Venezuela’s Maduro says he is open to receiving UN rights envoy

By Thomson Reuters Apr 23, 2024 | 7:17 PM

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday he is willing to receive an envoy from the United Nations’ human rights office, after his government asked staff to leave the South American country earlier this year.

“I received the proposal to again open the Office for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk in Venezuela, and I agree we should overcome our differences,” Maduro said on state television from the presidential police.

Maduro spoke alongside the International Criminal Court’s top prosecutor Karim Khan, who was on a visit to Caracas.

“I am ready to receive Volker Turk’s envoy soon,” he said, adding his envoy was welcome to come to “discuss the differences we have, the conflict that arose, so we may overcome it.”

Venezuela’s government had in mid-February asked staff from the U.N. human rights body to leave the country, saying it would over the course of a month revise the technical terms of cooperation.

The government had criticized the U.N.’s “colonialist, abusive and violating attitude,” after a special rapporteur said a government food program did not tackle root causes of hunger.

(Reporting by Deisy Buitrago; Editing by Stephen Coates)