He's one of the few Venezuelan diplomats who dared to stand up to the regime of President Nicolas Maduro. Isaias Medina resigned his post at the United Nations this summer in protest against the ongoing human rights abuses by the Caracas government during its crackdown on democracy.
Now he faces death threats but is remarkably unfazed by them.
In an interview, Medina told Fox News he has no regrets.
“When I saw every night on social media that the National Guard, (which) should be protecting the people, they were shooting at the students and killing them cold blooded. Of course, I had to speak out and try and bring as much awareness to the international community as possible."
Medina said even though he stopped supporting the government, he couldn't leave his position until he got his passport back from Venezuela. Once he got his passport in July, he announced in resignation.
The Venezuelan mission to the U.N. laughed off his resignation and claimed he was fired. He then began receiving death threats.
"I have got a lot of uncomfortable messages and calls and so on,” he said. “But it does not really matter because there is nothing they can do to the Venezuelan people that they've not already done. And if I can become that voice to speak for them in front of the international community...this is my job."
The Trump administration has leveled unprecedented sanctions against the Venezuelan government, targeting the president and high-ranking officials while barring U.S. banks from lending money to Venezuela.
All this in response to President Maduro’s tightening authoritarian grip amid an economy on the brink of default. Maduro's brutal crackdown against widespread pro-democracy protesters has left 120 people dead, as chronic food and medical shortages continue. Stagnant inflation has left about 82 percent of the population in poverty, according to reports.
Medina is working with the Inter-American Bar Association, which promotes upholding the rule of law and the protection of democracy, and the NGO “My Voice Counts- DBA Comunidad Venezuela,” to gather and document human rights abuses and crimes against humanity committed by the Maduro regime. He will present the hundreds of submissions to the Organization of American States later this month in Washington, D.C.
Fox News interviewed Medina at his old stomping ground, the United Nations, where he represented Venezuela as a diplomat on issues as such as terrorism, human rights and the environment.
When he arrived he was stopped and told by U.N. security guards to wait until they called their superior. Eventually, he was allowed in. Security officials took special interest in our filming session.
Medina dismissed it as part of his new life working in opposition to his former employer. He said the Venezuelan mission has probably tried to get him blacklisted, hence the holdup. For the most part, he was greeted warmly by his former colleagues.
“He is the consummate diplomat and widely admired by his colleagues,” one U.N. diplomat told Fox News. “Always working to build bridges, bringing people and countries together to solve problems big and small.”
Medina’s family has since joined him in the U.S., fearing retaliation and torture by the regime. He says he is very thankful to the Trump administration for its efforts against the Maduro government.
Medina says even with the death threats he looks forward to the day when he can return to a free and democratic Venezuela.
“My life is irrelevant when you are talking about 30 million people hijacked by an international criminal organization,” he clears his throat and adds: “I mean it.”
He said he won’t stop fighting the regime and hopes fellow activists in Venezuela don’t give up, either.
“Never give up,” he said. “That is the message to my Venezuelan countrymen.”
Fox News correspondent Bryan Llenas contributed to this article.