Deadline for Venezuela, extension for Brexit: Jeremy Hunt’s odd concept of democracy
The UK may need ‘some extra time’ on Brexit while Venezuela must arrange new elections within eight days, under threat of internationally enacted regime change, according to the British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
“I think it is true that if we ended up approving a deal in the days before March 29 then we might need some extra time to pass critical legislation,” Hunt told the BBC on Thursday. He was referring to the intractable “Irish backstop” issue that has dogged Brexit negotiations for months, as the ruling Conservative party attempts to avoid creating a permanent customs union with the EU through an open border with the Republic of Ireland.Also on rt.com Jeremy Hunt hints at delay to Brexit, UK to formulate Irish backstop alternatives ‘in a few days’
“But this is not going to happen in the next few days,” Hunt added. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government would have to go over such proposals with the EU in great detail, a potentially lengthy process which could necessitate yet another parliamentary vote to extend Article 50 proceedings. In fact, May herself recently said that if no deal is reached by February 13, she would table such a motion for debate the following day.
While democracy requires due diligence at home, just last week Hunt was advocating a drastically different timeline for affairs in Venezuela, calling for new presidential elections within eight days or the UK would follow its allies and officially recognize opposition leader and self-appointed president of Juan Guaidó.
1/2 After banning opposition candidates, ballot box stuffing and counting irregularities in a deeply flawed election it is clear Nicolas Maduro is not the legitimate leader of Venezuela— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) January 26, 2019
2/2 @jguaido is the right person to take Venezuela forward. If there are not fresh & fair elections announced within 8 days UK will recognise him as interim President to take forward the political process towards democracy. Time for a new start for the suffering ppl of Venezuela— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) January 26, 2019
Doubling down on those comments, Hunt described the self-proclaimed Venezuelan president as a “brave and courageous man,” following a telephone conversation with him on Thursday.
.@jguaido is a brave & courageous man. An honour to speak to him ahead of today’s EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Bucharest - he stressed importance of keeping up the pressure on the Maduro regime if new elections were not called in the next few days https://t.co/thl7n3mzzD— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) January 31, 2019
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the foreign secretary’s peculiar understanding of democracy and deadlines – both at home in Britain and abroad in Venezuela – has come under criticism on social media.
Wonder how proud #JeremyHunt is of ringing @jguaido -Mr.Joe Bloggs-that he will declare him as a Leader of a Country even though he wasn't Elected. Any chance of returning that Gold you're refusing to give back before you criticise @NicolasMadurohttps://t.co/lh5l1UyGvE— kmm9973 (@kim9973) January 26, 2019
#JeremyHunt says he's concerned about hungry children in #Venezuela Just how disingenuous can Jeremy Hunt get?He showsno concern 4 children in Yemen or in Britain. He makes things up2 justify illegal invasions & wars.#freezing in politics https://t.co/yDAdjiFiwX#BBCR4todaypic.twitter.com/DraGB9cG5C— Christina (@55krissi55) January 31, 2019
The disingenuousness of Jeremy Hunt on #BBCR4today this morning on #Brexit#SaudiArabia#Venezuela#JeremyCorbyn and #JohnMcDonnell in quite a short interview was truly staggering, the Tories have lying to a fine art— Martin O'Neill (@DrNostromo) January 31, 2019
Here's what @Jeremy_Hunt just said on @BBCr4today: "there is a humanitarian disaster in Venezuela - there are people going through waste bins looking for food".Open your eyes Hunt: we have schoolchildren scavenging through bins HERE IN BRITAIN.https://t.co/zisTsCOlkU— russjackson (@docrussjackson) January 31, 2019
I don’t get why Hunt’s brain doesn’t implode in a frenzy of cognitive dissonance. He surely can’t believe all this guff he’s spouting. He must know it’s just spin. Or lies, as we used to call them. #bbcr4today— David Hemingway (@HemingwayDM) January 31, 2019
Meanwhile, it remains unclear why the UK seems so keen to separate from the EU when its foreign policy remains firmly tethered to Brussels. On Thursday, the European Parliament called on its members to recognize Guaido as interim president. Hunt’s proclamations notwithstanding, the British government has yet to officially do so.
Actual Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has rejected London’s ultimatum, insisting instead that elections will take place as planned in 2025 – potentially before Brexit is sorted out.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!