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Rights Monitor Criticizes Venezuela for Expulsion

A Human Rights Watch representative says his expulsion from Venezuela following a critical report shows that President Hugo Chavez will not tolerate any criticism.

HRW's Director for the Americas Jose Miguel Vivanco spoke to reporters Friday in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Vivanco and his deputy were kicked out of the country Thursday after their group released a report saying Venezuela's human rights policies have suffered under President Chavez.

Venezuela's Foreign Ministry accused HRW of attacking the country's democratic institutions and illegally interfering in Venezuela's internal affairs.

The HRW report accused the Chavez government of discriminating against political opponents, undermining freedoms of expression and association and disregarding the need for an independent judiciary. It also said the government was trying to restrict the work of Venezuelan rights advocates.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.