Lech Walesa banned in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reportedly told an interviewer that former Polish President, Solidarity leader, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa has been banned from entering the country to speak to a student opposition group: Chavez instructed authorities on Tuesday to ensure that Walesa does not enter Venezuela, which is preparing for a Feb. 15 ...

588619_090211_walesa5.jpg
588619_090211_walesa5.jpg

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reportedly told an interviewer that former Polish President, Solidarity leader, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa has been banned from entering the country to speak to a student opposition group:

Chavez instructed authorities on Tuesday to ensure that Walesa does not enter Venezuela, which is preparing for a Feb. 15 referendum on a proposal to lift term limits for all elected officials.

Chavez made the comment after an interviewer suggested that Walesa had received a new invitation.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reportedly told an interviewer that former Polish President, Solidarity leader, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Lech Walesa has been banned from entering the country to speak to a student opposition group:

Chavez instructed authorities on Tuesday to ensure that Walesa does not enter Venezuela, which is preparing for a Feb. 15 referendum on a proposal to lift term limits for all elected officials.

Chavez made the comment after an interviewer suggested that Walesa had received a new invitation.

Granted, Walesa has turned into a bit of a blowhard in recent years, (a Polish friend once told me that he can only stand to read Walesa speeches after they’ve been translated into English) but the role he played in Eastern Europe’s struggle for democracy is legendary. Chavez just put himself in some pretty bad company by denying him the right to speak.

Photo: JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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