Venezuela says international media 'distorting reality'


Venezuelan foreign minister Delcy Rodriguez. Caracas, September 17.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said on September 17 that international media were looking to “scam” the world over what is happening on the border between Venezuela and Colombia.

“The transnational media is trying to distort reality,” she said during her speech at an international human rights conference in Caracas. “Venezuela isn't violating the human rights of our Colombian brothers and sisters.”

The conference, titled “International Human Rights on the Border: Implications of the Mass Colombian Exodus”, took place at the Teresa Carreno theatre.

Rodriguez said that since President Nicolas Maduro decreed a “state of exception” in August to combat the crime, paramilitarism and contraband affecting Venezuela, mainstream media has tried to misrepresent the reality on the border.

A lot of media have reported on the repatriations of more than 1000 undocumented Colombians on the Venezuelan border, stating that this was a violation of human rights. They have, however, ignored the crime, youth prostitution and paramilitarism discovered by the Venezuelan military in the area during border operations, which was the impetus for repatriations.

There has also been very little mention of the fact that Venezuela has received more than 5 million Colombians over the country’s half-century long internal conflict.

“They are trying to sell a great lie to the world,” said Rodriguez. “Maduro has closed the border with Colombia in order to contain the paramilitary threat … And this paramilitarism has penetrated the structures of the Venezuelan opposition.”

Rodriguez recalled the assassination of Venezuelan National Assembly representative Robert Serra, who was killed last year by paramilitaries in Caracas.

During her speech, Rodriguez highlighted that the Venezuelan constitution guarantees the human rights of all people, and called on the world to “reflect on the causes of world migration … not just in Colombia, which has one of the highest levels of forced displacement”.

Rodriguez cited statistics from international groups that found that last year, there were 60 million displaced people in the world who did not have access to basic human rights.

“Let us come together to act against the causes,” she said. “This is a humanitarian crisis ... as a result of the crisis of an economic model that is not sustainable.”
[Reprinted from TeleSUR English.]

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