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Latino Daily News

Friday February 18, 2011

Venezuelan Students on Hunger Strike Want Human Rights Conditions Evaluated in Country

Twenty-six university students from Venezuela are continuing their hunger strike in hopes of pressuring President Hugo Chavez to allow human rights representatives to evaluate conditions in the country.

The students, which started 20 days ago, are striking at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Caracas.  Now there are students protesting in front of the Costa Rican and Chilean embassy.

The students are trying to pressure Chavez to allow members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to visit political prisoners in the country. 

Chavez has rejected the protesters request and believe the U.S. is meddling after Secretary of State Clinton issued the following statement: 

“Civil society holds governments accountable, keeps them honest, and helps them be more effective.”  We believe that independent civil society, including participation by young people, has a critical role to play in a democracy. We are concerned about the health and well being of the students who are risking their lives for their belief in democratic governance and individual liberties. We urge the Venezuelan Government to agree to a visit by the OAS as a means to promote dialogue and understanding.