Nobel laureate Arias slams Venezuela government



San Jose, Costa Rica – 25 February 2016
1. Former Governor of Puerto Rico Sila Maria Calderon greeting former Spanish prime minister Felipe Gonzalez
2. Calderon standing beside former Costa Rican president and Nobel Laureate Oscar Arias
3. Pan from media to speakers at news conference
4. Gonzalez speaking
5. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Oscar Arias, Former President of Costa Rica and Nobel Laureate:
“Now, when I went to Venezuela, I said that killing one person is homicide but to murder an entire people is called ‘Chavismo’ (ruling party). The truth is that they accused me of being the imperialist’s lackey but I would like to tell you that I said it. The Chavistas are not inventing that because about one year ago I wrote the following ‘They may accuse me of involving myself in internal affairs of not respecting sovereignty and almost always of being an imperialist lackey’. Without a doubt I am an imperialist lackey, the empire of reason, of civility, of compassion, of liberty. I will not be quiet when human rights are vulnerable. I will not be quiet when the existence of a single government like that of Venezuela is an affront to democracy.”
6. Various of news conference
7. SOUNDBITE (Spanish) Felipe Gonzalez, former Spanish Prime Minister:
“The marvel is that you can get rid of the government when you don’t like it. That is the marvel. To say, ‘I am tired of it (government), get rid of it.’ Then they invent these stories about how they are the representative of the people which are not the ones who vote but the ones who wear the boots (soldiers). That is not the same. The people are the ones that vote not the ones that wear the boots. It is the votes and therefore they have the right to make mistakes. But only the people do. When the governors make mistakes on behalf of the people they are traitors to popular sovereignty.”
8. Mid shot of Arias and Gonzalez
Costa Rica’s former president and Nobel Peace Laureate Oscar Arias on Thursday blasted Venezuela’s government as “an affront to democracy,” addressing reporters in San Jose following a recent trip there.
Arias was speaking after a pro-democracy conference alongside fellow participants including former Spanish prime minister Felipe Gonzalez.
He said ‘Chavismo’ (ruling party) was responsible for murdering “an entire people” in Venezuela.
Gonzalez also weighed in saying that the benefit of democracy is that if a government is unpopular it can be voted out of office.
Arias met with opposition leaders in Venezuela earier this month and called for the release of imprisoned opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez at an event marking the second anniversary of his detention in a military prison.
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