British government seeks to "strengthen relationship" with questionable Venezuelan leadership
The British government has today issued a statement broadly supportive of Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's successor in Venezuela
Following mass protests and widespread reports of government electoral fraud in Venezuela, the British government has sought to cement ties with Chavez's successors in a new statement released today.
Despite the deaths in Venezuela since the election was called, marginally, in favour of Nicolas Maduro, and the mounting evidence of electoral fraud in the country, the British government has insisted that it, "..looks forward to working with Government and people of Venezuela to strengthen our relationship and deepen cooperation."
In a statement approved by the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said:
"On the occasion of the inauguration of Nicolas Maduro as President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the UK Government looks forward to working with the Government and people of Venezuela to strengthen our relationship and deepen cooperation in areas of mutual interest.
We are concerned by reports of violence following the elections and call on all sides to work together to reduce tensions and to prevent further incidents."
But the statement omits to mention the government crackdown on protestors calling for a recount. It refuses to acknowledge that almost 125,000 people have signed a petition calling on the international community to support a full recount of the votes, and it neglects any information related to the persistent hounding of opposition leaders and independent news outlets, the last of which closed last month.
Protests in Caracas over the pasdt week have been met with force, with Maduro and his supporters targeting opposition figures and the Venezuelan public on the streets, and indeed online.
The tactic hails from Chavez's era, wherein he was known to support aggressive tactics against government dissenters.
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