- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 14, 2014

Arturo Pierre Martinez, of El Paso, Texas, appeared on North Korean state media on Sunday to denounce the United States for alleged human rights violations.

Mr. Martinez, 29, said he illegally crossed into the country by crossing the river border with China, but said he has not been detained and is seeking asylum in Venezuela, the Associated Press reported.

Speaking at the People’s Palace of Culture, Mr. Martinez said he was “extremely grateful for having been pardoned from the punishments given to violators of these laws, and for the most generous reception I have received,” CNN reported.

North Korea said in a separate statement that Mr. Martinez entered the country in November, two days after the arrival of U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper, who negotiated the release of Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, the last two American citizens known to be held by North Korea, CNN reported.

In his statement, Mr. Martinez praised North Korea and slammed U.S. policies as unfair. His mother, Patricia Eugenia Martinez, told CNN that her son is bipolar and was hospitalized before for trying to enter North Korea.

“The illegal war carried out against the nation of Iraq serves as a perfect example of how the U.S. government acts much like a Mafia enterprise, but criminally plundering entire nations of their resources, strategic reserves and economies instead of smaller scale business and individuals, and does so without a code of ethics,” he said, CNN reported.

He said the electoral system in the United States “is unfairly built for the benefit of the wealthy through the necessity of costly fundraising for political candidates seeking office. The democracy of this nation is an illusion and its representatives act as nothing more than power brokers for those who can offer them.”

Mr. Martinez’s legal status in North Korea is unclear and it’s unknown if he’s free to leave the country, CNN said.

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