The activist Javier Tarazona, in Falcón, Venezuela, last July.RR.
Dr. Javier Tarazona chairs Fundaredes, a well-respected Venezuelan NGO that has been involved in the defense of human rights for more than two decades.
The organization that Tarazona directs extends to almost all the states of the nation and emphasizes citizenship education from the earliest levels of schooling.
This translates the primary interest of Tarazona, doctorate in Education, author, academic, social activist and speaker of international brilliance.
Since July of last year, Tarazona has been one of the 240 political prisoners of the Nicolás Maduro dictatorship.
None of them has ever enjoyed procedural guarantees from the moment of their arrest, much less humane conditions for their imprisonment;
In most cases, they have been deprived of liberty for an indefinite period of time, without charging them with any crime except the fearsome one—because it is vague and imprecise—of “treason against the fatherland”, so much to the liking of our military.
The right to appoint trusted lawyers, the right to family visits and timely medical attention, everything is denied to the Venezuelan political prisoner.
In the case of Dr. Tarazona, after his arbitrary detention, as I said, last July, six months elapsed before he was presented to the court that, already on Christmas Eve, charged him with the usual vagueness of multiple use in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua: “terrorism, incitement to hatred and treason against the country”.
Tarazona and two of his collaborators were arrested by the henchmen of Maduro's intelligence services just when, before a state prosecutor's office, they formally denounced the police harassment to which, with a very credible threat against their lives and those of their families, they were being subjected. .
The situation of human rights in Venezuela has already been more than sufficiently examined by international organizations of impartial competence and indisputable authority.
Time and time again, the regime has made its disdain for international opinion felt.
One of his most conspicuous victims was Lieutenant Commander Rafael Acosta, who died in 2019 as a result of the barbaric torture to which he was subjected in captivity.
Captain Acosta, an opponent of the regime, was presented to a court, in alarming conditions of physical abuse, by the same henchmen of the Military Intelligence that arrested him and kept him detained.
It was impossible for Acosta to stand up, and when asked by the judge if he had been subjected to torture, he barely managed to nod before fainting.
He died after a few hours, literally at the same time that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, arrived in the country for an inspection that has been systematically obstructed ever since.
The crime of Tarazona and his collaborators was to denounce multiple crimes against humanity in press bulletins against the population of Apure State, bordering Colombia.
These crimes include the extrajudicial execution of an entire family from Apureña at the hands of Venezuelan military personnel.
It is there, in Apure State, where for much more than a year, Tarazona had been warning about the defenselessness of the inhabitants, civilian victims of the rabid armed conflict between the so-called "dissidents" of the former Colombian FARC, the also Colombian ELN and criminal factions of the Venezuelan Armed Forces.
Tarazona has always been a champion of the thousands of people displaced by border violence and an incorruptible denouncer of the criminality that the struggle for control of the territory and the drug trafficking and illegal mining businesses has made the Venezuelan Army the best ally of at least one of the criminal organizations in conflict.
A man of fragile health—indeed, very fragile—, Tarazona runs, in the opinion of his doctors, today arbitrarily prevented from helping him, a serious risk of dying in captivity.
This would not be a novelty in Venezuela: the calculated medical indolence that surrounded the death of General Elías Baduel, another political prisoner of the regime, was chilling.
It happened last October, without the slightest help being provided.
There is no legitimate cause, except for the indeclinable willingness to serve his own, for which Dr. Tarazona must remain in prison at the certain risk of his life.
The fury of the Venezuelan military against him and his collaborators unequivocally accuses them of their failure to honor the sovereignty of Venezuela.
Javier Tarazona is a prisoner of conscience and must be released immediately.
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