Bush gets guilty verdict in Venezuelan "court"
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Witnesses from dozens of countries, including Colombia, Vietnam and communist-led Cuba, argued their cases against the alleged "imperialist" foreign policies of the United States before the jury.
Thousands of young men and women from leftist groups participating in the world youth festival cheered when the judge on Sunday read the verdict ending the two-day trial: "Condemned, for crimes against humanity."
"We declare President George W. Bush in particular as guilty, of being directly responsible for the crimes," said Venezuelan Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel as he continued to read the verdict.
The mock trial was part of the festival, hosted by Venezuela and held under the slogan "Against Imperialism and War." Events included debates and forums on issues ranging from proposals for wiping out poverty to aiding alternative media to opposing US imperialism worldwide.
Witnesses at the trial held in a Caracas stadium pointed to the war in Iraq, Washington's financial support for the Colombian government's fight against Marxist rebels and US economic policies that often leave many developing nations in poverty as evidence of crimes committed by Bush.
Chavez, a self-proclaimed "revolutionary" who has become one of Latin America's most outspoken critics of US foreign policy, was the last witness called to the stand.
The Venezuelan leader said the Bush administration was behind a short-lived 2002 coup and devastating 2003 strike, both of which failed to oust him as planned. He also accused US officials of planning his assassination.