Daniel Gasparri, the Charge d’affaires at the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, was welcomed at a 60-strong dinner on August 26, hosted by the Communist Party of Australia.
Gasparri’s address covered the country’s current economic difficulties, with a reminder of the Bolivarian Revolution’s achievements.
He discussed the exodus of Venezuelans, which the ABC had described that morning as nearing “Mediterranean crisis point”, confirming that while some people are leaving, the reported numbers were inflated.
Currently, there are more than 6 million Colombians living in Venezuela, Gasparri said, along with many other nationalities. He added that, historically, Venezuela has been a place of migration.
After members of Adelaide’s Chilean diaspora thanked Gasparri for Venezuela’s assistance, he reminded the audience that Venezuela had also accepted 350,000 Chilean citizens fleeing the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship in the 1970s.
While he touched briefly on some of the revolution’s achievements, including the 300 universities that provide free education and the 2.5 million new homes built by the Mission Viviendas for poor Venezuelans, he encouraged those present to do their own research.
He also said the change in official trade currency for oil, now the Chinese renminbi, has been working well for Venezuela.
The revolution’s achievements are all taking place despite the economic blockade on the country, the tentacles of which have even impacted on the embassy in Canberra, with one of the Big Four banks refusing to transfer funds.
Gasparri reported that he had met with the (former) Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson about their public and unfounded attacks on Venezuela. He also reported that there are no Venezuelans living in Whish-Wilson’s Tasmanian electorate, and that he has been given assurances that the Senator’s views are not Greens policy.
He thanked everyone for their solidarity with 32 million Venezuelans at this critical time.