Copa Airlines prevented a delegation from the Inter American Human Rights Commission from boarding a plane in Panama that was to take them to Venezuela, with the stated aim of surveying on location the state of human rights in the oil-rich nation. Copa told members of the commission that it was not letting them board the plane by request of the Nicolas Maduro regime.
The commission had been invited by National Assembly President Juan Guaido, who in early 2019 assumed the mantle of interim President of Venezuela and has been recognized by more than 60 countries.
The scheduled interviews with victims of human rights abuses by the Maduro regime will instead take place in refugee camps in and around the Colombian city of Cucuta, near the border with Venezuela.
Colombia has received 1.6 million Venezuelans that have escaped the political and economic crisis in the neighboring country, making it the country with the largest contingent of such refugees. Overall, OAS estimates that more than 5 million Venezuelans have left their home country since Maduro took over, constituting the largest exodus in the history of the Western Hemisphere.
As it suits an authoritarian regime was how the commission, which is an appendage of the Organization of American States, resumed Maduro’s behavior towards it.