Human Rights Watch is a RAT!


Human Rights Watch is a RAT!

These pictures, and video link with the National Petition against Human RightsWatch’s role in Venezuela was an effective action on Thursday, June 26. Human Rights activists marched from the New York Times to the Empire State Building where Human Rights Watch is installed. They denounced the NY Times and Human Rights Watch as tools of the CIA.

HRW refused to even accept the petition outlining the grievances of many human rights and social justice activists from a Delegation that included Ramsey Clark, attorney Michael Tarif Warren, Suzanne Ross, William Camacaro, Sara Flounders. As William Camacaro pointed out, even the US mission accepts a petition!

HRW arrogance in refusal to accept the message is further example of the fraudulent role they play in actually protecting corporate power and U.S. Interests in countries targeted for U.S. destabilization.

So Ramsey Clark, Michael Tarif Warren, William Camacaro and Sara Flounders delivered the national petition on HRW to the inflatable giant RAT, positioned in front of HRW office at the Empire State Building. Unions in NYC use this giant RAT to identify scab and union busting work sites. The use of the rat for this protest of the role of HRW was important union solidarity with the people of Venezuela.

Below the Open Letter to Human Right Watch that didn’t want to receive.

350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor New York, NY 10118-3299

USA To the Board of Directors

We must remember the words of the song by Florence Reece

“Which Side Are You On?”

We, the undersigned, represent organizations dedicated to the defense of human rights, the provision of adequate healthcare, housing, and nutrition for all the world’s people–the 99%, as stated in the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights. We are writing to protest a series of reports by Human Rights Watch, which demean, malign, and slander the Government of Venezuela while constantly describing it as “repressive”, “dictatorial”, etc.

In your February 21, 2014 article you stated,

Nicolas Maduro government’s immediate response to the violence on February 12 was to blame Lopez and other opposition leaders. Minister of Foreign Affairs Elías Jaua declared that Lopez was the ‘intellectual author’ of the killings, and a judge promptly ordered that Lopez be detained. The government has not made public any credible evidence to substantiate these allegations.

Shocking is an understatement to this accusation. Both Leopoldo Lopez and Marina Corina Machado went on national television and declared war against the democratically elected government of Nicolas Maduro in what was called, La Salida. Is an all-out call to violence on national television insufficient “credible evidence”?

What would occur if U.S. citizens appeared on national television and made an all-out call to end President Obama’s second term? These people would have immediately been incarcerated, with or without charges, and the networks would have been shut-down for permitting it. Especially when everybody know that both Lopez and Corina Machado were involved in the coup against President Chavez. Ironically, in Venezuela, the networks still continue their media distortion campaigns. And although Lopez should have been charged with terrorism because of the violence that has been unleashed on the country due to “La Salida”, he was only charged with inciting violence and so will be in jail for less than two years. Equally, It is outrageous that as a supposed defender of human rights, HRW has NEVER condemned the assassination of over 250 peasants who have been murdered by paramilitaries and mercenaries contracted by big-land owners in Venezuela. Do you not have sufficient “credible evidence” to denounce this? An evident attack rather than an objective evaluation is clearly seen by the Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, Ken Roth, when he stated in 2012 that Venezuela is “the most abusive” nation in Latin America; even though, Colombia, the neighboring country, is known to have some of the worst human rights violations in all of Latin America.

These sweeping condemnations of the Venezuelan government consists largely of unsubstantiated claims by political opponents, examples taken out of context, gross exaggerations, and illogical arguments; it is a total usurp of your ethical and fact-finding standards which state, “We are committed to maintaining high standards of accuracy and fairness, including by seeking out multiple perspectives to develop an in- depth, analytic understanding of events.”

On Thursday, May 8, 2014, Jose Miguel Vivanco, Executive Director of HRW for the Americas sat in a hearing of the Congress of the U.S. “Assessing Venezuela’s Political Crisis: Human Rights Violations and Beyond” to defame, distort, and re-frame the facts in Venezuela. He was accompanied by members of the State Department, who have repeatedly shown their contempt for the socialist government of Venezuela and who organized a coup d’tat against the democratically elected President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez on April 11, 2002.

Vivanco with Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs; Tomasz Malinowski, Assist Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights; Patrick Duddy, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University and Moises Naim, Senior Associate, International Economics Program— all chimed in to the unsupported claims of human rights offenses that supposedly are being committed in Venezuela.

