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THE European Parliament awarded its Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought yesterday to Venezuelan rightwingers bent on overthrowing the government.
The prize went to “political prisoners” including extremist Popular Will party leader Leopoldo Lopez and several of his followers.
Guy Verhofstadt of the parliament’s ALDE liberal group said: “This award supports the fight of democratic forces for a democratic Venezuela.”
The prize has previously been awarded repeatedly to US-funded right-wing groups in Cuba.
The European Parliament is considering sanctions on Venezuela’s socialist government.
Four months of opposition regime-change riots from April this year left 124 people dead, including nine victims burned alive by protesters.
On Wednesday, Venezuela’s hard-line Justice First (PJ) leader Henrique Capriles said he was resigning from the leadership of the Democratic Unity Roundtable (Mud) coalition as long as Democratic Action (AD) leader Henry Ramos remained.
Four AD state governors elected on October 15 were sworn in this week before the ruling Socialist-dominated constituent assembly, while PJ Zulia state governor Juan Pablo Guanipa maintained his boycott.
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