The U.S. Department of State, in its 2006 Report on Compliance with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, has declared that Venezuela is “noncompliant” with the terms of the Convention.
The report states that: “Venezuela was not mentioned in the 2005 Convention compliance report because there were no active cases during the time frame covered by the report. For the period covered by the 2006 report, however, serious compliance problems became evident. The Venezuelan Central Authority (VCA) typically failed to be responsive to inquiries by the USCA, U.S. Embassy Caracas, or left-behind parents. The USCA is not aware of any judicial training program for judges or prosecutors. Applications are not handled by the VCA in an expeditious manner nor are any measures being taken to improve processing of applications. Long delays in case proceedings are indicative of larger systemic problems in the Venezuelan court system. For neither of the two outstanding cases during the period of review was a court hearing scheduled. One case, now more than a year old, has never been heard in court, and in another case, a voluntary return was accomplished after ten months (no court hearing was held). With regard to enforcement of return orders, under Venezuelan law, parents can be subject to imprisonment and fines for not complying with court orders. With no cases heard during the rating period, however, there were no return orders issued or enforced. U.S. Embassy Caracas met with officials from the Ministry of Foreign Relations twice during the reporting period to discuss problems with case proceedings, once in May 2005 and again in September 2005, but no substantive information was received as a result of these efforts. As a result the USCA has determined that, during the most recent rating period,Venezuela was “noncompliant” with regard to its duties under the Convention.”
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