London 24.01.07 | Dear Richard, Unfortunately I did not get your email address when we met at Quinta Esmeralda in Caracas on 3 December last year, so an open letter will have to do.
I see that you will be part of a debate about Chavez and Venezuela, which appears to be sponsored by the FT. Although I commend you for having such initiative, assuming that it was your idea, I fail to understand why you would include Mark Weisbrot in a debate called "Ask the expert..."
Let it be sufficiently clear that Mr. Weisbrot is far from being an expert or an authoritative source on anything to do with Venezuela. Rather Mr Weisbrot is but a known apologist of Hugo Chavez with suspect ties with the Venezuela Information Office in DC. Mr. Weisbrot has failed to register his lobbying efforts in favour of dictator Hugo Chavez with the US Foreign Agent Registration Unit and is yet to come clear on his relationship with that regime.
Should your intention be to create a forum where healthy and meaningful debate about Venezuela can be had I am pretty sure you could do better in choosing credible parties with opposing views.