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Independent effort counteracted the Venezuela Information Office's propaganda at MIT

London 17.03.05 | Text of a flyer handed out in Boston's MIT yesterday.

Hola Venezuela. The Dark Reality

You have been invited tonight to hear about Venezuela. While you are listening to the “official" message on the Bolivarian revolution, the independent thinkers and bloggers for freedom in Venezuela, part of the people placed in a legal ghetto, persecuted and threatened for claiming our political rights, would like you to consider the following as you listen to the Venezuelan visitors.

Here is some background on today ’s visitors and the government they represent. Ask yourself the following questions:

Mr. Barreto has been quoted saying degrading and offensive comments towards women and homosexuals. Barreto addressed to women as “The only animal who bleeds and doesn’t die.” Also, he has referred to the opposition politicians as "maricones” (fags)in front of a session in the National Assembly (our congress)(1). Does your presence in this conference represent an endorsement of this view on women and homosexuals?

Mr. Barreto and Ms. Hernandez have recently supported new legislation in Venezuela that makes it a crime to offend the President in private,with jail fines of one to five years. Does this view represent your own views regarding freedom of expression?

Last week Mr. Barreto gave the keys of the city of Caracas to visiting President of Iran, Mr. Khatami. The government Ms. Hernandez represents has gone out of its way to provide full support for Iran ’s nuclear ambitions. Does your presence in this conference represent an endorsement of Iran ’s nuclear program and its treatment of women, minorities and independent journalists?

The administration Ms.Hernandez represents has frequently characterized the U.S. government as a “terrorist state ” and as the “biggest threat to world democracy.” Is your presence in this conference an endorsement of this view?

Do you share the view of the panelists in this conference,that our service men and women overseas are terrorists?

Do you wonder?

Why the basic rights accorded through the UN ’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and nominally supported by Venezuela,are consistently and openly violated by the Chavez regime,as witnessed through the systematic and ruthless repression of peaceful demonstrations, imprisonment of political opponents and an ever augmenting number of killed/dissapeared by “la revolucion"? Please check the link section below

Why there are so many military officers in public administration? Is it not true that what Chavez is meant to be ‘implementing ’ is an example of participatory democracy in which heretofore marginalised sectors of civilian society have a leading role?

Why the army is bending so easily to Chavez ’s wishes instead of guarding our borders, fighting the infiltration of the Colombian narco-guerilla?

How Chavez can decide on his own whether to sell CITGO (the same CITGO featured at Fenway Park tonight),the oil subsidiary that belongs to all Venezuelans but is handled as if it were Chavez ’s personal property?

How Hugo Chavez can afford a gigantic propaganda machinery worldwide, while imposing restrictions on freedom of journalists back in Venezuela by stifling the right to opinion and objective reporting? Restrictions that American citizens would not allow in the United States?

Why Republican President George W.Bush AND former Presidential Candidate and Democratic Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts both oppose the Venezuelan regime? The reality is that even though Chavez is against Bush doesn ’t make him a liberal and human rights ’ advocate.

How can Hugo Chavez claim to have such widespread support among the poor when he did all in his power to block the opposition’s access to fair elections, an opposition that is a cross section of people from all walks of life?

Why Hugo Chávez is buying more machine guns than our Armed Forces can handle?

We invite you to do your own research and listen to a realistic voice of today ’s Venezuela on the Internet.

•www.venezuelatoday.net (Most comprehensive directory of news,forums,regular citizen ’s blogs and more).
•Amnesty International:
Venezuela.Human Rights under Threat.
Venezuela:Further information on Death threats/fear for safety..
Online documentation archive.
Human Rights Watch about Venezuela.
IFEX:International Freedom of Expression eXchange.
Commitee to Protect Journalists.
•Reporters sans frontier: Promulgation of law on social responsibility (Dec.2004)
Reporters sans frontier ’s annual report on Venezuela for 2004.
Inter-American Press Association condemns Chávez ’ government for curtailing freedoms.
•Venezuelan analyst bloggers:
http://daniel-venezuela.blogspot.com
http://blogs.salon.com/0001330/
http://caracaschronicles.blogspot.com/(archives-not to date but worth reading)
http://vcrisis.com. “List of missing persons and political prisoners in Venezuela



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