Venezuela rejects choice of the Olympic Refugee Team

Venezuela expressed its disagreement on Friday with the approach used by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Acnur) in selecting the Olympic Team in this category, because it inappropriately included a man of Venezuelan nationality in the discipline of Sports Shooting, as he does not meet international requirements to be considered a refugee.

The Government of Venezuela issued a communiqué urging the Acnur and Olympic Solidarity of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to establish a constant communication and collaboration with the relevant institutions to preserve the transparency and rigour of high-performance sport and to correct the damage caused.

He added: “We insist on the need to respect the principles of international law and international refugee law, such as impartiality, objectivity, non-selectivity and non-politicization in the treatment of the issues inherent in UNHCR’s mandate, as well as the Clean Game that must prevail, honoring the rigour accomplished by the world’s already classified athletes.

Comunied Venezuela rejects the method implemented by the UNHCR Office in the choice of the Olympic Refugee Team, where it inappropriately included a man of Venezuelan nationality in the discipline of Sports Shooting, who does not meet the criteria… pic.twitter.com/GURPzydeoN

Yvan Gil (yvangil)May 4, 2024

Venezuela recognizes the importance of implementing sports policies that include people displaced by persecution and war, and demands that the promise of acting without political interest be fulfilled, since this could have a negative impact on the morale of the national teams preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and in sport worldwide.

The Venezuelan Olympic Committee (COV) reported that last September it sent a letter to the IOC in which it expressed its opinion on the situation of a group of Venezuelan athletes who received a scholarship for their preparation.

According to the VOC, competitors have no restrictions on entering or leaving the country, nor have they been denied the processing of Venezuelan documents, nor are competitors considered to be political persecuted.

“We support those who are actually displaced in their countries and under the permission of the relevant international body, to those who have diminished their opportunities in life. What we will never be able to support is that some use other circumstances to get what they have not been able to obtain on their own merits,” added the VOC.

This artice has been translated after first appearing in TeleSurTv