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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

Автор ACM
Wednesday, 13 December 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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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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