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International Court Hears Venezuelan Opposition's Case

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks during a meeting with United Socialist party members in Caracas after gaining decree powers for 18 months, (file photo)

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is meeting to hear arguments regarding a 2008 decision by the Venezuelan government that has blocked hundreds of people from running for office.

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez is expected to testify Tuesday in front of the court in Costa Rica as it begins its two-day hearing examining the order that affects 575 people, including Lopez.

According to the court's website, it will hear statements by Lopez, a witness and four expert witnesses for his defense, as well as representatives for the Venezuelan government.

The ban on running for office remains in effect while the pro-Chavez state comptroller-general investigates the politicians on corruption charges. It expires in 2017.

Lopez says that if the court rules in the opposition's favor, he plans to run for president in 2012.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.