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Thursday, 11 March 2010

Guest post from Hugh O'Donnell MSP on the Venezuelan motion in Holyrood

Hugh O'Donnell MSP writes for my little blog in response to my earlier posting about the 4 SNP MSPs and the Labour MSP who have tabled a motion praising President Chavez, Hugh has also tabled an opposing motion;

"The indecent haste of some Members of the Scottish parliament to rush to the aid of the Chávez administration, by signing up to a sugary sweet motion in the name of Jamie Hepburn MSP reveals a naivety which beggars belief.

While praising the 'achievement of the socialist regime, signatories conveniently ignore the increasingly dictatorial style of the President of Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The briefest of looks at its record on human rights and media freedom gives lie to the fanciful notion that Chávez has, or is, creating a socialist utopia in his country, but does confirm the widely recognised experience that all too often such societies are simply driven down the path of dictatorship, either of the 'right' or 'left'.

True democracy can only be achieved by a people and society that has a plurality of approach that genuinely has the interests of devolving power from the centre, without strings, and puts the interests of all of the people before mere party political advantage or dogma.

Of course the SNP would never do any of these things - or would they??"

The text below is the Motion that Hugh O'Donnell MSP has tabled in opposition to the five MSPs motion;

*S3M-5904.1 Hugh O’Donnell: The Achievements of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela—As an amendment to motion (S3M-5904) in the name of Jamie Hepburn, leave out from first "considers" to end and insert "supports the principles of democracy, media freedom and the defence of human rights across the world; notes the statement by Amnesty International that expresses concern "at the deterioration in freedom of expression in Venezuela" and the injuries and deaths among protestors in recent months; is disturbed by the reported threat made to six television broadcasters by the head of government, President Chávez, for their refusal to broadcast a presidential speech; supports the resolution of the European Parliament on 9 February 2010 that expressed concern at the drift towards authoritarianism shown by the government of President Hugo Chávez; considers that his actions are directed towards weakening the democratic opposition and restricting the rights and freedoms of citizens, and calls on the Venezuelan Government to ensure equal treatment under the law for all media, including the internet, irrespective of political or ideological considerations and to respect media pluralism."

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