VIO News Blog

November 5, 2008

President Chavez Congratulates President Obama

Barack Obama’s big victory in the U.S. elections thrilled observers all around the world, according to the New York Times. French President Sarkozy echoed the sentiments of many when he said Obama brings “an immense hope” to the world and can “restore the image of America.” Although President Chavez recently endorsed Obama and called the U.S. a “great country,” and also congratulated Obama today, the Times still suggests that Venezuela is “anti-U.S.” by reporting that the elections “cut through official propaganda.”

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro rejected the guilty verdict in the Miami “suitcasegate” trial. Bloomberg reports that Maduro said that the case was “fabricated,” a politically motivated act by the U.S. government against Venezuela. He called the trial an effort to “criminalize institutions and leaders in democratic countries.” The Miami Herald reports that Maduro said Venezuela will seek to extradite the convicted men so that they can stand trial at home. He referred to them a “gang of criminals,” and vowed that they did not act on the government’s behalf. The Herald indicates that Venezuela’s Supreme Court is not independent, but on the contrary, it often delivers rulings unfavorable to the executive.

Finally, the AP reports today on the tragic news of the shooting of a student in Venezuela who was shot by the National Guard during a protest. Venezuela’s Justice Minister Tarek Al Aissami decried the killing as an act of “brutal repression” and called for an “exhaustive investigation.” 21 police and troops were detained.

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