Bolivian ex-president calls Chavez menace to democracy

October 13, 2007 23:39

A former Bolivian president called Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez a menace to Latin American democracy on Saturday and complained of being subjected to lengthy questioning upon his arrival at the Caracas airport. Jorge Quiroga, a Bolivian opposition leader and ex-president, told Venezuelan media he was questioned for more than an hour by officials Friday at Simon Bolivar International Airport in Maiquetia, even after showing his diplomatic passport. Invited to address the Venezuelan opposition party Justice First, the Bolivian politician derided authorities for grilling him. "I'm not bringing black suitcases filled with dollars. I don't have petro-checkbooks filled with privileges. I'm not coming accompanied by armed men in red berets," Quiroga said during his speech Saturday.

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