Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Rodríguez railed Wednesday
on Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, calling him a hired
The senior official replied this way to Garzón's warning against the fact that freedom of expression in Venezuela was at stake.
According to Rodríguez, Garzón came to Venezuela "for a price and a fee" paid by the oligarchy. He claimed that the judge tried to teach lessons on democracy but closed in 1988 a daily newspaper in the Basque country "only for being leftwing," DPA quoted.
"He is a clown who dared say that there is no freedom of expression here. He came to say that freedom of expression is endangered in Venezuela. And which means did he use to speak? Was it a cardboard little glass? He spoke on the Venezuelan media, on the outspoken, opposition media which do not inform, but deform. The Bolivarian government does respect freedom of expression, but it asks for respect as well," he said during the swear-in ceremony of the incoming steering committee of power supplier La Electricidad de Caracas.
On Tuesday night, Garzón delivered a speech at the First International Congress of the National Council of Industries, where he mentioned the controversial issue of the Venezuelan government's failure to renew a broadcast license for private TV channel Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV).
LOPEZ CASE HRW endorsed the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights' call on Venezuela to release Leopoldo López.
LOPEZ CASE Without giving many details, Venezuelan Congress' Speaker Diosdado Cabello has claimed he saved opposition leader Leopoldo López's life, adding that there were no negotiations whatsoever days before the dissenter turned himself in to the Bolivarian National Guard earlier this year. "He (López) knew it (information about his possible assassination), too. Why did he turn himself in? He and his family were aware of that," said the legislator in an interview with daily newspaper El Universal.
HUMAN RIGHTS The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, expressed serious concern on Monday at the continued detention of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, as well as more than 69 other people who were arrested in the context of public protests that took place across Venezuela over several months starting in February this year.