Guillermo Zuloaga intended to travel to Bonaire, but he was not allowed to leave the country and was detained for a few hours (Photo: Yunior Lugo).
Although the 40th Control Court of the Caracas Metropolitan Area late on Thursday released the president of opposition TV network Globovisión Guillermo Zuloaga, the media owner will have to stand trial for allegedly offending and slandering the Venezuelan President and for making false statements.
During the court hearing held on Thursday at the Palace of Justice, Judge Jesús Alberto Villarroel prohibited Zuloaga from leaving the country, granting him conditional release.
According to the Attorney General Office, the alleged crimes committed by the media tycoon involve false statements made by Zuloaga during a meeting of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA).
With regard to the arrest of Zuloaga, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez said on Thursday night, from Ecuador, that the Venezuelan justice is complying with the Venezuelan Constitution.
“As head of State, I feel happy that the institutions are working properly. If I got mad and hit you on your face, Venezuelan authorities should arrest me before I departed for Ecuador. How would it possible for me to hit you and take a plane and leave (… ) The bourgeoisie wants to spit us on the face, blow people, etc.,” Chávez told a group of reporters upon his arrival in Quito.
Meanwhile, Deputy Manuel Villalba, the President of the Standing Committee on Science, Technology and Communication at the National Assembly was interviewed by TV news channel CNN en Español. He said that “Zuloaga’s statements are false. He said that the President (Chávez) ordered troops to shoot a demonstration that took place in the country and led to the ousting of President Chávez.”
Translated by Gerardo Cárdenas