In 2017, Venezuela saw huge anti-government protests. In response, the then government carried out crackdown measures against the p protestors. This led to the death of more than 100 people. Now, International Criminal Court (ICC) has said that it will investigate whether crimes against humanity were committed during these crackdown measures.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said that his government respects the decision by ICC but does not share the same views.
These demonstrations started after in 2017 the Supreme Court decided to dissolve the opposition-dominated National Assembly. The ICC's Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan announced the decision to investigate the crackdown after his three-day trip to Caracas.
Both the current government and the opposition urged the ICC to investigate alleged crimes carried out by their opponents. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó has welcomed the decision made by ICC. He expressed his views on Twitter and said that this will help the victims to"claim the right to obtain the justice that has been denied in Venezuela”. Human Rights Watch said the investigation "offers a pathway to justice for victims of atrocities" by Mr. Maduro's government.
The Americas director at Human Rights Watch, José Miguel Vivanco said, "The ICC's first investigation in the Americas comes on the back of the extreme repression the Maduro government has inflicted on the Venezuelan people.”