The 'impartial' advocates of Venezuela'$ Hugo Chavez, part II
By Aleksander Boyd
London 15 June 2.004 - The Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) requires for paid lobbyists, acting on behalf of Foreign principals, to register before the entity and also to provide a detailed log of activities. The FAQ section of the FARA has interesting points about what is legally doable from an individual perspective. Said Act came to be as a congressional response to the numerous propaganda agents or German origin operating in the US prior to the WWII. An agent is defined as:
...any individual or organization which acts at the order, request, or under the direction or control of a foreign principal, or whose activities are directed by a foreign principal who:
1. engages in political activities, or
2. acts in a public relations capacity for a foreign principal, or
3. solicits or dispenses any thing of value within the United States for a foreign principal, or
4. who represents the interests of a foreign principal before any agency or official of the U.S. government.
The term "agent" does not include an American owned and operated newspaper meeting certain requirements.
One can find in the same section emphasis upon the filling of forms to both the FARA Unit and the Attorney General's Office. I gave a quick call to the Attorney General's Office to find out whether they had any records of the activities of Venezuelan Information Office staff, as established by law. Since such a query can not be fulfilled over the phone or electronically, my interlocutor suggested for me to send a fax with a brief description of what was required.
FARA Reporting Log - VIO Political Contacts and Outreach by: Bev Hoffman [page 1 of 4]
The log of Bev Hoffman has four pages [page 1, page 2, page 3, page 4], the one above is just to give a flavour about the people he gets in touch with to advance Chavez' propaganda. The name of Bill Fletcher appears in three occasions and that of Harry Belafonte once. If my memory does not fail me the TransAfrica Forum sent a delegation to Venezuela to check the situation of the black community. They even created a new anthropological term: Afro-Venezuelan. Fletcher, 'Lethal' activist Glover and others descended in Venezuela on January 8, 2004 however their agenda was arranged by Hoffman et al four months in advance, during which time they were entertained by VIO members and shown the Revolution Will Not Be Televised.
Jennifer Russell filled another such log activity report. Commencing September 30, 2003 Mrs Russell got in touch first with Brian Hinman from the Church World Service. One can read in that site that their mission is "to work worldwide to meet human needs and foster self-reliance for all whose way is hard." To attain social justice Mr Hinman seems to be very active in DC where he has spearheaded and participated in countless lobbying campaigns. Jenny Russell discussed the current political situation of Venezuela with Hinman and advocated for the need of balanced coverage in that respect in the US. On the second page one can see many prominent names, the first is none other than Kim Bartley. For those readers that are not familiar with the name I will only say that Bartley, together with O'Brien, produced the most successful piece of government propaganda of late, i.e. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, which constitutes the angular stone of the bespoke international image and PR campaign of Hugo Chavez. The subject discussed was of course the film and the field provided for "position advocated" says "want to show film in D.C." Eva Golinger's name pops up too, the importance of starting a rapid response group was emphasized in their conversations. Todd Tucker of CEPR has been 'advised' on Venezuela repeatedly, moreover an email urging him to "be on a radio show" was sent to him on December 9, 2003.
Note: Please do take the time to click on the links provided in order to establish a sociological pattern of those freedom fighters advocating for Hugo Chavez.
To be continued...
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