Home > News > World
Sunday March 2, 2014 MYT 9:30:25 AM
Sunday March 2, 2014 MYT 9:31:21 AM
by daniel wallis
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's government said "right-wing extremists" were lobbying in Hollywood for movie stars to denounce President Nicolas Maduro's socialist administration from the stage at Sunday's Academy Awards.
Venezuela has been rocked by its worst unrest in a decade, with at least 17 people killed in violence around opposition demonstrations and clashes between hooded protesters, security forces, and pro-government militants.
Maduro's critics are demanding he quit and accuse him of repression, while the president says "fascists" working with U.S. financiers want to engineer a coup like the one in 2002 that briefly toppled his predecessor, Hugo Chavez.
"Right-wing extremists are lobbying in Hollywood, looking for pronouncements against Venezuela at the Oscars!" Information Minister Delcy Rodriguez said on her Twitter account @DrodriguezMinci on Saturday.
"This worldwide operation to discredit our homeland is backed by a powerful media platform serving imperial interests."
The turmoil has already drawn comment from entertainers, with singers Madonna and Cher criticizing Maduro on social media, and Venezuela's president - a former bus driver - verbally sparring with Panamanian salsa star Ruben Blades.
During Chavez's 14-year rule he won high-profile support from celebrities including Oscar-winning actor Sean Penn, filmmaker Oliver Stone and Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona.
Stone, whose documentary "South of the Border" profiled Chavez and other Latin American leftist leaders, often hailed the self-styled revolutionary's efforts to alleviate poverty.
"To those who tweet me vile and ugly comments about Venezuela," the U.S. filmmaker said on Twitter this week, "I've never experienced such verbal violence on social media."
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosts the 86th annual Academy Awards, the film industry's highest honours, on Sunday at a ceremony in Hollywood.
(Editing by Diane Craft)
Greek government denies planning to cut defence spending
Eurogroup positive on Greek proposal - Greek finance minister
Islamic State attack in Egypt's North Sinai kills more than 100
Special Report - How Greece went bust
Celebrate Raya in style with GEMFIVE
The 3 unexpected life events that leave us in debt
FIFA chief Blatter says not corrupt, expects to 'go to heaven one day'
LBU signs MoU to deliver Sarawak highway project
Gearing up for the jungle
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Media Group Berhad (ROC 10894D)(Formerly known as Star Publications (Malaysia) Berhad)