Republicans promise head on battle with ‘dangerous’ Latam ‘autocrats’
The “dangerous behaviour” of the presidents of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador shows “an undeniable link between the decline of democratic freedoms and human rights and the increase of tangible risks to the security of our region,” said US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fl), a Cuban-American lawmaker.
The United States must cooperate with its partners in the region to fight the decline of democratic freedoms and human rights, led by the governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador, said Republican Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen.
The United States should work closely with our partners responsible for fighting this scourge, said Ros-Lehtinen in a statement. The Republican Representative is expected to lead the influential US House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The dangerous behaviour of the presidents of Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador shows an undeniable link between decline of democratic freedoms and human rights and the increase of tangible risks to the security of our region the lawmaker from Florida said.
The leaders of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), headed by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, have manipulated the democratic systems of their countries to serve their own autocrat purposes underlined Ros-Lehtinen.
The statement of the Florida Congresswoman was read out at an event on the dangers for democracy in the Andean region organized by several conservative think-tanks in the US Congress and with participation of opposition representatives from the ALBA member countries.
“I hope and expect that now with the new (Republican) majority in the House we will do precisely that: confront Hugo Chavez”, said Florida representative Connie Mack main candidate to head the subcommittee on Latinamerica.
Among those present at the event was former Ecuadorean president Lucio Gutierrez, accused by the government of President Rafael Correa of being behind the recent coup attempt and police mutiny in the country; Guillermo Zuloaga, president of Globovisión television network with an arrest order from the Venezuelan courts; Luis Nuñez, president of Bolivian province Santa Cruz committee and a fierce enemy of President Evo Morales.
The event triggered a first reaction from Ecuadorean Deputy Foreign Affairs minister Kintto Lucas who said his country “does not need democracy recipes”, adding that “we are only interested in a sincere open dialogue with Washington”.
Representative Mack who promotes the inclusion of Venezuela in the list of countries promoting terrorism because of its close clinks with Iran said that the former administration of George Bush and the current Obama government have applied a “non intervention hands-off policy” with Chavez.
“I don’t see how United States can continue saying we fight for freedom and democracy in the world and we don’t face Chavez head-on” said Mack who described the Venezuela president as threat to democracy in Latinamerica and the world.
Mack said the trusts that in the new Congress, democrats and republicans will support legislative initiatives to promote democracy in the western hemisphere.
“One of the main and first tasks to address is the free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama which are pending congressional ratification”, coincided both lawmakers.
Finally Zuloaga from Globovisión said that “if as we have seen there’s a strong voice in Congress” that will fight for freedom and democracy “let’s hope they focus on Latinamerica” because so far Washington has “been fleeing” form the “persecution” of the Venezuelan government.