Chavez, Citgo sued for five billion in damages, for supporting terrorism, torture and human rights violations

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A US advocacy group and a Venezuelan exile said Tuesday they have filed suit seeking five billion dollars in damages from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and state oil companies for alleged human rights abuses.

The suit, which was first filed in April by Washington-based Freedom Watch and exiled Venezuelan journalist Ricardo Guaripa, accuses Chavez of alleged acts in support of terrorism, torture and human rights violations.

Freedom Watch president Larry Klayman said he increased the amount sought to five billion dollars on Monday and added Venezuelan-owned Citgo to the suit on grounds that it provides the funds that support the alleged terrorism.


“We are going to wait and see whether Venezuela turns up for the proceedings. If it does not it will be easier to gain a verdict against it,” said Guaripa.

Guaripa worked for US-funded Radio Marti in Caracas until the end of 2004 when he went into exile, alleging he had been the target of death threats and intimidation by the Chavez government.

“The people of Venezuela and the world have been terrorized by Chavez and his communist/terrorist henchmen for too long,” Klayman said in a statement, adding that the president has taken several measures to “cement” his grip on power.

“All the while he continues, through oil revenues and other means, to support terrorist countries and groups bent on destroying capitalism and the West in general.”

Freedom Watch accuses Chavez of supporting the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), as well as Middle East groups Hamas and Hezbollah. The US government has labeled all three groups terrorist organizations.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090512/ts_alt_afp/usvenezuelajusticeterrorism

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