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Who represents Venezuela in Senate hearings?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 24 June 2004 – Today is the day when Senator Norm Coleman will chair a hearing about Venezuela’s democracy and human rights. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Peace Corps and Narcotics, Senator Coleman is willing to dig deep into “allegations about politically motivated arrests, the composition of the Supreme Court, and the use of untested voting machines in the upcoming vote.”

Allegedly Roger Noriega, John Maisto, J.M. Vivancos and Roger Tissot will have the chance to speak their minds in themes such as energy, political prisoners, judicial independence and violations to the rule of law. The government of Hugo Chavez, not content with the prospect of receiving a public battering from the aforementioned personages, made the necessary arrangements for Mark Weisbrot to be present at the hearing to give the regime’s opinions. And I wonder, why is CEPR’s Dr Weisbrot defending Chavez’ positions in the US Senate? Who took the decision of appointing him as our voice in there?

Weisbrot has been producing the most staggering string of false and deceitful reports about Venezuela. His prevarications, with the seal of approval of CEPR, are circulating freely in internet for everyone to debunk them. CEPR’s connection to the Venezuelan Information Office voids any analysis produced by the former vis-à-vis our conflict.

For those reasons I would like to respectfully request Senator Coleman to ignore any comments or opinions given by Weisbrot in defence of Chavez for, I am convinced, these are to be nothing but party lines and fabrications dictated by Venezuelan Ambassador to the USA Bernardo Alvarez Herrera. There are very many Venezuelans in DC able to provide a coherent and factually correct insight about our country; Weisbrot is most definitely not one of them.

To conclude I would love to hear the arguments of Weisbrot when confronted to a list of political prisoners, starting from those detained in Tachira two years ago by Ronald Blanco La Cruz and ending with Uson, Capriles Radonsky and Dulce Bravo; or when asked to expand into the illegal passing of the law of the Supreme Court and subsequent, equally illegal, destitution of Justice Arrieche; or the characteristic partisanship of Rodriguez, Carrasquero and Battaglini and their constant torpedoing –by unconstitutional means—to the recall referendum; or the stake that the regime has in the software company in charge of e-voting in the coming presidential recall; ad infinitum…

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