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Venezuela president offers to accept Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] said Wednesday that Venezuela would be willing to accept detainees from the Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] military prison. Chavez made his statements in an interview [El Universal report, in Spanish] with Arabic TV channel al-Jazeera [media website] while attending the Second Summit of Arab-South American Countries [official website] in Qatar. In the interview, Chavez also called for US President Barack Obama [official profile] to complete the release of all Guantanamo detainees and completely return Guantanamo to Cuba [BBC report]. Given the tense relationship [State Department backgrounder] between the US and Venezuela, it is unlikely that detainees will be sent to Venezuela.

US Attorney General Eric Holder [official profile] told reporters in March that the Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] would consider accepting [JURIST report] in the US the 17 Uighur detainees [JURIST news archive] who have been cleared for release. The European Union (EU) [official website] has urged member nations to accept former Guantanamo prisoners, but EU leaders have requested complete background information [JURIST report] on each prisoner they would receive before making a decision to accept them. Spain, Ireland, and Portugal [JURIST reports] have already expressed their willingness to host detainees. Other EU members, including Poland [JURIST report], Sweden, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic [Financial Times report], have expressed strong reservations to doing so.

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