The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network’s (AVSN) invitation to Chavez to visit Australia in 2007 is signed by: Senator Kerry Nettle (Greens), Warren Mundine (ALP National President 2006), Wayne Berry (ALP Speaker in the ACT Legislative Assembly), John Pilger (journalist), Gavin Marshall (ALP Senator, Victoria), Dr Meredith Burgmann (ALP President of the NSW Legislative Council), Jack Mundy (environmentalist), Lee Rhiannon and Sylvia Hale (Greens NSW MLCs), Sam Watson (Murri activist), Simon Cocker (secretary, Unions Tasmania), Dave Robinson (secretary, Unions WA), Reverend Alex Gator, Tim Gooden (secretary, Geelong Trades Hall), Phillip Adams (broadcaster and Republican of the Year 2006) and many more.
Melanie Barnes, an activist in the Hobart AVSN committee, told Green Left Weekly: “While I was in Venezuela for the presidential elections in December, I saw plenty of evidence of the immense steps Venezuela has taken to reduce poverty and improve the lives of the majority of Venezuelans.
Source: Green Left Weekly
Feb 14, 2007
“Labor’s national president and a lineup of Greens politicians are behind a push to bring the world’s most outspoken socialist leader and virulent US critic to Australia. In parliament on Tuesday, Treasurer Peter Costello produced a copy of an online invitation which calls on Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to visit Australia”.
Source: SMH: ALP president behind Chavez visit
After first praising Venezuela, the left now claim it’s ‘not real socialism’.
According to the Green Left Weekly, [the author] Matthew Lesh is part of a global imperialist conspiracy aiming to bring down the Venezuelan government. The socialist country is facing an extraordinary humanitarian disaster, assaults on democracy, violence towards and, even, the murder of opposition members or supporters.
The result of Venezuelan socialism has been sadly predictable: mass starvation, political unrest, and crackdowns on any opposition. You don’t have to be part of a global conspiracy – just a sensible human being – to be concerned about a spike in child morality, the contraction of an economy by 40% and nine-in-ten households not having enough food.
Source: Daily Telegraph
As Venezuela’s economy plummets, mass exodus ensues – video
REMEMBER THE AUSTRALIANS WHO BEGGED CHAVEZ TO GUIDE US
Remember this disgusting letter as you watch the reports on people dying from starvation or lack of medicines in a South American nation that should be rich, having the world’s biggest proven oil reserves.
Remember this shameful letter as you think of the more than 400 political prisoners now rotting in the Venezuelan regime’s jails and the more than 90 people killed since April at demonstrations demanding democracy.
Remember the names of the signatories to this document of shame: ABC presenter Phillip Adams, Greens senator Lee Rhiannon, propagandist John Pilger, CFMEU union officials including Andrew Ferguson and Joe McDonald, Labor senator Gavin Marshall, Muslim spokesman Keysar Trad, former Australian Democrats leader Natasha Stott-Despoja and Labor’s Meredith Burgmann, then president of the NSW Legislative Council.
Source: Andrew Bolt
Transcript of the letter to Hugo Chavez:
Dear President Chávez,
We, the undersigned citizens of Australia, would like to extend a warm invitation for you to visit our country. We have watched developments in Venezuela with great interest. We have been impressed by the great effort that your government has taken to improve the living standards of the majority of Venezuelans. We have also noted with keen attention the moves that your government has begun to make to create a society based on popular participation in all spheres of society—from the workplace up to the national government.
Although we are on the opposite side of the globe we feel that our shared ideals of social justice and democracy bring us close together. Every country has its own traditions and culture and has to find its own solutions, but what Venezuela has been able to achieve in so little time will be a source of inspiration and ideas for many in Australia.
In this light we believe that a visit to our country by yourself would not only help to improve the awareness of the Australian people of developments in Venezuela, but also be an unparalleled opportunity to strengthen the ties of friendship and solidarity between our two peoples.
Signatories to invite Chavez to Australia:
Andrew Ferguson NSW Secretary, CFMEU
Angela Briant – Secretary Independent Education Union (Tasmania)
Antony Loewenstein – Independent Journalist
Brendan Hewson – President, Community & Public Sector Union /CSA
Caroline Risely – Monash University Welfare Officer
Carolyn Smith – Childcare Union Assistant Secretary, WA Liqor Hospitality Miscellaneous workers Union
Casper Cumming – Swinborne Student Union President
Charlotte Boss-Walker -Peace Activist (Tas)
Chris Game – Secretary, NTEU NSW,
Clare Ozich – Industrial Officer, Unions WA
Craig Bulley – Worker’s Radio
Craig Johnson – Cultural Studies, Macquarie University.
