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ICC Opens Investigation into Venezuela

International Criminal Court opens Investigation into Venezuela

The International Criminal Court opens formal investigation against the Maduro regime for "possible" human rights violations. 

Dear readers,

On Wednesday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that they will open a formal investigation into Venezuela. The ICC will specifically investigate the "possible" crimes against humanity that the Maduro regime has committed in Venezuela since 2017.

This announcement was made by Karim Khan, the ICC prosecutor in charge of this subject matter. Khan spent the last days in Venezuela. During this visit, he met with the Maduro regime in various occasions. 

According to a memorandum of understanding signed by Khan and Maduro, Khan's determined that "he will proceed to open an investigation to establish the truth" regarding Maduro's human rights violations. 

During Khan's and Maduro's meeting in Miraflores (Venezuela's presidential palace), Khan asked Maduro for cooperation. He reminded Maduro that the ICC is not political but "guided by the principles of the law and the rule of law."

"My office will always work under the Rome Statute. I'm fully aware of the failures that exist in Venezuela and the political divisions. We aren't political. We are guided by the principles of the law and the rule of law, and I'll ask all of you, now we're advancing into this new phase, to provide my office with the necessary space to do its job," Khan said. 

Maduro answered Khan's statement by guaranteeing that his regime will indeed cooperate with the ICC. Yet, there is not a single reason to believe in such a statement. 

"We respect his decision as a state, though we have made clear we do not share it," Maduro said. He then added, "we have signed an agreement that does guarantee, in an effective way, cooperation, positive complementarity, mutual support, constructive dialogue to seek truth and justice."

The International Criminal Court has been informally investigating the Venezuelan situation since 2018. Yet, Khan's decision takes this case one step forward.

"The preliminary examination that opened in 2018 is nothing more than a filtering stage as we move into this new stage," Khan said during his meeting with Maduro.

Overall, this is good news for the Venezuelan people. The fact that the International Criminal Court will open a formal investigation on Maduro is a step forward, one that puts us closer to justice. The security forces of the Maduro regime have indeed committed crimes against humanity. They have killed protestors, tortured political prisoners, among others. 

Jorge Jraissati is a Venezuelan economist and freedom advocate. He is the Director of Alumni Programs of Students For Liberty, an NGO advancing the ideas of a free society in over 100 countries. Beyond SFL, Jorge is a research consultant for IESE Business School, an economist from the Wilkes Honors College, and the President of Venezuelan Alliance, a policy group specialized in the Venezuelan humanitarian crisis. Jorge is a weekly columnist at Freedom Today Network.