Another Venezuelan Opposition Leader Jailed

CARACAS â€" Venezuelan security agents have detained Manuel Rosales, an opposition politician returning to the country after six years in exile, at the airport in Maracaibo, in the western state of Zulia. Opposition daily El Universal reports that the 63-year-old former presidential candidate and ex governor of Zulia, was arrested "literally as he got off the plane" late Thursday.

The onetime election opponent of late President Hugo Chavez faces charges of embezzling public funds levelled against him in 2008. El Universal cited state prosecutors as saying that the former politician was taken immediately to Caracas to hear the charges against him.

Rosales is just the latest opposition politician in Venezuela in custody, as popular leader Leopoldo Lopez faces a 14-year prison sentence.

Rosales' lawyer Jesús Ollarves denounced the manner of his detention, and insisted his client was not arrested but "handed himself over voluntarily, being put into a van in an unnecessary and exaggerated manner."

Rosales before fleeing the country in 2009 â€" Photo: Guillermo Ramos Flamerich

Rosales is a leader and founding member of the opposition party Un Nuevo Tiempo, and the party's Twitter account seemed to indicate Rosales was returning to take part in campaigning for the Dec. 6 parliamentary polls. Opposition forces hope then to win majority control of the legislature and curb the power of the socialist President Nicolás Maduro, the hand-picked successor to Chavez.

The pro-government broadcaster TeleSur instead called Rosales a "fugitive from justice" who fled in 2009 to avoid prosecution for alleged financial malfeasance. It observed that his immediate goal on landing had been to attend an opposition meeting in one of the main streets in Maracaibo.

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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