Shameful Silence of Labour’s Chavistas

On Tuesday the Organisation of American States issued a strongly worded condemnation of Maduro’s secret police’s arrests of opponents:

“This latest action taken without the minimum guarantees of any legal framework is completely harmful to the human rights of both leaders and their families. In both cases, the detentions are carried out instilling fear and intimidation of their families. The Venezuelan regime continues to escalate its use of repression.

On Sunday there were 16 indiscriminate murders of citizens who protested against a fraudulent election and the installation of an illegitimate national constituent assembly. Today there was the selective targeting of opponents. The regime is trying to silence Ledezma and López and, through them, silence and subdue an entire people. It is no accident. They are opposition political leaders in a framework of the social, political and economic crisis of a Venezuela that is suffering to return to democracy.

There are no legal rationale for Ledezma and López to be in jail. This is the same lack of rationale used in the cases all political prisoners. The justifications are arbitrary and unlawful, among other things because they ignore the health concerns- which have not changed- that led to the leaders’ release, because they imply that they were planning an escape, or because they broke a prohibition of making public declarations.

These are errors in the manipulation and use of the law that are made by the Regime. They are imprisoned because they are politicians who demonstrate leadership. They are imprisoned because they are hostages of the government. I urge the international community, the countries of the OAS, the United Nations, the European Union and the Vatican, among others, to continue to adopt measures to defend democracy and human rights in Venezuela.”

In 2015 some 114 politicians, mostly Labour MPs, backed the Organisation of American States call for “respect for the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of states and its commitment to the defence of democratic institutionalism of the state of law in agreement with the OAS Charter and international law, and therefore disagree with all external interference, including through US sanctions on Venezuela.” Guido lists their names below:

1. Dave Anderson MP, 2. William Bain MP, 3. Dame Anne Begg MP, 4. Clive Betts MP, 5. Roberta Blackman-Woods MP, 6. Paul Blomfield MP, 7. Sarah Boyack MSP, 8. Annette Brooke MP, 9. Richard Burden MP, 10. Molly Scott Cato MEP, 11. Martin Caton MP, 12. Katy Clark MP, 13. Ann Clwyd MP, 14. Michael Connarty MP, 15. Jeremy Corbyn MP, 16. David Crausby MP, 17. Mike Crockart MP, 18. Alex Cunnigham MP, 19. Jim Cunningham MP, 20. Nic Dakin MP, 21. Ian Davidson MP, 22. Geraint Davies MP, 23. John Denham MP, 24. Rt. Hon Frank Dobson MP, 25. Brian Donohoe MP, 26. Frank Doran MP, 27. Jim Dowd MP, 28. Mark Durkan MP, 29. Jonathan Edwards MP, 30. Bill Esterson MP, 31. Neil Findlay MSP, 32. John Finnie MSP, 33. Paul Flynn MP, 34. Hywel Francis MP, 35. George Galloway MP, 36. Andrew George MP, 37. Lord Anthony Gifford QC, 38. Sheila Gilmore MP, 39. Baroness Anne Gibson, 40. Pat Glass MP, 41. Mary Glindon MP, 42. Roger Godsiff MP, 43. Tom Greatrex MP, 44. Nia Griffith MP, 45. John Griffiths AM (Welsh Assembly Member,) 46. Rt. Hon. Peter Hain MP, 47. David Hamilton MP, 48. Mike Hancock MP, 49. Mike Hedges AM (Welsh Assembly) 50. Mark Hendrick MP, 51. Stephen Hepburn MP, 52. Cara Hilton MSP, 53. Kate Hoey MP, 54. Jim Hood MP, 55. Kelvin Hopkins MP, 56. George Howarth MP, 57. Glenda Jackson MP, 58. Cathy Jamieson MP, 59. Bethan Jenkins AM (Welsh Assembly) 60. Darren Johnson AM (London Assembly) 61. Baroness Jenny Jones AM (London Assembly) 62. Rt. Hon. Sir Gerald Kaufman MP, 63. Baroness Glenys Kinnock, 64. Jean Lambert MEP, 65. Ian Lavery MP, 66. John Leech MP, 67. Andy Love MP, 68. Alex Lowley MSP, 69. Caroline Lucas MP, 70. Elfyn Llwyd MP, 71. John McDonnell MP, 72. Jim McGovern MP, 73. Catherine McKinnell MP, 74. Siobhan McMahon MSP, 75. Anne McTaggart MSP, 76. Michael Meacher MP, 77. Ian Mearns MP, 78. Graeme Morrice MP, 79. Grahame Morris MP, 80. Ian Murray MP, 81. Lord Martin O’Neill of Clackmannan, 82. Fiona O’Donnell MP, 83. Sandra Osborne MP, 84. Albert Owen MP, 85. Rt. Hon Lord Pendry PC, 86. Baroness Margaret Prosser, 87. Murad Qureshi AM (London Assembly) 88. Yasmin Qureshi MP, 89. Jenny Rathbone AM (Welsh Assembly) 90. Lord Nic Rea, 91. David Rees AM (Welsh Assembly) 92. Linda Riordan MP, 93. RT. Hon. Dame Joan Ruddock MP, 94. John Robertson MP, 95. Alex Rowley MSP, 96. Lindsey Roy MP CBE, 97. Barry Sheerman MP, 98. Jim Sheridan MP, 99. Rt. Hon. Andrew Smith MP, 100. Elaine Smith MSP, 101. Keith Taylor MEP, 102. Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM (Welsh Assembly) 103. Stephen Timms MP, 104. Derek Twigg MP, 105. Jean Urquhart MSP, 106. Valerie Vaz MP, 107. David Ward MP, 108. Tom Watson MP, 109. Mike Weir MP, 110. Sandra White MSP, 111. Hywel Williams MP, 112. Mark Williams MP, 113. Chris Williamson MP 114. Mike Wood MP

Not all are by any means Corbynistas, Tom Watson, for example has always been a supporter of NATO, the Western alliance and the norms encouraged by multilateral organisations. Do they no longer back the OAS when it calls out Maduro for escalating repression?




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