief: on the one hand, punishment for the perpetrators of the humanitarian crisis; on the other, relief for the people still trapped by the Maduro regime.

Regarding the perpetrators, it was made public Friday that about 9,000 people filed complaints for crimes against humanity carried out by the Venezuelan dictatorship before the International Criminal Court (ICC). This was reported by Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, attorney for almost 600 of these victims.

On Thursday, there was news about a mechanism to attempt to mitigate the suffering of Venezuelans. According to media reports, the U.S. approved a fund to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in the South American country. The Biden Administration shielded the fund from possible claims by creditors, who might otherwise have tried to seize it to collect the millions owed by the regime.

Will the ICC investigate Maduro?

Maduro's executive powers demanded suspending the investigation ordered by the ICC Office of the Prosecutor. To decide whether to grant the stay, the ICC asked all those who considered themselves victims of the regime to submit forms explaining the grievances suffered. A total of 1,875 forms submitted by 8,900 persons, including 630 families, was the result of this public consultation.

In reporting this information, Gutiérrez also accused Chavismo of trying to "delay" the process with impertinent petitions. He also explained that the Venezuelan authorities oppose the investigation of these accusations by arguing that it is under the jurisdiction of its own judicial system.

Local justice, however, lacks credibility. This was stated by Guitiérrez and Maduro himself at the beginning of the year, criticizing the long delays and politicization present. However, it is up to the ICC to decide whether to delegate to the Venezuelan justice system or prosecute these crimes.

Possible relief

Washington informed the United Nations (UN) through official channels that it would protect the New York-based fund, which the UN itself administers. According to experts cited by Bloomberg, the change could allow aid to land in Venezuela as soon as this month.

Although the money is intended to alleviate humanitarian problems, the Biden Administration could use it to resume dialogue with the South American government, with an eye on the Venezuelan presidential elections. The fund was created during a meeting between the government and the Venezuelan opposition to negotiate the terms of the 2024 elections.