Where is the distortion coming from? Moises Naím served as Venezuela’s Minister of Trade and Industry. Naim played a major role in launching significant economic reforms and was involved in imposing neo-liberal policies that crippled the Venezuelan economy. Naim served during Carlos Andrez Perez’s presidency, one of the most violent periods in Venezuelan history, where over 3,000 people were murdered in one week by the State during the Caracazo. Naim was an Executive Director of the World Bank in the early 1990s and he is on the board of directors of the National Endowment for Democracy (Institution that has been funding the opposition leaders) and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Atlantic Council, the Inter-American Dialogue and the World Economic Forum—- All organizations that have continually spoken out against the socialist government of Venezuela, in addition, Mr Vivianco was in the same hearing with Patrick Duddy, who is the former United States Ambassador to Venezuela, who was expelled by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

We have to remember that Obama administration has not recognized President Maduro as the legitimate President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. In these circumstances it is impossible to believe in the objectivity of Mr. Vivanco and HRW.

At the same time, Human Rights Watch has chosen to ignore or belittle the great achievements of the Venezuelan government in the areas of education, nutrition, health care, political participation, employment, and many other spheres of activity which are fundamental to the effective exercise of human rights and democracy.

By consistently echoing U.S. State department charges while ignoring, minimizing, or justifying the violent activities of the Venezuelan opposition, Human Rights Watch is defying its mission statement, “Human Rights Watch is an independent, international organization that works as part of a vibrant movement to uphold human dignity and advance the cause of human rights for all.”

In other words, you have not condemned the opposition for the continual serious attacks on the human rights of all Venezuelan citizens: the guarimba violence by the opposition has killed over 47 people—including a young pregnant woman and caused over US$10 billion in damages.

Moreover, any Democratic Government in the world has the right and duty to protect its citizens and the government against violent protest. Objected evidence shows that the Venezuelan Government has allowed any and all peaceful protest to occur in 2014 and for the prior decade. What they cannot and will not allow is random or targeted violent attacks against individuals or property. Unfortunately, HRW’s reporting completely ignores the preplanned violence of many of the protests of the opposition and by doing this, you completely discredit any objectivity of your organization.

Not surprisingly, your biases are evidenced throughout the Americas: legitimizing the overthrow of democratically elected President Aristide in the 2004 coup in Haiti, the coup in 2009 in Honduras, when HRW did not denounce the killings, arbitrary detentions, physical assaults, or the attacks on the press, many of which have been thoroughly documented, including by the United States government, as revealed in Wikileaks documents.

In the case of Cuba HRW has never denounced that over 3000 Cubans have died in violent assaults and terrorist acts from counter-revolutionary Cuban-American exiles operating from US soil, against US formal law, but with the support or tolerance of US authorities since the triumph of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Economic sabotage and the impact of US sanctions have caused billions of dollars in physical damage to the Cuban economy. In the mid-1970s an official US Senate Report documented hundreds of assassination plots against Cuban leaders and even biological attacks against Cuban crops by CIA operatives. HRW NEVER has denounce the US hostility, aggression, and intervention which has not stopped for one second from President Dwight Eisenhower to President Barack Obama against Cuba.

Human Rights Watch’s origins were in 1978 was as a propaganda arm of the US State Department’s “Helsinki Watch,” part of US-Soviet negotiations over bilateral relations. Since then it has become nominally independent, but its personnel and advisors regularly go back-and-forth between government-business-finance and the burgeoning “human rights” industry in the “West.”

The “Advisory Committee” of HRW’s “Americas Watch” in includes Myles Frechette, Washington’s former Ambassador to Colombia, where right-wing paramilitaries carried out notorious massacres, not to speak of being linchpins of the cocaine industry, as well as Michael Shifter, who is a former director of the notoriously subversive National Endowment for Democracy, financed by the US government. Another stellar HRW operative has been Miguel Díaz, a Central Intelligence Agency analyst in the 1990s. Diaz sat on HRW advisory committee from 2003-11. He is now back at the art the State Department serving as “an interlocutor between the intelligence community and non-government experts.”

In October 2013 HRW’s “Americas Watch” announced that Joel Motley, managing director at Public Capital Advisors, and Hassan Elmasry, managing partner at Independent Franchise Partners, would be elevated to the Board, two investment bankers, to the Human Rights Watch Board. Motley was a former aide to the late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a notorious supporter of the Vietnam War and President Richard Nixon and hero to conservatives who were alarmed by the growing movement for Black rights in the United States.

In 1981, following the triumph of the Nicaraguan Revolution and the collapse of the US-backed Somoza family dictatorship, HRW’s was founded. Washington was anxious that the Sandinista triumph would not extend to El Salvador and Guatemala where revolutionary guerrilla wars were advancing against murderous US-backed regimes.

