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GLA resources further Chavez's propaganda

By Aleksander Boyd

London 10.05.06 | It is truly a shame that in England's legislation there is nothing similar to America's Foreign Agent Registration Act. For it would be extremely interesting to find out who is financing the Venezuela Information Centre registered and operated by GLA's employee Alan Freeman. Anna Roberts and Sandee Sra, both of whom have GLA email addresses (anna.roberts@london.gov.uk and sandeep.sra@london.gov.uk), are the ones in charge of registering people willing to attend Hugo Chavez's talk next Sunday 14th May in Central London according to this press release. Note that the contact details of the Venezuela Information Centre are at the bottom of it. Could that be a GLA phone number?

But those three are not the only ones who use public resources to peddle propaganda or collaborate in so doing. London's Mayor Ken Livingstone has also abused the attributions of his office by posting articles in favour of the Venezuelan caudillo in the GLA's website as seen here. As Guy Adams from the Observer reported on February 24 "the Mayor of London owned up to another serious professional misdemeanour," which was to publish that article in the main frame of the Greater London Authority website. It is worth mentioning this so that readers understand why I said in my Times's article that Chavez has no shortage of cheerleaders, whether in Argentina or in London.

But Londoners should not go quiet on this issue, cheerleaders come at a price. Whether the case is that the lobbying costs are coming from Venezuelan or London taxpayers, it is equally important to know the source, as either way it exemplifies misuse of public resources. Only a fool would believe that the campaign rolled out by some Labour MPs, GLA employees and trade unionists in the UK is merely due to sympathies with Chavez and his revolution.



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