Friday, February 08, 2008

AFN wants Chavez

The Assembly of First Nations wants to bring Hugo Chavez to Canada and lauds him as a 'visionary'. The invitation comes as the AFN condemns Canada's federal government and calls for it to be taken off of the UN's human rights council.

The irony could not be more brutal, considering Chavez' assault on human rights in Venezuela documented here and here. But, for starters,

Since winning a national referendum on his presidency in 2004, Hugo Ch├ívez and his majority coalition in Congress have taken steps to undermine the independence of the country’s judiciary by packing the Supreme Court with their allies. They have also enacted legislation that seriously threatens press freedoms and freedom of expression. Several high profile members of civil society have faced prosecution on highly dubious charges, and human rights defenders have been repeatedly accused by government officials of conspiring against the nation. Police violence, torture, and abusive prison conditions are also among the country’s most serious human rights problems.

After all this, the AFN wants the federal government to drag its heels on changing matrimonial and other human rights on reserve. This may be consistent with supporting Chavez, but it sure undermines the AFN's condemnation of the federal government for its stances on human rights.

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