Professor Santiago Guevara, a 65 year-old Venezuelan Economist, was served a summons by representatives of the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence on February 21st. He was instructed to report on February 23rd to DGCIM where he was charged before a military court with “treason,” “incitement to rebellion,” and crimes against the “security and independence of the nation.” Dr. Guevara had made comments in the media regarding his views of current economic and political policies critical of the Venezuelan government. Professor Guevara, however, has the right to exercise his rights to non-violent freedom of expression and academic freedom – rights that are expressly protected under international human rights agreements to which Venezuela is a party. CCS wrote President Maduro requesting the release of Dr. Guevara and that all charges against him be dropped.
May 5, 2017
President Nicolas Maduro
Final Avenida Urdaneta
Esq. de Bolero, Palacio de Miraflores
Caracas, Distrito Capital
We are writing on behalf of the Committee of Concerned Scientists, an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We are extremely concerned about the arrest and detention of Professor Santiago Guevara, an economist at the University of Carabobo in Venezuela. Dr. Guevara was served with a summons by the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (“DGCIM”) on February 21, 2017. On February 23, as requested, he voluntarily reported to DGCIM where he was charged before a military court with “treason,” “incitement to rebellion,” and crimes against the “security and independence of the nation.” Professor Guevara was arrested for exercising his rights to non-violent freedom of expression and academic freedom – rights that are expressly protected under international human rights agreements including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Venezuela is a party.
Professor Guevara is 65 years old, and has taught in the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at the University of Carabobo for 42 years. By all accounts, his imprisonment and the charges against him are based solely on his comments in the media regarding his views of current economic and political policies in articles he has written on Venezuela.
Jailing a university professor and trying him before a military court for speaking out in his area of expertise is a violation of his rights to academic freedom and freedom of expression, the rights that the Venezuelan government is obligated to respect.
We urge you to drop these charges and to bring about his immediate and unconditional release.
We appreciate your immediate attention to this important matter and look forward to your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
The Honorable Bernardo Alvarez
Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States
Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the United States
1099 30th St., NW
Washington, DC 20007
Phone: (202) 342-2214
The Honorable Rafael Ramirez Carreno
Permanent Representative of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United Nations
335 East 46th Street
New York, NY 10017
The Honorable Rex Tillerson
Secretary of State
US Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520