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Another critic of Chavez runs into problems

October 5, 2008 |  9:40 am

Following the recent expulsion of two Human Rights Watch monitors from Venezuela a couple of weeks ago after they published a report critical of the administration of President Hugo Chavez, another antagonist has run into problems.

Venezuela on Friday charged an ex-defense minister and ardent critic of Chavez with corruption, a move that could sideline one of the socialist leader's most important opponents, reports Reuters.

Retired Gen. Raul Baduel rescued Chavez from a 2002 coup, but broke with him in 2007 and joined opposition parties in accusing the popular leftist leader of concentrating power and using state institutions to crack down on dissidents.

Venezuelan military prosecutor Gen. Ernesto Cedeño said Baduel was charged with stealing about $14 million.

"This investigation has to do with the theft of funds and assets belonging to the armed forces," Cedeño told reporters.

The charges could deal a blow to the opposition as it heads into regional elections of governors and mayors next month.

Read the full report on the trouble Gen. Raul Baduel is having in Venezuela here.

Click here for more about Venezuela.

— Deborah Bonello in Mexico City