Venezuelans charged for using Tweeter....
Just how ridiculous can Chavez get???
In Venezuela, Luis Enrique Acosta Oxford's ordeal began June 30, when he posted a 120-character piece of financial advice on the popular micro-blogging site Twitter: "Ladies and Gentlemen, don't say you weren't warned... Pull out today... I'm telling you, there are just a few days left."
Eight days later, Venezuelan authorities incarcerated Mr. Oxford, 41, and a fellow Twitter user - Carmen Cecilia Nares Castro, 35.
A court this week charged them with "disseminating false rumors" on Twitter to "destabilize the banking system." They were released pending trial and face up to 11 years in prison.
What's more, Venezuelan authorities have indicated they may pursue similar charges against 15 others.
For some who observe the regime of President Hugo Chavez, this new drama brings little surprise.
"The assault on free, independent, and critical media in Venezuela has run its course," said Thor Halvorssen, the Venezuelan-born president of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a New York-based nongovernmental organization that monitors human rights conditions in the Americas.
"There is little left for the government to do, considering it has used every tool at its disposal to silence dissent," he said, noting a crackdown on media critical of the government. "This is phase two - going after individuals in private action for simple freedom of expression."
Mr. Halvorssen said the Twitter arrests were carried out to have a "chilling effect."