The European Extreme Left planning how to support Lukashenko's friend

As the German Marxist-oriented newspaper Junge Welt* reports, the European extreme left plans to hold a conference this autumn to coordinate how the different extreme-left parties will continue supporting Hugo Chávez's regime.

What parties are we talking about here? It is basically those that are to the left of the democratic left. They are the ones who call social democrats (off the record) "traitors", "sissies" and so on. Some of them claim for the general public to be "the real social democrats".

Among the parties supporting this conference you can find the German Linke, the heirs of the SED. Apart from the extreme left proper there may be a couple of politicians from the left branches of the social democrats, but there are less and less of this type as European social democrats have become wearier of associating themselves with such governments as Chavez'.

The extreme left parties will discuss in this conference mostly how they will support the Chávez regime for the coming regional elections in Venezuela this November. They will decide how to carry out lobbying work, coordinate their work to block any condemnation of Chavismo at EU level.

I am not very worried about their work. Still, I wanted to report it here. I am now more concerned about the way real social democrats are still too quiet about the violation of human rights by Chavismo. There are exceptions: the French socialists have proved they can see through the appearances. They have already condemned Chavez's referendum proposal, among other things. But we need the Spanish PSOE, Labour, the SPD and any others who call themselves social democrats to have courage and denounce Chavismo's hatred for pluralism and the many vices that the Venezuelan electoral system and judiciary present. Is the PSOE so quiet, for instance, because it is afraid of losing so many juicy weapons deals for a Spain going towards recession?

If the social democrats in Europe do not speak out fast, they will be the biggest losers: Chávez is giving a horrible reputation to socialism in Venezuela and once the economic kettle explodes, the bad reputation will be also felt by those governments in Latin Amerian countries currently profiting from Chávez's financial support and Venezuela's petrodollar bleeding.

* According to Spiegel and others, several of the journalists working for Die Junge Welt have a Stasi past. If you want to know more about what the Stasi was about, I would recommend you to see the excellent German film Das Leben der Anderen. The picture I put on top was the Stasi's emblem.