By Gregory Wilpert
GREG WILPERT It’s The Real News Network and I’m Greg Wilpert in Baltimore. You’re joining us for part two of our discussion about the UN human rights report that was recently released on Venezuela. And joining me to discuss this is Alfred de Zayas. He’s a retired senior lawyer with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as well as a retired chief of the petitions department at the OHCHR. Thanks again, Alfred, for having joined us today.
ALFRED DE ZAYAS Pleasure.
GREG WILPERT So I think it’s very important, though, before we go onto the question of why this report has been so flawed, is to highlight again the issue of the degree of the severity of the situation in Venezuela. As a matter of fact, a recent opinion article by Francisco Rodriguez, who is an economist at Torino Capital, wrote an opinion article in The New York Times where he said, “Sanctions are now putting the country at risk of a humanitarian catastrophe. In the three months after sanctions were increased in January, Venezuela imported barely a third of what it imported in the same period last year and less than one-tenth of what it bought from the rest of the world back in 2012. Given…