Venezuela NGOs warn against Chavez plan to ban foreign funding

October 19, 2007 23:37


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Venezuelan non-governmental organizations warned Friday that President Hugo Chavez's proposal to prevent "political associations" from accepting foreign donations may strangle pro-democracy and human rights groups. Several NGO leaders said they fear that government officials, who often dismiss them as "coup-plotters" and "imperialists," could target rights groups if the proposed ban is approved as part of a constitutional reform package due for a referendum in December. "We believe this could be intended to close off the possibility of international financing for non-governmental human rights groups," said Liliana Ortega, director of the Venezuelan human rights watchdog Cofavic.

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