San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Bolivarian Revolution

Venezuelan, Cuban opposition leaders ask Costa Rica to back their cause

Youth opposition leaders from Venezuela and Cuba were in Costa Rica this week to urge leaders to highlight their countries’ human rights issues in international forums.

Youth members of the opposition party Vente Venezuela asked the country’s ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Pablo Barahona, to call on the continental body to discuss Venezuela’s volatile situation.

Vente Venezuela’s youth president, José Martínez, also asked Costa Rica to urge other countries to take up Venezuela’s human rights situation at next month’s 7th Summit of the Americas in Panama.

“The world can’t remain silent before this situation,” Martínez said during a news conference at Costa Rica’s Legislative Assembly Thursday. He said human rights violations occurring in the country include torture of political prisoners, censorship and persecution. He also said the rule of law in Venezuela is “non-existent.”

Six Costa Rican legislators representing center to right political parties joined Martínez at the news conference. The legislators signed a motion asking Barahona to bring the Venezuela situation to the OAS.

The motion could be debated in the Legislative Assembly on April 6.

A similar case on human rights in Cuba was made by Kireni Núñez, a leader of the Cuban opposition organization Mesa de Diálogo de la Juventud Cubana.

Otto Guevara, who heads the Libertarian Movement Party’s congressional block, met with the young opposition leaders on Thursday. He said Costa Rican leaders had “a moral authority to raise our voice,” regarding Venezuela.

The Venezuelan group was scheduled to meet Friday afternoon with former Costa Rican President Oscar Arias (1986-1990 and 2006-2010). Arias has repeatedly voiced support for that country’s opposition, and has met here with several opposition leaders.

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