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Miami Herald: Suitcase trial carries political baggage
The trial of a wealthy Venezuelan businessman accused of being an illegal agent for the socialist government of President Hugo Chávez is unfolding like a political `telenovela.'


The prosecution's case against Duran, 40, includes highly sensitive allegations that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez oversaw the cover-up -- with input from Argentina -- and that Duran and a business partner had paid millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to Venezuelan officials in return for government contracts.


Ultimately, observers say, the trial could diminish Chávez's stature in his own country, along with that of the intended recipient of his alleged campaign gift: Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Chávez's alleged gift, financed with national oil money, was designed to expand his leftist revolution, experts say.

Both politicians have called the U.S. case ``garbage.''

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 05:42:16 AM EST
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