The ICC Has Reasonable Grounds to Investigate Crimes in Venezuela

The ICC Has Reasonable Grounds to Investigate Crimes in Venezuela
It’s quite a thorough process—that local authorities can complicate.

Photo: The Wall Street Journal

Briefing

There might be another useless increase of the minimum wage; Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister, had a few words for the U.S. during his visit in Venezuela; Even CNE workers are protesting their misery

Naky Soto

  • ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab met with Fatou Bensouda, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, to present how the regime has advanced in the sanction of human rights violations in Venezuela. The ombudsman Alfredo Ruiz went to the meeting, too. According to Saab, his visit proves how willing Venezuela is to investigate serious crimes (something disputed by the UN). Yesterday, the ICC reported that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that the institution can investigate crimes committed in Venezuela that concern its jurisdiction. It’s worth mentioning that while the prosecutor and ombudsman traveled to The Hague to know about the progress of file “Venezuela II,” where the regime called itself a victim of sanctions, the ICC mentioned the “Venezuela I” file, for crimes against humanity during the protests of 2014 and 2017. Nicolás’s regime hasn’t done anything against human rights violators.
  • Chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda informed Saab and Ruiz about the state of both preliminary evaluations regarding “Venezuela I” and “Venezuela II.” If the ICC thinks there are reasons to believe that there have been crimes against humanity, they’ll be  reaching a similar conclusion to the one obtained by the UN Independent Fact-Finding Mission. But this is barely the second phase of a preliminary exam that has four steps: First, the truthfulness of the information submitted is evaluated; Second, the prosecutor analyzes its jurisdiction; Third, the ICC analyzes admissibility based on two complementarity criteria, which is corroborating if there were or are internal procedures to judge human rights violators and the severity on the nature of the crimes, with an evaluation to determine if their impact is part of a systemic or generalized attack against citizens; Fourth, the prosecutor evaluates the justice system’s ground to start an investigation carried out before the ICC. The third step is key, because the ICC is a system of justice that can only be administered in cases of inaction, lack of disposition or ability of a state to comply with the duty of investigating, judging and sanctioning crimes against humanity. That’s why the regime intends to do something and just changes courts in accusations of cases like the death of councilman Fernando Albán, “acting” without really doing something. Nicolás’s entourage would have to check how closely tied they could be to similar cases.
  • Delcy Rodríguez said that there were 441 new cases and five deaths of coronavirus in Venezuela, for a total of 93,921 cases and 819 deaths they’ve admitted to.
  • News site Tal Cual reported on an alleged increase of the minimum wage for public workers, effective since November the 1st, and postponed by the authorities. With wages and food bonus, it’d come to 1,200,000 bolivars a month, an increase of 300%, to fight a hyperinflation that, according to the National Assembly, reached 1,433% between January and September.
  • Retired and active workers of the National Electoral Council (CNE) protested yesterday morning against their low wages. Enrique Cedeño, secretary general of the CNE Worker’s Syndicate, said that retired workers “are starving” while active workers can’t comply with their hours because their wages aren’t even enough for transportation.
  • Since the regime isn’t getting many visits, especially because of the pandemic, chavismo fit their narrative with the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. In the conference “Venezuela and Iran Defending the World to Be Built,” Arreaza and his counterpart had interventions. Despite the firm chants against the U.S., Arreaza said that Venezuela isn’t focused on “buying weapons, but if there were an opportunity, it’d be our sovereign right to do so.” His Iranian counterpart said that the U.S. terrorizes Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, China, Russia and Syria to generate political change with terrorism because they feel their power is being threatened. He added: “If the U.S. decides to change their view of the world, then we’ll have a better world.” It was reported later that the Iranian minister and regime representatives went over the advances in the projects that both countries have in strategic sectors like energy, health, agriculture and food. Sadly, they didn’t mention any of their achievements. Venezuelans don’t have access to the documents of those joint agreements.
  • AN Speaker and caretaker President Juan Guaidó said that the situation in Venezuela went from being a complex humanitarian emergency to a humanitarian catastrophe, because of the vulnerability experienced by Venezuelans today. He said the regime has isolated itself from the international community instead of building bridges for humanitarian aid, which makes things even worse.
  • The Cape Verdean government strengthened security measures around Alex Saab, because they’re studying a “house arrest” measure for him, while the decision to extradite him or not to the U.S is being made. The legal period of a person detained while a decision is made has expired.

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