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    Latin America:
    Posted on Saturday, February 19 @ 19:58:42 UTC
    Topic: Venezuela
    VenezuelaBy Juan Reardon
    February 19, 2011 – Venezuelanalysis.com


    Mérida, February 18th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Yesterday Venezuela’s representatives to the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) issued a unanimous rejection of threats made against Venezuela by U.S. lawmaker Connie Mack.

    In a rare show of unity among Parlatino’s Venezuelan pro- and anti-Chávez parliamentarians, the deputies denounced Mack’s assertion that Venezuelan institutions and foreign policy pose a “threat” to the United States and classified his attitude towards Venezuela as the “belittlement of our international right to sovereignty and liberty, and to decide with which nations to have commercial and fraternal relations.”

    Mack attacks Venezuela

    During a speech last week at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Republican congressmen and newly appointed chairman of the House Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs for the Western Hemisphere, Connie Mack, called for a “full-scale economic embargo” against Venezuela.

    Mack, a neoconservative Republican representing Southern Florida, also requested, for the third year in a row, that the U.S. include Venezuela on this year's "state sponsors of terrorism" list.

    As part of opening remarks to the Sub-Committee he now chairs, on Tuesday Mack also referred to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez as a “thugocrat” and accused the democratically-elected president of being “in violation of U.S. sanctions on Iran, actively supporting terrorist organizations, working directly in counter to democracy and freedom in Venezuela and the region, and aggressively opposing U.S. interests.”

    During last year’s controversial ‘Danger in the Andes’ summit held in Washington DC, Mack joined Otto Reich, Roger Noriega and Venezuelan private news channel, Globovision’s Guillermo Zuloaga in demanding the Obama administration take a more openly hostile stance to the Bolivarian Revolution.

    Mack also committed himself to “facing Hugo Chávez head-on” once chairman.

    Speaking to Globovision reporters outside of the summit, Mack said that people should expect the U.S. House of Representatives under his watch to be, “a very clear voice when it comes to the failures of Hugo Chávez and the threat Hugo Chávez poses not only to the citizens and people of Venezuela but all of Latin America and the Western Hemipshere.”

    As pointed out by the Venezuelan government-run newspaper, the Correo del Orinoco International, Mack has yet to present any evidence to back his accusations against Venezuelan.

    Unity Found

    In response to Mack’s statements, both pro-Chávez and opposition Venezuelan deputies to Parlatino released a five-point collective agreement yesterday calling on all Venezuelans “of good will” to “overcome internal political differences and confront…this new campaign of threats and discredit against our country.”

    Rodrigo Cabezas, President of Parlatino’s Venezuelan delegation, expressed his colleagues’, “complete support and solidarity with the Bolivarian Government and President Hugo Chávez, as well as its foreign policy of mulipolarity and integration.”

    Speaking to Venezuela’s National Assembly Television (ANTV) yesterday, Cabezas called Mack’s threats “an aggression against the homeland where we were born and against the country in which we are working to further develop democracy.”

    “We categorically reject these declarations [by Mack] and we are very pleased that during debates on Thursday the opposition also rejected them,” said Cabezas.

    Delsa Solórzano, head of Venezuela’s opposition deputies in Parlatino, asserted that her allies’ rejection of Mack’s threats was not “about supporting Chávez or not” but instead “about supporting the Venezuelan people.”

    “The homeland and people have been offended” she said.

    “We ratify that we are enemies of no one,” read theaforementioned agreement. “We respect the people of the U.S. and we hope to maintain political and economic relations with them, and with their government, on the basis of mutual respect and self-determination…”

    Any provocation or attacks on “our territorial or economic integrity will be responded to by Venezuelan men and women with a deep sense of patriotism at heart. We are certain that brotherly Latin American nations and the free people of the world will accompany us in solidarity,” the statement read.

    According to Cabezas, the deputies’ declaration against Mack’s statements has been formally submitted to the United Nations (UN), the Organization of American States (OAS), and to Parlatino so that these organizations “bear witness to the interference of the United States in Venezuelan affairs.”

    The Latin American Parliamant, or Parlatino, was founded on 10 December 1964 in Lima, Peru. The organization is responsible for, among other things, promoting, harmonizing, and channeling the movement for Latin American integration.

    Each of Parlatino’s 22 member states elects 12 plenipotentiaries which should represent the political make-up of each member’s parliament.

    In Venezuela’s September 2010 national assembly elections the ruling United Socialist Party (PSUV) secured 7 representatives to Parlatino while the opposition Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) secured 5.

     
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