Venezuelan Opposition Leaders Testify at Attorney General’s Office

Alberto Federico Ravell, the director of the oppositional television
station Globovisión, was questioned by the Attorney General’s office on
Wednesday, following accusations that a trip he and three other
opposition leaders took to Puerto Rico early last month was part of a
conspiracy with U.S. officials against the Chávez government.

By Venezuelanalysis.com
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Mérida, February 6th 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com)– Alberto Federico Ravell, the director of the oppositional television station Globovisión, was questioned by the Attorney General’s office on Wednesday, following accusations that a trip he and three other opposition leaders took to Puerto Rico early last month was part of a conspiracy with U.S. officials against the Chávez government.

A pro-government NGO had filed charges against Ravell, Julio Borges of the party Justice First, Omar Barboza of the Christian Democratic party Copei, and Luis Ignacio Planas of A New Era. The group accused these opposition leaders of treason for having met with U.S. government officials in order to plan the campaign against the February 15 vote to amend the constitution.

The main piece of evidence was an email supposedly from Ravell to various other leaders, outlining the agenda for the meeting in Puerto Rico. Upon their return, a reporter from Avila TV, a pro-government station, surprised Ravell, Borges, and Barboza at the airport.

Following his questioning at the Attorney General’s office, Ravell told reporters Wednesday that he travelled to Puerto Rico to meet with Chileans about the campaign strategy they used to vote the Chilean dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, out of power in a plebiscite in 1988.

According to Ravell, the Chilean strategists “did not want to come to Venezuela because they were afraid of the insecurity in this country.”

Also Wednesday, Ávila TV interviewed Julio Borges, the leader of Primero Justicia (Justice First), after Borges testified about his participation in the Puerto Rico meetings. Borges denied that there are any plans destabilize the country in the run-up to the referendum and stated, “We have one sole motive, that is to get people to vote against the amendment.”

The NGO that filed the charges against the opposition leaders, Fifth Order and Professionals and Technicians of Venezuela, was supposed to testify about the case at the Attorney General’s office last Monday, but due to the last minute declaration of a holiday to celebrate President Chávez’s ten years in office, their appointment had to be rescheduled to a later time.