Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro

Maduro Accuses US of Using Human Rights as Weapon Against Venezuela

© REUTERS/ Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters

US criticism of Venezuela’s human rights record is a political weapon Washington uses against Caracas, the country’s president, Nicolas Maduro, said at the UN Human Rights Council special meeting on Thursday.

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The Venezuelan leader said late last month he planned to launch legal action against the newly imposed anti-Venezuela sanctions US President Barack Obama issued on March 9.

“Venezuela faces ongoing harassment and a manipulation of the issue of human rights. It is used in the West to isolate our country and to protect those who are seeking to destroy the human rights system and democracy that our country has built over the last 17 years,” Maduro said.

Maduro delivered his speech against the backdrop of demonstrations outside the UN headquarters in New York.

Venezuela was reelected to the Human Rights Council along with 17 other UN members on October 28. Madura classified the vote as a “vote of confidence” in the country’s human rights record.UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad Hussein welcomed the opportunity to hear from the Venezuelan leader ahead of Maduro’s speech and expressed a number of concerns he hoped Caracas would address.

Relations between Washington and Caracas deteriorated over alleged human rights violations during the February 2014 protests in the Venezuelan capital against the Maduro government.

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