Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Venezuela protesters end 3-week hunger strike


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via on 2/22/11

Venezuela protesters end 3-week hunger strike:

CARACAS, Venezuela—Protesting students ended a three-week hunger strike Tuesday, saying they stopped because the Organization of American States is discussing their allegaitons of human rights abuses by Venezuela's government.

Student activist Lorent Saleh said that Venezuelan authorities also agreed to review the cases of people considered "political prisoners" by the protesters.

"The government responded to our demands," Saleh said at a news conference.

She said that by its end, approximately 80 young activists in Caracas and several other cities were participating in the hunger strike that began Jan. 31 seeking to draw attention to rights violations they allege are committed by President Hugo Chavez. In Caracas, the hunger strikers camped outside OAS offices.

The protesters, who said they had been subsisting on only water and saline solution, demanded the OAS investigate the cases of more than two dozen Chavez opponents who they say have been prosecuted or imprisoned on trumped-up, politically motivated charges.

Chavez vehemently denies his government has used judges and prosecutors against its adversaries.

OAS Secretary-General Jose Miguel Insulza said Tuesday that he was relieved the students had ended the protest, which led to three activists being taken to the hospital after they fainted Monday.

"I understand there's a dialogue with government authorities and that some of their requests are being taken up," Insulza said after meeting with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil's capital, Brasilia.


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