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Duque asks that the International Criminal Court act against Maduro with the same speed as with Putin

The former Colombian president ivan duke claimed this Friday that the International Criminal Court (ICC) act against the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Madurowith the same speed with which it has done against the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.

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“All those who defend democracy in the world”as he told EFE, they must demand that he intervene “with the same speed” as with Putin and that “Additionally, Venezuela is declared a country that sponsors terrorism for the protection it gives to members of the ELN, the FARC dissidents, and drug trafficking.”

Duque (2018-2022) spoke at the Wilson Center, a Washington-based think tank where he began working in the fall of 2022 as a distinguished fellow, focused on research on population displacement, crisis climate and democracy

In a session on the crisis in Venezuela and its impact on human rights, democracy and the environment, he stressed in his speech that there is enough evidence against Maduro for that court to issue an arrest warrant against him.

The one launched this month against Putin and against the presidential commissioner for the Rights of the Child in Russia, Maria Lvova-Belova, was produced by the deportation to Russia of “at least hundreds of children taken from orphanages and child care homes” Ukrainians, according to ICC prosecutor Karim Khan.

For Duque, Venezuela is the greatest threat to democracy and security in the region, and the “diplomatic whitewashing” to what happens in that country is “the worst that can happen”.

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The purchase of Venezuelan oil, he added, only contributes to reinforcing the regime: “Each barrel of oil purchased from Venezuela is a barrel contaminated with the greatest violations of human rights.”

Duque, who finished his term in August 2022 and was succeeded by the leftist Gustavo Petro, also criticized the closure of the media and universities in Venezuela, the threats to the Church and “to anyone capable of saying anything negative about the brutal exercise of authoritarianism”.

The former president also criticized the development of the negotiation process in Mexico between the Venezuelan government and the opposition grouped in the Unitary Platform.

Last November they signed a social pact that contemplates the recovery of more than 3,000 million dollars from the Venezuelan State that are blocked in the international financial system.

The head of the official delegation for dialogue, Jorge Rodríguez, criticized at the beginning of the month that it has not yet been fulfilled and pointed out that it is due to the fact that the oppositionn “has no word”which has not allowed the agreement to be finalized, the creation of a trust fund -managed by the UN- to channel items destined to alleviate hunger, diseases and other needs.

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“I don’t think there is a dialogue in Mexico, what there is is a monologue. He is a monologue of the dictatorship trying to buy time to further weaken the democratic resistance and run again in fraudulent elections to stay in power ”Duque added to EFE.

The former president warned that these assets should not be released. set them free “And giving them to the dictatorship would be making fun of all the victims of the atrocities that Nicolás Maduro has committed in terms of human rights”said.

Duque, from the Uribe-based Centro Democrático (right), filed a complaint against Maduro with the ICC in 2017 when he was a senator.

Subsequently, when he held the Presidency, Colombia and five other countries (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Canada) asked the ICC to open an investigation into crimes against humanity in Venezuela, something to which the ICC Prosecutor agreed in November 2021.

Currently, this judicial process is in progress and the Court is analyzing the testimonies it has received both from the Venezuelan State and from possible victims, according to the information on the website of that body.

Source: Elcomercio

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