In an article published by Amerika21 earlier this week it was revealed that German diplomats had taken advantage of a recent European Union Council meeting on Latin American affairs to call on members to offer “greater and more open support” to the MUD and its candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski, who will stand against incumbent President Chavez in October.
According to the website, German delegates at the meeting in April had said that support for Venezuela’s opposition “should not be hidden from the public”, despite calls from other European nations such as France and Portugal who argued for a “more discreet” approach.
The news was disclosed as a team of representatives from the German Parliament took part in a governmental delegation to Venezuela, where they met solely with members of the country’s political opposition.
According to Prensa Latina news, which had access to the delegation’s agenda, the diplomats met with leading figures from the Venezuelan political opposition such as MUD Secretary General, Ramon Guillermo Aveledo, and other leading figures from opposition parties such as Democratic Action (AD).
The representatives are also reported to have met with antigovernment NGOs during their stay, including organizations such as the Venezuelan Prison Observatory, which has previously been accused of carrying out acts aimed at sabotaging the national government and receives funding from the US government.
Meetings with the head of Venezuela’s business federation, Fedecamaras, and the head of Venezuela’s chamber of commerce, were also amongst the delegation’s agenda. “In Venezuela we met almost exclusively with opposition forces, while in Chile, our next stop, we met with people from the government”, reported German representative Heike Hansel from the German Socialist Party, Die Linke, in an interview with Prensa Latina.
The German government currently led by Angela Merkel has recently come under fire for its open backing of French rightwing candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, who lost his bid for reelection to socialist candidate, Francois Hollande, earlier this month.
The MUD currently receives direct financial support from US institutions such as USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), although President Chavez has warned that the US government may expand its support for the opposition into other areas as the elections draw nearer.
The Venezuelan President has also stated that the MUD is developing a strategy to contest this October’s election results in league with the US government.