[QODLink]
Americas

Venezuela charges ex-general for violence

Antonio Rivero charged for inciting post-election unrest, but opposition calls the move a crackdown on dissent.

Last Modified: 30 Apr 2013 12:48
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Antonio Rivero, a member of the Popular Will movement, was arrested over the weekend [Al Jazeera]

A Venezuelan court has charged retired General Antonio Rivero with inciting post-election violence in the latest political flash point in the bitterly divided nation.

Authorities say Rivero, who was charged on Monday, was one of those behind a wave of violence, on the day after Maduro's disputed April 14 election, that led to fears of a coup attempt and killed nine people.

Rivero, a member of the Popular Will movement, was charged with "conspiracy" and "public instigation" at a court in the capital, Caracas, after authorities showed a video of him helping coordinate protesters in the streets.

"This is part of the persecution the government has carried out, to spread fear," said Henrique Capriles, opposition leader and losing presidential candidate, calling for Rivero's release and an end to alleged harassment of his supporters.

"If they continue like this, they are going to have to jail eight million Venezuelans."

Opposition leaders said Rivero, who was an ally of former president President Hugo Chavez until 2008, became new President Nicolas Maduro's first political prisoner when he was arrested over the weekend, calling the move a crackdown on dissent..

Though his case appears to be losing steam and has not garnered much support from other Latin American countries, Capriles plans to challenge the presidential vote both in local and international courts.

He has asked for a full vote recount, alleging thousands of irregularities and accusing Maduro of "stealing" the election.

'Fascist hate'

A political party allied with the government said on Monday it had evidence of corruption by construction companies linked to Capriles' family that it would present to state prosecutors and the country's top court.

At the same time, a special congressional commission created to investigate the post-vote violence said it was sending legislators into the interior of the country to probe the incidents.

The commission, made up only of pro-government deputies, has said it will "determine responsibility for violent actions directed by Capriles" alongside parallel investigations by state prosecutors.

Maduro, who was Chavez's chosen heir and won the vote by less than 2 percentage points, has warned Capriles of legal action against him, too, and called the opposition leader a "fascist" bent on destabilizing the OPEC nation.

The president said violence whipped up by the opposition after the vote had included protests outside the home of Tibisay Lucena, head of the election board. The opposition accuses her of taking orders from the ruling Socialist Party.

"Why did they attack her house? Why did the (private) media not denounce this?" Maduro said on Monday. "Sooner rather than later, the feelings of fascist hate will be defeated."

433

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list