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House Approves Mack Amendment to Promote Freedom in Venezuela

Press release from US Congresman Connie Mack

“The United States has sent a message that we will not turn a blind eye as Hugo Chavez continues to snuff-out freedom and hijack Venezuela from its citizens.” – Congressman Connie Mack (FL-14)

July 20, 2005 - Washington, D.C. – In a strong signal that the United States government is growing increasingly alarmed by the actions of Socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, the United States House of Representatives today acted on the leadership of Congressman Connie Mack (FL-14) to ensure the Venezuelan people have the opportunity to hear the positive ideals of freedom, security, and prosperity.

By voice vote, the House adopted Mack’s amendment to the Foreign Relations Authorization Act of 2005, which authorizes the U.S. Government, through the Broadcasting Board of Governors, to initiate radio and television broadcasts that will provide a consistently accurate, objective, and comprehensive source of news to Venezuela.

The move comes as Chavez readies to launch his own television network patterned after Al-Jazeera to spread his anti-American, anti-freedom rhetoric; his continued use of the existing airwaves to wipe out opposition leaders and thought; the enactment of new laws that essentially end the nation’s free press; a spending spree on new military hardware; and the establishment of strategic alliances and relationships with Fidel Castro, China and Iran.

Mack, a member of the International Relations Committee, has been an outspoken critic of Chavez and his ongoing, radical shift toward Socialism and the elimination of freedom for the Venezuelan people.

Mack said:

“Hugo Chavez is an enemy of freedom and of those who support and promote it. He is a threat to the United States and stands to undermine the balance of power in the Western Hemisphere. Today America has sent a message that we will not turn a blind eye as Hugo Chavez continues to snuff-out freedom and hijack Venezuela from its citizens.”

The House adopted Mack’s amendment just days after he unveiled the principles of a three point plan to extend freedom, security and prosperity to Venezuela:

1) The creation of institutions that will foster a free press, the freedom of speech and religion, and free and fair elections for Venezuela.

2) Establish a Venezuelan Security Zone that will isolate Chavez and limit his ability to destabilize Latin America.

3) Promote economic development in Venezuela through free markets, privatization, and other means that will create lasting prosperity and opportunity for all Venezuelans.

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