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Mérida, Venezuela (29/07/2018). – The Observatory of Human Rights of the University of Los Andes (ODH-ULA) granted 107 human rights defenders their certificate diplomas after having successfully completed the 2nd certificate course on human rights “Madiba: The Challenge of Human Rights in Non-Democratic Contexts.”

Professor Mayda Hočevar, Coordinator of the ODH–ULA, expressed her satisfaction with the massive participation and the interest of over one hundred people in being trained in human rights, particularly in a moment where the violation of human rights is systematic in Venezuela.

Ms. Susana Raffalli, who is a bachelor of Human Nutrition, consultant of humanitarian response to Caritas Venezuela, and researcher for Provea, was the lecturer invited for the closure ceremony.

Ms Raffalli lecture was focused on human rights for a country with humanitarian needs. During her talk, she cleared up all aspects regarding the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. She also explained the human rights framework to question the Venezuelan State on the systematic violation of human rights, which is an effort to organize a dire agenda in response to the rights that have been violated.

The expert talked about how the State has seized the access to food, causing damages at humanitarian levels, as malnutrition rates in children at risk of death or illness are as high as 16 percent – in some states of Venezuela – and of 10 percent in others.

Susana Raffalli exposed the Venezuelan reality regarding the access to food and the inability of the State to ensure this right to Venezuelans. Press ODH–ULA

“This (government controls) has made the problem to reach the humanitarian level and it is not only due to the kind of severe malnutrition, but for the quantity of people that are affected; and the State does not have the capacity to correct it with the available funds, thus, it is necessary to have exceptional funds to respond to the humanitarian situation” declared Ms Susana Raffalli.

The cons of remittances

The researcher for Provea referred to the effects remittances have on the humanitarian situation and said that this financial instrument has started to stabilize the access to food in several states of Venezuela.

However, Ms Raffalli pointed out that to think this will improve all food-related aspects would be a mistake because behind of each remittance, there is a family that is separated and broken.

“We do not want to enjoy the human right to live if this implies that we are separated as a nation and a social fabric. There is not a country in the world supported with remittances that has achieved high levels of prosperity”, stated Ms Raffalli. She also said that the current humanitarian crisis in Venezuela will establish a situation of dearth, and great inequality.

In this regard, she informed that Venezuelan universities studies on living conditions show that “we are at levels of inequality never seen before in Venezuela because we are divided between those who receive remittances, those who are paid on foreign hard currency and those who are neither, and there is another group who is close to the State administration who is paid on currency worthier than the current Bolívar.”

Ms Susana Raffalli expressed her concern regarding this reality but also her hope that the complex humanitarian emergency Venezuela is facing is solved for the greatest freedom of all, not just due to the effect of stabilization of the situation of dearth/scarcity Venezuelans are living.

Over one hundred people were trained in human rights thanks to the efforts carried out by the ODH–ULA.

The Rector of the University of Los Andes, Professor Mario Bonucci, attended the event and addressed words expressing his position regarding the Venezuelan crisis.

Professor Bonucci described, with real-life cases, the crisis of the University of Los Andes, and the complexity of the emergency. He believes that the time to come will be harder for Venezuelans, hence, he asked to all present to prepare themselves and fight every day for the freedom Venezuela and its inhabitants deserve. / Press ODH–ULA

Susana Raffalli: “Remittances Have Increased Inequality to Figures Never Seen Before in Venezuela”

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