The Reagan Administration launched a bloody “contra” war against Nicaragua and stepped up its support to the military “death-squad” regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala. HRW’s “Americas Watch” was a propaganda arm of these renewed US counter-revolutionary policies. They pretended to be “balanced” but mainly aimed at discrediting the revolutionary forces and, as is standard policy, downplayed social and economic injustices and inequality.

The above demonstrates that Human Rights Watch disgracefully supports violent demonstrators who are attempting to overthrow Venezuela’s democratically elected government and that HRW is simply another puppet of U.S. terrorism abroad.

Due to the fact that you choose not to denounce the human rights violations perpetrated on all Venezuelans, we ask for the resignation of Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, an end to your political anti-democratic agenda in Venezuela. For an institution such as yours to regain validity and to maintain honesty, credibility, and independence– you need to close your revolving door to the U.S. government.

We ask that you defend all people’s human rights, and not lie, distort the truth, or manipulate to protect the 1%. And once and for all, take a stand: are you on the side of politics, or on the side of human rights?


Inez D. Barron is the City Councilwomant of the 42nd district of New York City, representing East New York

Cynthia McKinney “Please add my name to your letter to Human Rights Watch. They are so wrong on so many issues; walking in lockstep with the bad guys every step of the way. Rwanda and Libya also come to my mind.” Cynthia McKinney, first African American woman to represent Georgia in the House of Representatives and the Green Party presidential candidate in 2008.

Bolivarian Circle Alberto Lovera NYC

William Ramsey Clark Lawyer, Activist Former Attorney General of US

Attorney Michael Tarif Warren, Brooklyn, New York

Teresa Gutierrez Natl Director, International Action Center Latin America/Caribbean & Immigration Projects NYC

Sara Flounders Co-Director International Action Center NYC

1199 Latin America & Caribbean Solidarity Committee

Fred Magdoff Monthly Review Foundation Soil Scientist / Writer

Amy B. Demarest Vermont

Diane Hirsch-Garcia Union Organizer LA California

Gail Walker, Co-Director, IFCO/Pastors for Peace

Cuba Solidarity Ike Nahem

Fr. Luis Barrios Co-Executive Director of Pastor for Peace

Luis Barrios, Ph.D., BCFE *Professor, John Jay College of Criminal Justice & Member of Ph.D. faculties in critical social/personality psychology, Graduate Center-City University of New York

Brian Tokar Institute for Social Ecology Vermont University

Chuck Kaufman, National Co-Coordinator.Alliance for Global Justice.

Claudia Chaufan, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Health Policy / Sociology University of California, San Francisco

Frederick B. Mills, Senior Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs and Professor of Philosophy at Bowie State University

Stephen Bartlett, Coordinator for Education and Advocacy, Agricultural Missions. Member of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance. Louisville, KY USA.

Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

Diana Bohn Nicaragua Center for Community Action (NICCA) Berkeley, CA Diana Bohn NICCA Co-Coordinator

Bert Hestroffer Teamsters Local #142 Gary, Indiana

Rosa Peñate 1509 Alabama St San Francisco CA 94110

Shirley Pate Washington, DC

Peter Lackowski Vermont

Blase Bonpane, Ph.D. Director, Office of the Americas 3916 Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 105 Culver City, CA 90230-4640

Gerardo Renique Associate Professor Department of History City College of the City University of New York

Andrew Kang Bartlett, Food Sovereignty Activist, Louisville, KY USA

Cindy Forster, Scripps College, History and Latin American and Caribbean

Camilo Perez Bustillo, International Tribunal of Conscience

Dorinda Moreno, FM/Stewards of the Earth/PuebosenMovimiento

Steven Zrucky Union Organizer LA California

Christina Schiavoni International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands

Peter Rosset, Center for the Study of Rural Change in Mexico (CECCAM)

Ramiro S. Fúnez Partido Libre of Honduras FIST: Fight Imperialism, Stand Together

Suzanne Ross, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist NYC

Sharyl Green Vermont

Glen Ford, executive editor, Black Agenda Report

Daniel Vila Cadidate US Congressional District 13 Green Party

June Kelly – Ireland

Sharon Black representative Baltimore People’s Power Assembly

Dr. Joan P. Mencher Director The Second Chance Foundation

Beverly Bell Other Worlds, New Orleans, La.

