A score of former heads of State and Government of Ibero-America described as a “serious outrage” the judicial ruling of Venezuela that orders the newspaper The National pay compensation of more than $ 13 million. The complaint is for defamation and moral damages against Diosdado Cabello, number two of the Bolivarian regime and vice president of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, for moral damages and defamation.
The former presidents, who make up the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA), referred in a joint statement. The former heads of state stressed that, “in the face of the failed attempts to silence a medium such as The National, today resorting to the intervention of a justice subject to the will of the regime to inflict serious economic damage ”. The “biased” decision of the “illegitimate TSJ originates from a criminal defamation trial, which never advanced.”
They recalled that the “Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and its Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression has been precise in condemning the judicial initiatives against the newspaper as violating the American Convention on Human Rights. The National and other Venezuelan media, with which they have tried to censor them in the past ”.
The signing ex-presidents, including the Spanish José María Aznar, the Argentine Mauricio Macri and the Colombian Álvaro Uribe, requested the intervention of the different bodies of human rights and the protection of press freedom at the regional and international level.
The National He described the ruling as a “political persecution” and warned that Cabello has the “intention of perpetrating a disguised expropriation through which he would become the owner and editor of this historic media outlet.” Cabello sued the newspaper in 2015 after the outlet replicated a report from the Spanish newspaper ABC in which his former head of bodyguards linked him to drug trafficking businesses.
The IDEA statement was also signed by Vicente Fox (Mexico), Nicolás Ardito Barletta and Mireya Moscoso (Panama) and Óscar Arias, Rafael Ángel Calderón and Miguel Ángel Rodríguez (Costa Rica), Osvaldo Hurtado and Jamil Mahuad, from Ecuador, Eduardo Frei (Chile ), Luis Alberto Lacalle and Julio María Sanguinetti (Uruguay) and Juan Carlos Wasmosy (Paraguay).
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