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Venezuela Bans Capriles From Public Office

Henrique CaprilesHenrique Capriles

Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles is suspected of misappropriating government funds for personal and political use.

Rightwing Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles is banned from running for office for 15 years, the South American country’s comptroller general ruled on Friday, teleSUR reported.

Capriles, the current governor of Miranda, announced the ruling on Twitter, saying the move was part of an alleged “auto-coup” taking place in Venezuela. He later called it “an act of dictatorship” during a televised press conference.

“More than yesterday, more than today, tomorrow there are plenty of reasons to mobilize in the whole country against the auto-coup,” he also posted on Twitter.

Capriles painted the move as an attempt by the socialist government to crack down on the peaceful opposition, failing to mention why the comptroller general took action.

Last Wednesday, the institution imposed a fine on the governor for “redirecting funds from Miranda’s budget”, El Nacional reports.

Capriles is suspected of misappropriating government funds for personal and political use. He has not only supported ongoing protests against the socialist government, but also played a central role in organizing them, as he did in 2014 with the “La Salida” campaign that left over 40 people dead.

The opposition leader has twice run for the presidency, but lost in 2012 to late President Hugo Chavez and in 2013 to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

He has even called on members of Venezuela’s armed forces to forcibly remove Maduro from power.

“Prepare the tanks and warplanes,” Capriles said in May 2016, adding that “the hour of truth is coming to decide whether you are with the constitution or with Maduro. This will be a decision that the Bolivarian Armed Forces will have to take.”

 

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