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Venezuela rejects UNHCR’s method to include refugees in the Olympics

Caracas, May 4 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela rejected the method implemented by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to include a compatriot who does not meet that condition of refugee in the Olympic team.

A statement released on Friday night indicated that the “man of Venezuelan nationality” was included in the sports shooting team but he does not meet the international criteria to be classified as a refugee.

The text urged the UNHCR and the International Olympic Committee to “initiate a route of communication and permanent work with the corresponding institutions,” in order to protect the transparency and rigor that characterizes High Performance Sports and thus amend the damages caused.

The press release insisted that 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 to the mandate of the UNHCR, must be respected.

It added that fair play that must prevail, honoring the rigor fulfilled by the world’s athletes already qualified.

Venezuela recognized the importance of embracing, within sport, inclusive policies for people displaced due to persecution and war, and urged that the promise to act independently of political interests be fulfilled, which could otherwise have a negative impact on the spirit of the national teams that are still in the process of qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games and on sport on a global scale.