Chavez defends sovereignty after arrest of coup, lockout leader

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Sat Feb 22 04:50:42 MST 2003

Washington faces dilemma.  Instead of  becoming more intimidated, Latin
America is slipping more out of control as U.S. prepares savage war of
conquest against Iraq.
Fred Feldman
Posted: Friday, February 21, 2003
By: Roy S. Carson

Chavez Frias rejects foreign intrusion into Venezuela's domestic-political

President Hugo Chavez Frias has rejected foreign intrusion into Venezuela's
domestic-political affairs and says "we are not anybody's colony any more
... Venezuela is a free and independent nation meriting the respect of other
nations as we deal with our internal problems."

The President's angry statement comes after a plethora of misdirected
foreign declarations, including a surprising statement by Organization of
American States (OAS) secretary general Cesar Gaviria, demanding that the
Venezuelan government should give "due consideration to the society status"
of  rebel Fedecamaras president Carlos Fernandez who faces five criminal
charges, including sedition and treason following his early-morning Thursday
arrest.  Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez has already rejected Gaviria's
statement saying that Fernandez and still-fugitive CTV leader Carlos Ortega
will be subject to the process of law & order just the same as any other
common criminal.

Speaking during a pro-government rally in Trujillo State, Chavez Frias
reminded diplomats and institutional representatives from around the world
that "Venezuela is a sovereign nation ... we are nobody's colony ... we are
a free country with our own institutions and we will not accept any external
interference in our own domestic affairs."

Chavez Frias insists that the capture of Carlos Fernandez was accomplished
as a wholly legal detention with the full support of court orders ... "let's
face it, a bandit like him should not be president of the Venezuelan
Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry in the first place!"

The President was referring to Fernandez' very public support for
Dictator-for-a-day Pedro Carmona Estanga, the former president of
Fedecamaras he replaced after the latter fled to neighboring Colombia after
he was allowed the privilege of house arrest in the wake of the April coup
d'etat which saw Chavez Frias taken hostage for two days before he was
returned to power by popular demand.

The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry (MRE) has also reacted angrily over a
statement from anti-Venezuelan US Department of State spokesman Richard
Boucher who qualified Fernandez' legal detention as "worrying" ... adding
that it could "suffocate" the government-opposition process of dialogue
towards a lasting solution to the Venezuelan crisis.


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