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Caracas, Wednesday April 27 , 2005  
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US Secretary of State worried about freedoms in Venezuela
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized "oppression" in Cuba and wondered about freedoms in Venezuela during a presentation Wednesday on Latin American issues in Brasilia.

Also, Rice pointed to hemispheric "concern" about Venezuelan political evolution, despite President Hugo Chávez was formally elected, AFP reported.

"Democratically elected leaders should govern democratically," as established by the Democratic Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Secretary said.

"In Venezuela, for instance, it is not just a question between the United States and Venezuela. This is also true for democratic processes," she added.

"Will there be free press? Will the opposition have the chance to speak out? What will happen to those who dissent from the government? These are essential values that highlight democracy in the hemisphere," Rice noted.

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