Venezuelan Opposition Leader Manuel Rosales Seeks Asylum in Peru

April 22, 2009

(ChattahBox) — Venezuelan opposition leader Manuel Rosales, who ran against Mr Chavez in the 2006 presidential election, has sought asylum in Peru, saying he is being politically persecuted by President Hugo Chavez’s government.

Rosales, who is mayor of Venezuela’s second biggest city, Maracaibo, is facing multi-million-dollar corruption charges between 2002 and 2004, relating to his time as the governor of Zulia state, and had been in hiding since the charges were filed last month.

Opposition activists in Venezuela say President Chavez’s government is conducting a witch-hunt against their leaders in a bid to undermine their victories in last year’s local elections. During campaigning for last year’s local elections, Mr Chavez threatened Mr Rosales with prison, accusing him of corruption and plotting to assassinate him.

Javier Valle-Riestra, a prominent Peruvian legislator who is representing Mr Rosales, said they had submitted the asylum request on Tuesday and expected a decision within two months. Peruvian Justice Minister Rosario Fernandez said his government would carefully consider the case.


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