Venezuela: Peru Should Arrest Chavez Foe

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's government urged Peruvian authorities on Thursday to arrest a leading opponent of President Hugo Chavez who is seeking political asylum in Lima.

Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro's call for the arrest of Manuel Rosales came hours after Venezuela requested the opposition leader's arrest through Interpol.

Venezuela is "evaluating" Peru's response after Rosales publicly ridiculed Chavez from Peru, Maduro said.

"We hope all the countries from the region comply with the request for the capture of criminals like Manuel Rosales," Maduro said.

Rosales held a news conference in Peru's capital on Wednesday, roughly three weeks after stepping down as mayor of Maracaibo, Venezuela's second-largest city, and going into hiding. He faces embezzlement charges in Venezuela, but claims the charges are politically motivated.

During the news conference, Rosales said he decided to seek asylum in Peru because he wouldn't receive a fair trial in Venezuela. Rosales called Chavez a "dictator," and accused the socialist leader of using prosecutors and judges to crack down on dissent.

Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde urged Rosales to refrain from making political declarations that could complicate his asylum request.

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