The Venezuelan government has rejected a new U.S. State Department
report on human rights, saying Washington has no right to judge other
The U.S. report criticized Venezuela for
what it said was harassment of the opposition and the media, a
politicized judicial system, widespread government corruption and other
problems, including unlawful killings and arrests.
statement on its Web site Thursday, Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said
the allegations are "false," "mal-intentioned" and "interventionist."
The ministry countered with its own allegations, accusing the U.S. of
having the "darkest record of violations of human dignity in
The statement said the government of
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez demands the U.S. end practices, such
as issuing these annual reports, that according to Venezuela, erode
relations between the two countries.
Mr. Chavez has long been an
outspoken critic of the U.S. government, but has recently expressed
hope that relations might improve under U.S. President Barack Obama.
The Venezuelan leader says good relations will depend largely on
whether the U.S. shows respect for his government.
Department report also slammed Venezuela's communist-led ally, Cuba,
for allegedly increasing suppression of freedom of speech and
harassment of dissidents, including the beating of activists. The
report says Cuba had at least 205 political prisoners and detainees at
the end of last year, although Cuba denies holding political prisoners.
The report also noted human rights abuses in other Latin American countries, including Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Nicaragua.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.