GENEVA, February 20, 2018 – Luis Almagro Secretary General of the Organization of American States and former Foreign Minister of Uruguay today addressed the 10th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy — see quotes below. For links to other speakers’ quotes, videos, photos, livestream, and more, click here.

On speaking out for human rights:

  • “There is no gray area when it comes to fundamental freedoms.”
  • “When I first spoke up against the situation in Venezuela, the world was shocked.  I was criticized for my stance, for drawing attention to the alarming actions to dismantle democracy in Venezuela.”
  • “I must be a voice of those without a voice and those most discriminated against. A voice of those who suffer inequality and suffer from the lack of protection of their rights.”

On Venezuelan crimes:

  • “Since taking over power, Nicolás Maduro has installed a corrupt and criminal government whose only concerns is consolidating their power and stealing the country’s wealth.”
  • “More than 12,000 citizens have been detained in Venezuela since 2014.  More than 150 have been killed in protests.  One of the most chilling statistics is that since 2012 there have been more than 6300 extra judicial killings have taken place…”
  • “The life expectancy of a child in Venezuela is lower than a child in war-torn Syria. More people have died in 10 years than in 50 years of war in Columbia.”
  • “[Venezuela is] a country that has 6,000 executions.”

On lack of democracy in Venezuela:

  • “Venezuela today has a future in which we are further and further away from democracy.”

On the future of Venezuela:

  • “The worst possible sanction for the Venezuelan people would be 6 more years of repression and dictatorship, of hunger, sickness and the deprivation of their human rights. That is the only guarantee that Maduro brings.”