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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

Pisac ACM
13. 12. 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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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

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