A business leader who spearheaded a two-month strike against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was placed under house arrest this week. Carlos Fernandez, head of a powerful chamber of commerce, was charged with treason, rebellion, and other crimes. A judge threw out the treason charge, but ordered Fernandez confined while the other allegations were prosecuted. Fernandez said he was being “politically persecuted.” The strike’s participants accused Chavez of acting like a dictator, and demanded that he step down. Chavez called Fernandez a “terrorist” for leading protests that cost Venezuela an estimated $4 billion. “If it were up to me he wouldn’t be at home, he would be behind bars.”
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