By Gustavo Coronel
As you were celebrating your gala event last night, presenting Mr. Jose Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, with an award and special recognition as a defender of Human Rights in Latin America and for having succesfully conducted his work at the OAS during the past years, the Human Rights Watch, HRW, a prestigious organization working to combat human rights violations wherever they take place in our planet, was getting ready to make public his Report on the Human Rights situation in Venezuela, a country member of the OAS. They did this today ( HRW (www.hrw.org) ) and presented the world with a report that contains a nightmarish picture of the situation of human rights in Venezuela. There is no way your institution could not have known the dismal situation of human rights in Venezuela. There is no way your institution could not have known how the Secretary General of the OAS has systematically defended the authoritarian Venezuelan regime and has been most enthusiastic about Mr. Chavez’s presidency, with one solitary exception, when he attempted a mild criticism and Chavez called him a “pendejo”, an ***hole.
Mr. Insulza denied emphatically before the U.S. Congress any link of Mr. Chavez with the Colombian terrorist organization FARC, against all evidence to the contrary.
Mr. Insulza applauded the role of Mr. Chavez in the Santo Domingo Summit meeting, just after Chavez had tried to start a war with Colombia and had been the main promoter of the political crisis that was being discussed at that meeting.
Once and again Mr. Insulza has failed to act in the Venezuelan case and has been much more interested in his political future in his native Chile than acting impartially in defense of Latin American citizens, not simply governments. I protest vigorously this award given to Mr. Insulza. I have nothing against him as an individual but I strongly believe that he has failed his duties as an international servant. Although you have perfect right to act as your Board feels justified, I find your decision to honor him a very hard one to explain to outside observers.