Dáil Éireann - Volume 562 - 27 February, 2003

Written Answers - Foreign Policy.

  106. Mr. F. McGrath asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Government's position regarding the recent developments in Venezuela; if he will offer support to the democratically elected president; and his views on the role of the CIA in the attempted coup. [5931/03]

  Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Cowen): The Government's position regarding the recent developments in Venezuela was comprehensively stated in my reply to Question No. 300 of 25 February 2003.

  Ireland supports the “Declaration against violence and in favour of peace and democracy” agreed by President Hugo Chávez with the opposition ‘Democratic Co-ordinator' on 18 February, under the auspices of the Organisation of Amer[762]ican States, OAS, the Carter Centre and the UN Development Programme, UNDP.

  A special parliamentary committee to investigate the Events of April 2002, was established by the Venezuelan National Assembly on 26 April 2002. The committee was composed of parliamentary deputies of all political affiliations. Its 222-page report, published in July 2002, does not mention the organisation referred to by the Deputy. Among those interviewed for the report was President Chávez.

  Under the terms of last week's “declaration against violence and in favour of peace and democracy”, it is understood that civil society as a whole will also be given the opportunity to inquire into the events of April 2002, through the establishment of a broadly-based truth commission.