Venezuela’s Capriles Expels Lawmaker Investigated for Graft
Venezuelan presidential candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski expelled a lawmaker who is a member of his party after a video surfaced showing him allegedly receiving bribes.
Pro-government lawmakers today presented a video that allegedly shows Juan Carlos Caldera, a lawmaker with Primero Justicia and a candidate for mayor in the Caracas municipality of Sucre, taking money from a man who wanted him to help set up a meeting with Capriles.
“No one has the right to use my name or that of this project we’re building for personal benefit,” Capriles said in comments broadcast on Globovision. “Given the information we have, lawmaker Juan Carlos Caldera is out of this project.”
Capriles said Caldera was expelled from his campaign and as a representative before the country’s electoral council. Phone calls to the offices of Capriles’ Primero Justicia party were not returned.
Diosdado Cabello, the head of the country’s National Assembly, said that parliament would investigate the case and request probes by the Attorney General and the Comptroller.
“It’s worrying what could occur in Venezuela,” Cabello said on state television. “Behind this there could be a macabre plan. Money for what? That’s the way the Venezuelan right wing works. There it is, irrefutable. Face, hand, money. Corruption.”
Capriles said the government was “desperate” to smear his name.