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House Bill to condemn 'anti-democratic' Chavez in committee vote Thursday [View All]

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meganmonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-15-06 09:33 PM
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House Bill to condemn 'anti-democratic' Chavez in committee vote Thursday
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Edited on Wed Mar-15-06 09:35 PM by meganmonkey
Condemning the anti-democratic actions of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and expressing the sense of Congress that the United States should strongly support the aspirations of the democratic forces in Venezuela.

Essentially this bill would mean the US would fund Venezuelan opposition groups - to oppose a democratically elected leader of a sovereign nation. This is not right!!!


Venezuela Information Office asks for your help!
By Urgent Reqest
Mar 15, 2006, 04:51

H. Con. Res. 328 will be voted on this week!
Your calls are needed in Congress today
Congressional Switchboard: 202-224-3121


We just received word that H. Con. Resolution 328 will be up for a subcommittee vote this Thursday, March 16. Your help is needed to stop this intellectually dishonest, anti-Venezuela resolution. Please call Congress today!
What is H.Con. Res. 328?
Sponsored by Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL), H. Con. Res. 328 is a misguided and factually inaccurate resolution that condemns Venezuela and recommends funding of Venezuelan opposition parties, in direct violation of Venezuelan law.
The resolution contains so many factual inaccuracies that it should be an embarrassment for most members of Congress to support. For a full description of the errors, half-truths and misstatements please see our fact sheet.

What you can do:
Please call Representative Eliot Engel today. This New York Democrat is the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere, which will be taking up the vote. The Congressional Switchboard can patch you through to his office. Call 202-224-3121 today and do the following:
1) Ask to speak to Congressman Eliot Engel's Office
2) When the receptionist answers, ask to speak to the Legislative Aide who works on Venezuela issues.
3) If you speak to the aide directly, ask him/her to recommend that Rep. Engel speak out against H. Con. Res. 328 in the subcommittee. If you are put into voicemail, please leave a message. Here are some points to consider for your discussion:

* The resolution is inaccurate. Among other things:

The resolution states that President Chavez rewrote the Venezuelan Constitution, when in fact it was drafted and approved through a democratic process;

It argues that President Chavez has taken control of the National Assembly, when in fact opposition parties made a decision not to participate in the most recent elections;

It contradicts the 2005 U.S. State Department report that Venezuela has a open and vigorous media; and

It claims that President Chavez "is supporting radical forces" in Bolivia and Colombia. The inclusion of Bolivia seems to be referring to the democratically-elected president of that country, Evo Morales, who, while a socialist, is supported and recognized by every country in Latin America. And the Colombia example refers to never-proven allegations of links to FARC rebels--a charge which is not even supported by the conservative President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe.
* The U.S. must have a sane policy toward Venezuela. Last month, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld compared President Chavez to Hitler. Just last week, a California academic was harassed by FBI agents for his support of Venezuela's democratically-elected government. Clearly, the House needs bring a level of sanity back to our discussion of Venezuela.

* If we truly believe in the principles of democracy, the U.S. should not be advocating funding for opposition parties in other countries.

NOTE: Rep. Engel is new to the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee. He will likely vote the right way on this bill, but he needs to be educated in order to be able to speak out against H. Con. Res. 328.
4) Forward this message on to five friends and ask them to make a similar call.
5) Post this message on listservs that you belong to and get the word out!

Venezuela Information Office
2000 P Street NW, Ste. 240
Washington, DC, 20036
(202) 347-8081
Eric Wingerter, Public Education Director


NOTE: The Venezuela Information Office is dedicated to informing the American public about contemporary Venezuela, and receives its funding from the government of Venezuela. More information is available from the FARA office of the Department of Justice in Washington DC.

mods: based on #5 at the bottom of this statement, I believe permission to reprint in full is given
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