Maduro’s latest offensive: criminalization of civil society organizations through new regulations

Lee la versión en español aquí.

Rafael Uzcátegui*

In less than 48 hours more than 650 organizations, Venezuelan and from other countries, agreed to sign a communiqué rejecting the obligation to register in the Caribbean country before a counter-terrorism office, handing over data of the people they serve. This represents the latest decision of the government of Nicolás Maduro to close the civic space in Venezuela.

Last March 30, Administrative Ruling number 001-2021 appeared in the Official Gazette, the state publication that disseminates laws and regulations approved in Venezuela, by means of which the regulations for the Unified Registry of Obligated Parties before the National Office Against Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism were dictated. This very long name fulfilled the prophecy that human rights organizations such as Provea had made months ago: 2021 would be a period of governmental offensive against civil society, after they had managed to erode the voice and cohesion of the political leadership of the country. By imposing the quarantine of silence on the opposition parties, the persecution would be focused against the rest of the society with the capacity to document and denounce, at a time when the international oversight on the human rights situation could escalate mechanisms of pressure on Miraflores.

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