Published: Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Bylined to: Patrick J. O’Donoghue
Diego Arria received like royalty in Spain slams Spanish government silence
VHeadline News Editor Patrick J. O’Donoghue reports: Diego Arria continues his world tour to denounce the expropriation of his farm, which the government contends it recovered to make fully productive.
Ambassador Arria has managed to open doors that other opposition roving ambassadors have failed to enter. The fact that he was able to meet and discuss events in Venezuela with the French Foreign Minister makes him the first opposition personality to do so.
In Spain, Arria has been received like royalty with opposition Partido Popular leader, Jose Maria Aznar paying him tribute. Arria also met Socialist Party leader, Felipe Gonzalez, former Spanish Prime Minister. Combining his own case with those of Spanish ex-pats whose farms have been taken over by the Venezuelan government, Arria lashed into the current Spanish government of Jose Luis Zapatero for its silence on the matter.
At a press conference in the Senate and accompanied by opposition Senator, Dionisio Garcia Carneiro, Arria declared that the silence has prevented lands being returned to 220 Spanish ex-pats. Immediate and vigorous protests from German and United Kingdom governments, he claimed, were effective in getting lands returned to British (Vestey) and German owners.
The Ambassador criticized Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos for stating that relations between Spain and Venezuela were excellent and raised the phantom of ETA presence in Venezuela, singling out Basque Arturo Cubillas working for the Chavez administration.
Arria referred to President Chavez as the “Mugabe of the Tropics” but without the latter’s academic preparation.
Patrick J. O’Donoghue