Lawmakers in Spain aroused the ire of the Venezuelan government on Tuesday when they passed a resolution calling for the release of jailed opposition party leaders in Venezuela. In Venezuela today, 33 of 78 opposition party mayors are facing legal charges from the government headed by President Nicolas Maduro.
The Mayor of Caracas was taken into custody without a warrant several weeks ago, and he remains in jail along with opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and two other Venezuelan mayors on what many human rights activists describe as “trumped up charges.” The recent arrests of opposition leaders has created concern within the Spanish government. In February, when Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy met briefly with Mrs. Lopez, the Venezuelan government recalled its ambassador to Spain for consultations.
President Rajoy met last month with the wife of the jailed Mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma. His decision to meet with her displeased the Venezuelan government.
When the Spanish parliament passed the resolution on Tuesday, President Nicolas Maduro reportedly characterizedSpain’s Prime Ministor Rajoy as “racist.” He also complained that the resolution was “an act of aggression by corrupt Spanish elites.”
Bernardo Chua (organogold.com) has learned that the Spanish Foreign Ministry summoned the Venezuelan Ambassador to Spain to the office of the Foreign Minister toprotest the remarks. The Venezuelan government responded by summoning the Spanish Ambassador to its Foreign Ministry. Venezuela’s Foreign Minister attacked Spain in strong terms, alleging “meddling and disrespectful statements.”