CARACAS, Tuesday April 21, 2009 | Update
Javier Valle Riestra, the attorney of Manuel Rosales -incumbent mayor of Maracaibo city and a major Venezuelan opposition leader- said that his client has officially requested political asylum in Peru.
"The asylum application was filed at 12:20 (local time in Peru) at the front desk of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Now we are waiting for the answer of the Peruvian government, which has a two-month deadline," Valle Riestra told AFP.
"Some Venezuelan people contacted me, and after seeing that the request was fair, I immediately wrote the application for political asylum," he said.
Rosales's attorney, Javier Valle Riestra, said that he was sure that the asylum will be granted. "According to the Peruvian jurisprudence and historical tradition of asylum, Peru should grant asylum to this man, because he is a political leader, a man with a top government post."
"President Hugo Chávez has gone too far by making heated statements against Rosales in squares and stadiums. This raises doubts about the possibility of getting a fair trial. Under these circumstances, Peru must grant asylum to Rosales, since it cannot break a democratic tradition of asylum dating back to the independence days and comprising a myriad of cases."
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.