Mr. Speaker, I have the honour today of presenting a petition on the subject of the escalating level of communal violence against the Jewish community of Venezuela, a group which has been subjected over the past several years to an increasing and alarming level of violence, going back to 2004 when Venezuelan police authorities carried out a raid on one of the Jewish schools in the country. More recent, we have all heard of attacks on a synagogue in Venezuela. What Canadians may be even less aware of is the general abusive and dangerous language being applied by Hugo Chávez, the leader of Venezuela.
The petitioners ask the Government of Canada to do four things: first, express its outrage at government sponsored anti-Semitic activities directly to the government of Venezuela and its diplomatic representatives; second, to demand an independent investigation of attacks on the Venezuela Jewish community; third, to act on the London Declaration of the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism, which calls for a governmental response to activities like those carried out by President Chávez; and finally, to work with our international partners to ensure the protection of Venezuela’s Jewish community and to safeguard against further anti-Semitic activities in that country.
Finally, the petitioners note their respect for the people of Venezuela, who they believe to be an honourable people, and do not support the activities of Mr. Chávez and other hooligans who have engaged in these kinds of activities.