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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament Sakharov Prize co-winner Ledezma to EF: Unity+Hope for Freedom+Peace in Venezuela

EU Parliament Sakharov Prize co-winner Ledezma to EF: Unity+Hope for Freedom+Peace in Venezuela

Parašė ACM
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- One of the 2 Leaders of the co-Winners of EU Parliament's Sakharov for 2017, (all Oppressed Dissidents to Maduro's controversial regime in Venezuela), f. Caracas' Mayor Antonio Ledezma, (an Experienced Politician with Long career at various Top Jobs, from Parliament to Senate, etc), who has just Escaped from that Latino-American Country where he was under various forms of Arrest for Many Years, in an Interview to "Eurofora", stressed the Need for "Unity" and "Hope" in order to achieve peacefully "Freedom".


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- "Eurofora" initially asked Ledezma if he thought that National Political Unity might be Possible in Venezuela, despite, or rather because of the various exceptional Hardships that its Population is Facing nowadays.


- "It's not just Possible, but also absolutely Necessary !", Ledezma immediately reacted to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question.


 - Since "it's with Unity that we can Find a Solution".


- "This will make possible for Venezuela to get Free from that Tyranny"


- "And, for that purpose, an Agreement is needed".


- In order to "Dissipate any Doubts and Reach a Convergence in the Criteria", he Highlighted.


- "Because we (the Opposition) are currently Dispersed, and it's a method of the Tyranny to <<Divide and Rule>>".


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 - "Eurofora" also Asked Tedezma whether he found possible to broker a Political Agreement between the Opposition and the current Government.

 - "We have Tried, in a process of  Dialogue, already some Time ago".


 - "But, Unfortunately, they (Madero's regime) Abused of our Good Faith, according to which we had organized those Discussions", he replied.

 

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- Indeed, "the Citizens of Venezuela were Deprived from their Rights, from Possibilities to Act as Citizens", he concluded on this point.

 

 
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 - "If an International Pressure is exerted adequately, do you think that a National Government for Political Transition might be accepted (by all involved) ?", "Eurofora" asked Ledezma in fine.

 

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- "That would be a Legitimate Aim" to seek.


- Indeed, it's by exerting Pressure that Venezuela may Free itself from this Everyday Tyranny", he Briefly reacted, without going to further concrete details.  


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- "Despite Everything, are you Optimist that you may Succeed to Find a Peaceful Solution ?", "Eurofora" asked, in Conclusion.

- "As Winston Churchil used to say, the only thing to do is to remain Optimist : Never Lose Faith and Hope !"


- "And those who struggle for Venezuela must be animated by such a Hope", Ledezma concluded, with a smile.


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But he stressed, Earlier, speaking at a Meeting with Families of the Prisoners among Venezuela's Opposition, (to whom EU Parliament decided, this year, to Award is Annual "Sakharov" Prize for "Freedom of Thought", via its President, Antonio Tajani), that, unfortunately, given the current situation, we cannot say that we are "Glad" to be in Strasbourg, since the Events still going on in Venezuela, keep as "Sad".       

    -----------

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 - Indeed, as the other Leading Co-Winner of the 2017 "Sakharov" Prize, National Parliament's President, Julio Borges, described later-on, at EU Parliament's Plenary, among others, "Malnutrition affects Most Children", the People of Venezuela have generally "Lost about - 10kg each" recently, there is an "Urgent Need for many Medical Drugs", (etc),  But, "instead of Bitterness", we "must Not Lose Hope", and "will Not Stop Fighting, until a Real Change and Democracy" is restored .            

    
    - In fact, Venezuela is a Country with Rich Natural Resources, (as Oil/Gas, etc), where "Sums 10 Times the UN Budget" have been wasted during a regime with Corruption and even links to "Drug Dealers transporting Cocaine to Europe", etc, (a quite Long-Time Traffic that CoE's Experts had noticed from Wider Latin America areas, via Turkish Smugglers ,, etc, as they had told Journalists in Strasbourg in the Past, including "Eurofora"s co-Founder), Ledezma added.


    >>> However, the main point is that - "Freedom is as Vital as Oxygen !", Antonio Ledezma stressed also at EU Parliament's Plenary, ensuring that Dissident People seek "Not Revenge, but Justice".

 

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    => EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, criticizing Out-goin President Maduro's recent Decision to Exclude main Opposition's Candidates in the Forthcoming Presidential Elections, stressed, inter alia, mainly the Need for "Free Elections, with the Participation of All, so that the People of Venezuela can Decide its Future"

 

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 EU Parliament's Plenary gave a Standing Ovation to all the Families of Political Prisoners of Venezuela's Opposition, which includes a large variety of tendencies, both of the Right and of the Center and Left.

 

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Curiously, for a Successor of "Progressist" former Venezuela President Chavez, some had pushed under various pretexts,  Maduro, these Days, to Visit the controversial ...Turkish President Tayip Erdogan, in the traditionally Oppressive Turkey, for the 2nd Time in a row during this Autumn 2017...

 

(../..)

 

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(NDLR : Most = Fast Translation in English from Spanish, via the French language. Original = Available).

 

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

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- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
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ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
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    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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