Measures that Chavez opponents call undemocratic

AP News
Posted: Dec 27, 2009 12:01 AM

Measures which Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's opponents claim are meant to stifle political opposition, and which Chavez insists are meant only to uphold the law:

_ Chavez has refused to renew the broadcast licenses of dozens of critical radio stations and television's fiercest anti-government channel, RCTV.

_ After opposition candidates captured five governorships and Venezuela's two biggest cities in elections, the pro-Chavez National Assembly slashed their budgets.

_ Nearly 400 politicians, including many Chavez foes, are barred from running for office because they are under investigation for corruption. In some cases, these probes can go on for years without charges being brought against suspects.

_ More than 2,200 people have been indicted on criminal charges, mostly misdemeanors, stemming from their participation in protests over the last four years, according to local human rights groups. Some are prohibited from joining or organizing demonstrations and barred from leaving their hometowns or publicly discussing their cases. Others face possible prison sentences. None has been tried.