Venezuelan Ambassador in the UK warns of misinformation war which threatens

Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic, London. Speaking at a conference in London today, Saturday 1 December, at TUC congress house, the Venezuelan Ambassador to London, Samuel Moncada, raised concerns over misinformation surrounding Venezuela’s constitutional referendum which takes place tomorow.

Addresssing a packed hall, the Ambassador said the constitutional elections taking place the next day were “of extreme importance for Venezuelans”. however, he raised strong concern that media coverage in Britain and internationally was giving a false impression of the content of the constitutional proposals and how the election campaign and its outcome is unfolding. He said that here, it was “difficult to see through this inofrmation blockade which is taking place”.

He said “there is a global information war against Venezuela.” Giving examples he said “there have been false assertions that this is about Chavez becoming a dictator and there is no mention of the constitutional clauses which guarantee state funding to opposition political parties.”

Another tactic, he said, was to misrepresent the polls and to create an impression that the result is `on a knife edge’, and pointed to the widespread media promotion of private polls, falsely predicting a defeat for the referendum proposals. One widely promoted poll is Datanalysis, which has long-standing connections to the oppositon and its Chair is strong opponent of Chavez.

Some reports have spoken of `Venezuela being at a turning point’, he said and how Venezuelans have `one last chance to save their democracy’. This was coupled with further false claims, such as `unconfirmed rumours’ that the government would ask the supreme court to delay the election and which claimed riots generated by food shortages, creating an impression of a social breakdown.

Such reports, he said, had failed to mention that Venezuela `has had the largest period of economic growth in 60 years, and that the UN has reported the biggest falls in poverty in Latin America’.

He warned that an operation was already being orchestrated to call into question the result, including the US state department who have already said they doubt the elections will be free and fair.

Despite all these claims against Chavez and what is being proposed, he reiterated the democratic nature of the process, and how it will be `the people who will decide’. On Chavez, he said `this is the person who has had 14 elections in the past 9 years.

He concluded that the spreading of false information about Venezuela was a deliberate tactic to undermine the democratic right of the people to self-determination. He urged People in Britian to `keep defending the rights of the people of Latin American to rule our own affairs free from outside interference.

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