Support for Chavez grows : Downer condemned for ant-Chavez remarks

Media Release:100 Representatives of the Lebanese Community in Australia including the Mayor of Moreland Anthony Helou, showed their overwhelming support for Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez at a public forum held in Melbourne September 22.

In an interview with Fox and Friends Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said, ``America’s a place where you can speak freely. The irony of all of this is that Venezuela isn’t. So here you’ve got a man who has got dictatorial tendencies ranting to the world, I think in a very unconvincing way. Of course he has his little nest of supporters. I think the great mainstream of the international community expect better from political leaders than that’’.

President Hugo Chavez spoke out at the United Nations condemning the role of the United States in world affair, pointing out that wars were being fought by the US in the name of ‘democracy’, but it was a strange type of democracy that resorted to invasions and bombings. In Australia and throughout the world there is growing support for the initiatives of President Chavez throughout the world. Since being democratically elected in 1998, his government has eliminated illiteracy, decreased poverty by half and established over 20 ``social missions’’ that have helped all Venezuelan’s. Since 1998 his political party has won over 9 elections and all the polls show that he will win the Presidency on December 3, 2006.

President Chavez has faced more elections than any other head of state, and unlike most, he is being returned to power with an increased margin and increased confidence of his constituents each time.

This is a far cry from having ``dictatorial tendencies’’ that Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer remarked in relation to President Chavez yesterday.

At the recent gathering of the non-aligned nations in Havana, Cuba there was overwhelming support for President Chavez and the process that is actually unfolding in Venezuela. It is the Australian government that is isolated in the international community.

Mr Downer would be wise to learn from President Chavez and the achievements of Venezuela in just 8 years. While the Australian government cuts health and education Venezuelan’s are being given free education and health.

While the Australian government becomes more out of touch with the needs and aspirations of it’s people, the Venezuelan government led by President Hugo Chavez, continues to grow in strength and support of not only their own people, but many people around the world who see an alternative to the permanent wars of imperialism and a better future for our planet.

For further comments please Contact Roberto Jorquera : Australia –Venezuela Solidarity Network Ph 0425 289 394 or Kiraz Janicke – Latin American Solidarity Conference Ph 9690 1977.