sábado, 21 de febrero de 2015

States concerned over Caracas mayor, opponents denounce "coup" regime

The mayor of Caracas Antonio Ledezma was charged with plotting against Venezuela's government and criminal conspiracy after his arrest on 19 February, while regional personalities and states, except Cuba, voiced concerns over the abrupt arrest. The mayor was provisionally sent to an army prison in Los Teques, south-west of Caracas, where other opponents were being held, Venezuela's El Universal reported on 21 February. Following the arrest President Nicolás Maduro said an "axis" of the Right in Madrid and the "extreme Right" in Miami and Bogota were plotting to overthrow his government. Spain's foreign minister immediately rejected the charge. In Bogota, President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón said he hoped the detained mayor would be given all legal guarantees and insisted "there is no plot against any government," CNN and agencies reported. The foreign ministry of Brazil, which is friendly with socialist Venezuela, expressed Brazil's concern with the situation there and offered to help renew political talks, but did not express any concerns over the mayor specifically, El Universal reported. The secretary of the Organization of American States José Miguel Insulza asked Venezuelan authorities to avoid acts that would fuel the country's "spiralling polarization." Conservative politicians, and those of out of office, were understandly more critical. Mexico's former president, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa denounced the arrest on Twitter as unjust, and asked how much longer foreign states would remain silent over Venezuela. The opposition Table of Democratic Unity meanwhile accused the government of "mounting a frontal attack" and trying to snuff out the opposition, but its leader insisted the coalition was not interested in violent protests. Jesús Torrealba told a meeting it was the Maduro government that was mounting a coup, El Nacional reported on 21 February. He said events in Venezuela would "have repercussions on all the region. The world is watching this coup in progress."