Venezuela bars foreign funding for NGOs

December 22, 2010 19:46

CARACAS, Venezuela — Venezuela's congress has passed a law that bars foreign funding for non-government organizations, adding to a series of measures that government opponents say are aimed at quashing dissent.

Lawmakers allied with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez approved the law, which puts in jeopardy human rights groups and other organizations that receive foreign funding. It says organizations that are determined to have received money from abroad can be fined up to double the amount of funding received.

The law also provides for sanctions against organizations or political parties that invite foreigners to the country who criticize Venezuelan institutions.

Anti-Chavez politicians denounced the law approved late Tuesday as a blow to democracy.

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