Richard Grossman, Ph.d. Department of History Northeastern Illinois University Chicago, IL 60645

Kaganga John Retired teacher, Small scale Farmer, Professional Food Security Fellow, Environment and Food Sovereignty Activist &Director Kikandwa Environmental Association C/o Uganda Coalition for Sustainable Development P.O.Box 27551 Kampala

Ana Daglio-Buenos Aires, Argentina

The House of Peace, Inc., a gender equality advocate supports this movement for justice for all.

Henry Duke, MD Orange County Healthcare for All

Carmen & Hector Moreno Queens NYC USA

Maria Páez Victor Human Rights Press, Canada

Louis Riel Bolivarian Circle, Toronto

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Executive Vice-President, National Lawyers Guild

Margaret Sarfehjooy St. Louis Park, MN

Claire Hirsch Human Rights Activist LA California USA

Guillermo Fernández Ampie. Ph.D. Colegio de Estudios Latinoamericanos. UNAM – México.

Jaime Mendieta President Casa de Las Americas NY

Daniel M. Mayfield, Esq Attorney at Law Carpenter and Mayfield 730 N. First Street San Jose, CA 95112

Daniel Kovalik, Adjunct Professor of International Human Rights, University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Karen Rothschild Hudson, Québec, Canada

Larry Hildes, Civil Rights Attorney, Bellingham, WA

Dr. Arnold H. Matlin, M.D. Steering Committee, Rochester Committee on Latin America

Haiti Liberté, Brooklyn NYC

Stanley Kaster, Brooklyn, New York

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI agent and former division legal counsel, peace and human rights activist, Apple Valley, MN

Roger D. Harris, President, Task Force on the Americas 10 Echo Avenue Corte Madera, CA 94925

Michael Albert Z Communications Telesur English

Sabrina Johnson Toronto Forum on Cuba Toronto, Canada

Ann Tiffany, Syracuse Peace Council

Alfredo Marroquín, Sociology Professor, M.Ed., Fanshawe College

Rajesh Barnabas Rochester International Socialist Organization Rochester, NY USA

Angel Concha Hamilton – Canada

Marysol Torres, Vancouver,BC

Roberto Gamboa, Vancouver,BC

Quincy Saul Author, musician, organizer Ecosocialist Horizons

Ajamu Baraka, Human Rights Activist

Matt Meyer, War Resisters International Africa Support Network Coordinator

Meg Starr, Resistance in Brooklyn

Adlih Moreno-Coll, MD Greensboro, NC

Paki Wieland, Northampton Committee to stop wars

Luci Murphy Washington, D.C.

Caro Mader University lecturer (Human Rights) University of South Australia

Lenni Brenner – Author, Zionism In The Age Of The Dictators

James Cockcroft Author, Lecturer, Poet, Revolutionary

Paul Larudee Former Fulbright-Hayes Lecturer, co-founder, Free Gaza Movement, Free Palestine Movement and Syria Solidarity

Pastor Danilo Lachapel Iglesia Evanlica Española del Bronx

Joel Kovel author Ecosocialist Horizons

María Luisa Jácome Alianza Pais NYC

Fuerza de la Revolución NYC

Viviana Moreno (Venezuelan) Community Organizer Chicago, Illinois

Hedy Muysson Westport, Ontario Canada

David Ortiz-Alburquerque Analista de Sistema

Matt Hanson Writer/Journalist/Musician Brooklyn, NY

Mary Jane Schutzius, 3140 Newgate Dr., Florissant, MO 63033

Dr. Quisia Gonzalez Member of the Executive Committee of Garifuna Nation NGO representative to the UN/ECOSOC for the IU

Estevan Bassett-Nembhard New York District Communist Party USA

Vinie Burrows actor and activist Granny Peace Brigade and emerita Representative to the United Nations for the Women’s International Democratic Federation. Venezuela and the Bolivaian Revolution has the support of the WIDF and its more than 128 affiliates around the world.

Mary Ratcliff, Editor, San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper SF Bay View (415) 671-0789

Franklin Rangel Velazquez, Urb La Mora Conjunto Residencial 405 Apt C14 Cabudare Edo Lara Venezuela

Joan P. Gibbs, Esq. National Conference of Black Lawyers

Sanyika Bryant Malcolm X Grassroots Movement

Michael Steven Smith, Esq. Co-Host Law and Disorder radio show

Paul McLennan’ Atlanta, GA Human Rights Activist

Joe Lombardo, Co-coordinator, United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC).

December 12th Movement

Union del Barrio P.O. Box 13036 San Diego, CA 92170