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Caracas, Wednesday June 20 , 2007  
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Moratinos: Spain keeps in touch with Spaniards hit by land occupations

Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wednesday said the Spanish Embassy in Venezuela has been, is and will "always be in permanent contact" with Spaniards hit by land invasions in Venezuela.

During a session at the Spanish Senate, Moratinos replied to conservative People's Party (PP) senator Dionisio García Carnero, who criticized the Spanish government's "ineffectiveness" to advocate the rights of Spaniards residing in Venezuela, Efe reported.

Moratinos regretted that García Carnero accused the government of "hiding, in the first place, and then minimizing" the occupation by the Venezuelan Army of farms and ranches owned by Spaniards. Moratinos reminded PP senator that using the situation of these citizens as "a projectile" is "enormously imprudent."

Moratinos ensured that the Embassy would assist "any Spanish citizen" requesting so, and asked for respect for the work of Ambassador Raúl Morodo and the diplomatic staff in Venezuela.

García Carnero branded as a "shame" the fact that Moratinos did not notice "any taint" in an "authoritarian" government like Hugo Chávez' and that the Spanish diplomat "has no problem to conceal and hide the tragedy many Spaniards are living" in Venezuela.

"He (Moratinos) has not rebuked the totalitarian government of Hugo Chávez," García Carnero added.

Earlier in the session, senator for the Basque Nationalist Party Iñaki Anasagasti asked Moratinos to "condemn" the non-renewal of the broadcast license for Caracas-based private television station RCTV.

Moratinos replied by reasserting the Spanish Government's "deep concern" and "rejection" regarding the RCTV case. He branded the Venezuelan government's move as "an administrative decision" in which "you cannot interfere," but avoided using the term "condemnation."



 
 
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