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 The Venezuelan mission at the United Nations in Geneva has sent a notice to the Office of United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR) labeling as "unreasonable" the latter's petition to release Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López.
HUMAN RIGHTS Spanish President Mariano Rajoy and Lilian Tintori, the wife of Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López, gathered on Wednesday in Madrid. At the meeting, Rajoy expressed his concerns about the detention of the dissenter, whose immediate release was requested by the United Nations in a resolution issued recently.
LOPEZ'S CASE Lilian Tintori, the wife of detained opposition leader Leopoldo López, asserted on Tuesday that "justice is militarized in Venezuela," because the Venezuelan government "has not observed" the resolution issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations (UN) asking for the release of her husband.