The Death of Hugo Chavez

Analyst-Hugo-Chavez-grooming-a-successor

by George Galloway

The Independent

The death of Hugo Chavez at just 58 is a body blow for the poor and the oppressed, throughout Latin America and the wider world. The most elected leader in the modern era, Chavez transformed Venezuela by the force of his will and a popular revolution which encompassed the marginal, the ethnic minorities, the workers, and key sections of the progressive intelligencia who saw in him a veritable Spartacus.

He rallied an army of not slaves, but those despised by the oligarchy as hewers of wood and drawers of the oil which previously made only the rich richer. Under Chavez’ revolution the oil wealth was distributed in ever rising wages and above all in ambitious social engineering. He built the fifth largest student body in the world, creating scores of new universities. More than 90% of Venezuelans ate three meals a day for the first time in the country’s history. Quality social housing for the masses became the norm with the pledge that by the end of the presidential term, now cut short, all Venezuelans would live in a dignified house.

Chavez’ ambitions were not limited to Venezuela alone. He fostered Latin American unity promoting democratic and socialist movements throughout the continent. He founded a Bank of the South, a University of the South, even a television station of the South – Tele Sur. And further afield he championed the Palestinian cause, giving citizenship to stateless Palestinian refugees. When Israel invaded Lebanon, from where I write, in 2006 he expelled the Israeli ambassador from Caracas – relations which remain severed. He stood up to North American hegemony and with the victims of imperial domination everywhere.

I knew him as a warm gregarious bear of a man, a force of nature.

My wife and I spent almost two weeks working in his presidential campaign late last year. It is heartbreaking to be writing what amounts to his obituary so soon after yet another of his great political triumphs. He will be remembered as a man who lived and died for his people, as a paratrooper, a tank commander, a president. Hasta siempre Comandante. Presente.

 

Senior Met Counter Terrorism Officer Placed on ‘restricted Duties’ over Galloway Dirty Tricks Claims

BBC News

A senior Metropolitan Police officer has been placed on restricted duties after George Galloway claimed he entered his home without consent.

In an Early Day Motion, the Respect MP for Bradford West said the officer used an alias to attack him on Facebook in an “apparent dirty tricks operation”.

Mr Galloway also claimed the counter-terrorism officer slept in his home.

Scotland Yard said it was voluntarily referring the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

In the motion, Mr Galloway states: “This House expresses its concern at the involvement of a very senior officer in the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism branch SO15 in an apparent dirty tricks operation against the honourable member for Bradford West (Galloway).

“[It] notes that the officer entered the honourable member’s London home without his knowledge or consent, the honourable member never having met or heard of him, and he slept in the honourable member’s home.”

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “The matter has been passed to the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] directorate of professional standards to investigate and a voluntary referral is being made to the IPCC.

“The officer has been placed on restricted duties pending the outcome of the investigation.”

Galloway Uncovers Police ‘dirty Tricks’ Campaign. Demands Investigation

Press Statement

Respect

A senior Metropolitan police counter-terrorism officer has been involved in a campaign of disinformation and ‘dirty tricks’ against George Galloway, which involved an agent in the MP’s constituency office and also setting up a series of fake email addresses in an attempt to smear him.

Galloway, the MP for Bradford West, will tomorrow ask the Home Secretary whether the operation against him and the Bradford Respect party branch by the officer (‘K’) in the Met’s counter-terrorism unit SO15 was sanctioned by his superiors, or whether it was a freelance campaign using police resources. He will also bring it to the attention to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

‘A very senior officer in SO15 has been feeding disinformation aimed at damaging me to a national newspaper and to others, aided by a member of staff in Bradford who has now been suspended,’ Galloway said. ‘This involved him using the Met email as well as creating at least two false email addresses to spread the deceit. I have incontrovertible evidence. He either did this a freelance or it was sanctioned by his superiors. I will be asking the Home Secretary tomorrow (Monday 15 October) to act on this and also bringing it to the attention of the Speaker of the House of Commons.’

Among the ‘allegations’ made by Officer K through the Met police email was that he had evidence that there was voter fraud in the Bradford by-election – which Galloway won with a majority of more than 10,000.

The officer also slept in George’s house in Streatham, London, along with the female agent on Galloway’s staff, Ms A, when the MP was away, and he had to confess this when investigation of a break-in to the home would have discovered his fingerprints and DNA.

Ms A has now been suspended.

Ends

Background:

George Galloway’s house in Streatham was broken into in June in broad daylight (and not for the first time). His aide Ms A was in the house and allegedly saw the profiles of the two thieves. A parliamentary laptop was stolen.

Ms A then said that she had a ‘friend’ in the Met who could advise on security. She invited him round that day, which was the first time George met Mr K of the elite counter-terrorism branch SO15. Within 48 hours it transpired that this was not the first time the SO15 man had been in the house. He had to tell the officers investigating the break-in that his fingerprints would be found in the house as he had been sleeping there with Ms A while George was away. This is surely in breach of the police behavioural code. George pointed this out informally to the investigating officers but heard no more about this or, indeed, the result of their burglary investigation.

Although this was clearly gross misconduct and a dismissible offence George decided to give Ms A another chance.

It is now clear that Ms A was not just personally involved with the officer but that she was his agent inside the Bradford branch of Respect, passing on gossip and lies damaging to George and Respect to the case officer.

From evidence we hold it is clear that the two then decided not only to funnel disinformation to a national newspaper but to create it. Using his official email address at the Met Mr K claimed that he had evidence that there was voter fraud in George’s successful by-election victory (which George won by more than 10,000 votes). He also sent several further lengthy emails from this address to his accomplice, Ms A.

The SO15 officer also set up at least two other email addresses to send out his disinformation – nosoup, junaidakram900 and nabeel.raja38.

We are of course aware of the identity of SO15’s Mr K but have decided not to publish it on security grounds. We also have photographs of him and Ms A, both separately and together.

Real Londoners Not Actors: Yes We Ken

You may have seen that Labour’s opponents now claim that the people shown in our election broadcast were actors.

Today Ken’s campaign is releasing this video of some of the people in the broadcast. They answer for themselves how they are the real deal, and how London will be better of with Ken. In its own quiet way it says more than a thousand hysterical Tory attacks: real Londoners explaining why they chose to back Labour in this election.