By Levon Sevunts, Radio-Canada International, May 20, 2017
A Canadian coalition of labour groups and civil society activists is calling on the federal government to rethink its policy towards the deepening crisis in Venezuela and stop supporting radical elements of the opposition who have vowed to overthrow the Socialist government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Raul Burbano, the program director of Common Frontiers, a left-wing umbrella group that opposes the neo-liberal model of economic development and integration in the Americas, says Canada needs to play a more even-handed role in trying to resolve the political impasse in Venezuela.
“Canada has predominantly talked a lot about human rights, labour rights on the global scale and that’s the way it sort of presents itself,” said Burbano. “Unfortunately, the reality we see in Latin America – it could be Venezuela, Colombia, Honduras – Canada has been pretty much preoccupied with its economic interests, much of that extractive industries.”
In challenging Venezuela’s democracy Ottawa has aligned herself with governments of Colombia, Mexico and Honduras who within the Organization of American States are leading the charge against the Socialist government of President Maduro, said Burbano.
Canada’s policy is not coherent when Ottawa is pushing for human rights in Venezuela but ignores human rights abuses committed by right-wing governments in Colombia, Mexico Honduras, Burbano said.
“I think the government of Canada should make clear its support for constitutional government, electoral democracy and rule of law in Venezuela, and support mediation by organizations that are neutral, for example, the Union of South American States (UNASUR), and, of course, the representatives of the Vatican that are part of the process there,” Burbano said.
Posted May 24, 2017