Darren Mathewson – director of Organising CPSU
Dave Robinson – Secretary, Unions WA
David O’Bearne – Secretary LHMU (Tas)
Deb Foskey – Greens Member of the Legislative Assembly (ACT)
******** Nichols – National Co-ordinator, Socialist Alliance
Doreen Shenman – Peace Activist (Tas)
Dr Alastair Grieg Senior Lecturer, ANU: Faculty of Arts
Dr Coral Wynter – biochemist, Brisbane
Dr Rhonda Forrest – Lecturer, Charles Sturt University
Federico Fuentes – National Co-ordinator, Resistance socialist youth organisation
Gavin Marshall – Senator (Victoria)
Gil Anderson – Secretary ACT Branch LHMU
Graham Pallot – organiser, CFMEU WA
Ian Bray – WA assistant branch secretary, MUA
Ian Newman – Peace Activist (Tas)
Jack Mundey – Environmentalist
Jakalene X – Indigenous community activist
Jenni Bond – Peace Activist (Tas)
Jenny Forward – Organiser CPSU (Tasmania)
Jim McIlroy – journalist, Brisbane
Jim Mellor – Communications/Projects, CFMEU WA
Jim Reid – organiser, CFMEU WA
Joe McDonald – Assistant Secretary, CFMEU WA
Joel Asphar – AMWU WA Organiser
John Pilger – Independent Journalist
Jose Munoz – Organiser ACT Branch LHMU
Judith Pabian – President ACT Branch NTEU
Keith Peckham – Industrial development officer, UnionsWA
Kerry Nettle – Australian Greens Senator for NSW
Kerryn Williams – Editor, Green Left Weekly
Kevin Ennor – organiser, CFMEU WA
Keysar Trad – Islamic Friendship Association
Kiraz Janicke – National Co-ordinating Committee Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network
Lee Rhiannon – Member of the Legislative Council NSW (Greens)
Len Palmer – Lecturer, Charles Sturt University
Linda Briskman – Professor, Curtin Centre for Human Rights Education
Linda Seaborn – Delegate HACSU
Lisa MacDonald – National Co-ordinating Committee AVSN
Mathew Chuk – General Secretary, National Union of Students 2007
Megan Clement – Newcastle University Students Association
Meredith Burgmann – President of the Legislative Council of NSW (ALP)
Mick Baker – MUA WA organiser
Mick Buchan – Organiser, CFMEU WA
Mick Campion – President, NTEU Murdoch Univeristy Branch
Naomi Arrowsmith – ASU, Assistant State Secretary (NSW)
Natasha Stott-Despoja – SA Australian Democrats Senator
Neil Mudford – Secretary ACT Branch NTEU
Paul Halfpenny – WA Organiser, NTEU
Paul Obohoov – Trade Union Voices Choir, ACTU
Phillip Adams – Journalist, Republican of the Year 2005
Raul Bassi – Transport Workers Union delegate, Sydney
Reverend Alex Gator
Robyn Francis – Permaculture Education, Erda Institute Inc
Saeb Ali – Peace For Lebanon (Wollongong)
Sam Watson – Indigenous Murri Activist
Scott Poynting – Senior Lecturer in Sociology of Education, UWS
Shelley Watson-Harris – Executive Officer, Unions WA
Simon Cocker – Secretary, Unions Tasmania
Steve Dargavel – Acting State Secretary, AMWU, Victoria.
Steve McCartney – State President, AMWU WA
Steven Arditto – Organiser CPSU (Tasmania)
Susan Price – UNSW National Tertiary Education Union, Branch President
Sylvia Hale – Member of the Legislative Council NSW (Greens)
Thirza White – Campaign Coordinator UnionsWA
Tim Anderson – Lecturer, Economics and Business, University of Sydney
Tim Gooden – Geelong Trades Hall Secretary
Vinnie Molina Organiser, CFMEU WA
Warren Mundine – National President of the ALP in 2006
Warren Smith – Assistant Sydney Branch Secretary, MUA
Wayne Berry – MLA (ALP) Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly
Wendy Jopson – Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney
Yvette Berry – Organiser ACT Branch LHMU
Peter Ross – Senior Lecturer, latin American Studies, UNSW