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Venezuela Recalls Ambassador to Peru


Venezuela has recalled its ambassador to Peru after Lima granted political asylum to Venezuela's opposition leader who is wanted on corruption charges in his home nation.

Peruvian Foreign Minister Jose Antonio Garcia Belaunde announced Monday that Venezuela's opposition leader Manuel Rosales would be granted asylum in accordance with Peru's commitment to international law. Garcia said he hoped the decision would not strain relations with Venezuela.

But late Monday, Venezuela's Foreign Ministry said the decision made a mockery of international law, was a blow to the fight against corruption and an insult to the people of Venezuela.

Venezuelan authorities said Interpol had issued an alert for Rosales' arrest, saying he had failed to appear at a court hearing to face the charges against him.

Venezuelan prosecutors accuse Rosales of illegal enrichment between 2002 and 2004 when he was governor of the state of Zulia.

Rosales says the accusations are politically motivated.

Authorities say the charges are based on an investigation of his assets and that he has not explained the origin of some funds.

Rosales unsuccessfully ran against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in 2006 elections.

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


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