Venezuela Information Centre
By Aleksander Boyd
London 23.03.06 | As readers of this site may already know, I enjoy following Chavez's agents trails. Generally speaking, apologists and lobbyists of Hugo Chavez share a sheer disregard towards the rule of law. For the most part they operate illegally, violating legislation and norms with total impunity. Such is the case of London's Venezuela Information Centre (VIC), an organization pursuing similar ends to Washington D.C. based counterpart, Venezuela Information Office (VIO).
Comparatively in this side of the Atlantic, VIC has been much more successful, with lesser funds and in a shorter timespan, than the VIO. After all the radical Left is extremely powerful in this country. There are however some interesting aspects about the VIC that need exposing. Not that something positive will come out of it, given the lack of attention that most governmental entities and authorities pay to Venezuela, nonetheless bear with me.
As reported earlier, the VIC was launched by a Greater London Authority (GLA) employee by the name of Alan Freeman. But he is not the only one in bed with Chavez at the GLA, London's Mayor Ken Livingstone is also a fan of Venezuelan tinpot dictator and equally, has abused public resources and his position to peddle anti-US propaganda, echoing Chavez unsubstantiated rants. The VIC recently released an article in which it could be read:
The Venezuela Information Centre (VIC) has been strongly lobbying MPs to support this initiative and is now asking all our supporters to check the list of signatures to the EDM and get their MP to sign if they’ve not yet done so.
Therefore I got in touch with Parliament to find out whether legislation regulating lobbying activities and a register of such lobbyists exist in this country, as the Foreign Agents Registration Act and unit in the USA. Unfortunately the different clerks that attended my requests were absolutely clueless in this regard. The point remains though, is it lawful for the VIC to lobby MPs strongly to support Hugo Chavez? Are they funded by the Chavez regime as the VIO? Hard to tell for the VIC does not appear to be registered in England and Wales register of companies, the Charity Commission or the National Association of Councils for Voluntary Service. Hence an unregistered organization is campaigning and lobbying in earnest British MPs, in favour of someone who is on the record disrespecting the memories and efforts of those British soldiers who fought and died for this country in the Falklands. Some in the fringes of the Left just have got no shame.
Apparently, in cohorts with the pusillanimous Venezuelan Ambassador to the UK, the 105 MPs that have signed an Early Day Motion in support of Chavez, will constitute a 'group of friends' next Tuesday in Parliament. Let me be absolutely clear about something here; this lot are no friends of Venezuela but ideological soulmates of militaristic Hugo Chavez, a failed coupster that supports terrorism, the same one that killed very many people here in London on 7/7. In fact these MPs, sufficiently identified by now, are enemies of Venezuela's democracy and freedom and as such ought to be perceived.
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