How does the McCartney sisters - IRA affair compare to Venezuela's international perception
By Aleksander Boyd
London 17.03.05 | On very rare occasions I lift my self imposed restriction to comment upon issues non related to my country but I guess the recent killing of Robert McCartney by IRA terrorists is a good opportunity to do so and draw some comparisons between Northern Ireland and Venezuela.
Informed readers ought to be aware of the terrorist activities of the IRA in their campaign to 'liberate' Northern Ireland of British occupation. From a Republican perspective said exercise to reclaim sovereignty by the Irish is somewhat admirable. As a matter of fact not long ago I quoted Gerry Adams remarks “sometimes violence is the only means to achieve goals…”. The IRA / Sinn Fein duo, through a mixture of terrorism and political maneuvering have already gained leverage; an aura of 'respectability' sort of covers Gerry Adams and his party to the point where both personality and entity have become guest de rigueur to powerful houses in either side of the Atlantic. Fine up to now.
However when one learns about the assassination of Robert McCartney; the IRA pathetic offer to conduct an internal enquiry into the murder -as if they were the kind of organization whose investigations could be taken seriously by anyone; their desperate proposal to save face with core Republican and Catholic supporters by way of shooting those responsible and lastly Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness political warning to the brave McCartney sisters; only condemnation is left. Because of the IRA's clumsy handling of this issue die hard Irish-Americans have given the cold shoulder for the first time ever to the terrorist organization and by extension to Gerry Adams, whose funds collecting trip to America this year won't be that successful.
Comparisons with Venezuela
The BBC, reporting today on the US trip of the McCartney sisters, has a very interesting paragraph regarding the behaviour of Robert McCartney's children vis-a-vis the media frenzy generated after his murder "The boys are too young to understand the political significance of a Catholic family from a hardline republican area daring to challenge the IRA".
For naive, gullible and ignorant Irish-Americans the IRA's jihad against England was, more than a source of republican hope, epithomy of identity and cultural struggle. Robert McCartney's murder, his sisters' reaction and the very many political faux pas that ensued have demonstrated that, indeed, the IRA and his political arm are nothing but a network of terrorists and organized criminals unwilling to adapt to new realities or show any form of accountability to the constituents that form its political core base.
Similarly there have been a number of less notorious cases, although with significantly higher numbers of victims, in Venezuela, of course we haven't got large expat communities in the heartland of US politics, that reflect Hugo Chavez' sheer disregard for the lives and wellbeing of its supporters. The first that spring to mind is the very recent burning of soldiers whilst in confinement, however one could also point out his anti-Venezuelan relationship with dictator Fidel Castro and the Colombian narco-guerrillas or the systematic destruction of Venezuela's oil industry or perhaps his ordering the military to massacre innocent and unarmed civilians on April 11 2002 or even the granting of citizenship to internationally wanted assassins. However abstract these issues may appear to the uneducated they show a complete lack of respect and consideration towards those who brought him to power.
The Times has posted this tidbit today "Sir, I find it ironic that the US is only now banning Sinn Fein from fundraising (report, March 14) because of the IRA’s continuing involvement in crime. What did they consider that its campaign of murder and terror was — care in the community?"
We have denounced ad nauseam the many atrocities committed by Hugo Chavez and members of his revolutionary project; alas the prospects of energy deals to be had in Venezuela continue to dictate diplomatic actions.
As a concerned Venezuelan I can only wish for the world's realisation about the true nature of Hugo Chavez and his activities. It worries me that public opinion only seem to get out of its lethargy and react when horrendous and unexplainable crimes such as the assassination of Robert McCartney occur. Venezuela has an ever growing list of Robert McCartneys but we seem to lack his sisters, their determination to bring those responsible to justice and the attention dispensed to them by the international community.
A reader kindly pointed out this article by The Sunday Times.
Satellite reveals hideout deep in the jungle used by IRA fugitives SATELLITE pictures have shown the location of a rebel camp deep in the Venezuelan jungle believed to be a hideout used by three IRA fugitives, writes Martin Arostegui. The photographs show an enclosure in a clearing in the Perija mountain range, close to the border with Colombia. The camp is believed to belong to Colombian guerrillas of the left-wing Farc movement.
James Monaghan, Niall Connolly and Martin McCauley jumped bail in Colombia last year. They were sentenced to 17 years’ jail in their absence for training Farc in IRA mortar techniques. The co-ordinates of the camp the men have used — 10 degrees, 29 minutes, 56 seconds north, by 72 degrees, 44 minutes, 56 seconds west — were disclosed by Colombian intelligence to members of a Northern Ireland victims’ group. The camp in the picture, taken last year before the IRA men’s visit, coincides with these co-ordinates.
Venezuelan asylum for Colombian insurgents is a highly sensitive issue. The countries clashed in January when the Colombian government paid Venezuelan bounty hunters to seize a Farc leader in Caracas and bundled him across the border to face terrorism charges. Relations have since improved and two weeks ago the Venezuelan authorities arrested three Farc suspects and have recently sealed off some roads in Tachira, the province in which the IRA men’s hideout is located.
This weekend Ernesto Amezquita Camacho, a lawyer who defended the men at the time of their capture in 2001, claimed: “I thought they had returned to their families.”
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