From FOX News: Chavez to Kick Out Foreigners Critical of Him.
President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that foreigners who publicly criticize him or his government while visiting Venezuela will be expelled from the country.
Chavez ordered officials to closely monitor statements made by international figures during their visits to Venezuela — and deport any outspoken critics.
"How long are we going to allow a person — from any country in the world — to come to our own house to say there's a dictatorship here, that the president is a tyrant, and nobody does anything about it?" Chavez asked during his weekly television and radio program.
The Venezuelan leader's statements came after Manuel Espino, the president of Mexico's conservative ruling party, criticized Chavez during a recent pro-democracy forum in Caracas.
Government opponents argue Chavez — a close ally of Cuban leader Fidel Castro — is becoming increasingly authoritarian and cracking down on dissent as he steers oil-rich Venezuela toward what he calls "21st-century socialism."
Chavez rejects such allegations, countering that democratic freedoms have been extended since he was first elected in 1998. The former paratroop commander says his government has empowered the poor by giving them increased decision-making authority in politics.
During Sunday's six-hour program, Chavez assured private property owners their rights will be guaranteed under a pending constitutional reform.
"Private property will respected," he said.
Posted by Forkum at July 24, 2007 04:02 PM