Monday, December 9, 2019

VENEZUELAN LEADER CHAVEZ CRACKS DOWN ON OPPOSITION CHANNEL

March 26, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

The operator of the only opposition television network in Venezuela was arrested Thursday night but was detained only briefly after officials of the Organization of American States and human-rights groups came to his defense. Guillermo Zuloaga, president of the Globovision cable news network (it is blacked-out in Caracas, the country’s largest city and its capital), was taken into custody at a small airport in northwestern Venezuela, where he was about to board a private jet for the Caribbean island of Bonaire. Various news reports speculated about the reasons for the arrest. The Wall Street Journal said that it might have been related to comments made by former state governor and presidential candidate Oswaldo Álvarez Paz on Globovision, who has since been arrested by the Hugo Chavez government on charges of “conspiracy.” Attorney General Luisa Ortega said that Zuloaga had been charged with spreading false information, possibly referring to a recent address he made to the Inter-American Press Association assailing Chavez’s crackdown on the news media. “He made offensive and disrespectful comments about the head of state and there was reason to believe that he was going to flee the country.” José Miguel Vivanco, head of the Americas for Human Rights Watch, issued a statement early today (Friday) saying, “For years, Chavez has been pushing legislation to restrict free speech. Now we seem to be entering a darker period in which he is enforcing these draconian laws.” Chavez himself declared in an address tonight, “The end of impunity must come.”