Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez's idea of leaving the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights at the Organization of American States (OAS).
"Chavez's actions clearly signify his willingness to ignore democratic principles and his refusal to uphold the Inter-American Democratic Charter. He has turned Venezuela into an economic basket case with his zest for the failed policies of a centralized command economy. He has chipped away at liberty, individual freedoms, and human rights in this once prosperous South American nation, and now seeks to have Venezuela leave an important human rights regional body.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is a crucial forum for the oppressed seeking justice for the innumerable grievances caused by the region's power hungry despots. Responsible nations must defend the vicious attacks on human rights and democracy in Latin America."