Venezuela asks Interpol to arrest Chavez critic Zuloaga

President Hugo Chavez on 6 June 2010 Hugo Chavez has denied the allegations are politically motivated

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The Venezuelan government has asked Interpol to issue an international arrest warrant for a leading critic of the government, Guillermo Zuloaga.

Mr Zuloaga owns Globovision, the only television channel to remain openly critical of the government.

The move comes less than a week after Venezuelan police started searching for Mr Zuloaga, who has been accused of irregularities in two car dealerships.

Mr Zuloaga has dismissed the allegations as politically motivated.

Speaking from hiding earlier this week, Mr Zuloaga said he was being persecuted for his opposition to President Hugo Chavez.

Mr Chavez said the arrest warrant had nothing to do with politics.

"Show your face, coward," Mr Chavez said on Thursday.

"You're accused not because you're a shareholder in Globovision, but because you had, I don't know how many cars, hidden at your house," the president insisted.

Mr Zuloaga, a millionaire businessman, is one of the highest profile opposition figures in Venezuela.

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