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Thursday, 11 March 2010

SNP and Labour MSPs pay tribute to Hugo Chavez!

Yes, you did read correctly, 4 SNP MSPs (Jamie Hepburn, Bill Kidd, Alasdair Allan and Bill Wilson) and 1 Labour MSP (Elaine Smith) have lost the plot it seems or just gone Caracas.

These five MSPs have supported a motion in the Scottish Parliament praising Hugo Chavez, the leader of corruption-ridden and out of control crime-ridden Venezuela, that's before we even get started on Chavez's role or the lack of human rights afforded to most of the country's residents.

The story appeared in yesterdays Scotsman, but hat tip to Graeme Littlejohn for spotting the Motion when it had been tabled in Holyrood, the motion is here below in full;
Short Title: The Achievements of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

S3M-05904 Jamie Hepburn (Central Scotland) (SNP): That the Parliament considers that Venezuela has been transformed through the progressive policies pursued by the Chávez administration in the last decade; is concerned that this progress and the democratically elected government of Venezuela has been consistently undermined by reactionary elements in the United States and beyond; is further concerned about the increased militarization of the wider region, such as the agreement between the US and Colombia concerning new military bases and the revival of the US Navy 4th fleet; further notes that this April marks the eighth anniversary of the coup against Chávez, which it considers was ultimately unsuccessful due to the resilience of the Venezuelan people; believes that the recent coup in Honduras and the continued undermining of democratically elected governments across Latin America demonstrates the continued menacing presence of reactionary forces in the area, threatening peace, democracy and sovereignty; notes the march and rally taking place in London on Saturday 27 March 2010 to mark the eighth anniversary of the attempted coup against the Chávez administration; sends its support to those marching to show solidarity to that regime and the social progress made by it in Venezuela, and believes that greater relations between Scotland and Venezuela should be developed.
 Are these MSPs okay, or a little tired from too much time in their thinking pods?

I don't have an issue with the motion being tabled as The Scotsman do, because not every single motion tabled has to be about devolved matters, my concern is that these MSPs are being very short sighted, one of them, SNP Bill Wilson is quoted in The Scotsman;
the regime was regularly attacked on a "dishonest basis"
Has Bill Wilson, or indeed any of the five read about the human rights issues in Venezuela?  Are they aware that crime is out of control across the country? Are they aware that Hugo Chavez has imposed food pricing therefore producing a thriving black market?  Have they even visited Venezuela?

It is very easy for Jamie Hepburn, Bill Kidd, Alasdair Allan, Bill Wilson and Elaine Smith to praise from afar, but let us see what they say when they have been there, spent a year there, not in the luxury of the presidential palaces or the 40% of the country's residents who are 'looked after' but in the slums with the real people, where their choice of TV, if indeed they can even afford one will only be able to access channels approved by Hugo Chavez.

Is this really what these MSPs are supporting or have they just got caught up in the euphoria of the moment?

I will leave the last word to Lib Dem MSP, Hugh O'Donnell;
"It beggars belief MSPs would support a motion which looks like it has been written in the presidential palace in Caracas."

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