Venezuela's LGBT community and several groups with ties to the leftist governing party said Thursday that the Andean nation's foreign ministry should offer asylum to Ugandans with different sexual orientations given the possibility that they may be imprisoned in their home country in accord with a new law.

"We're asking in a letter directed to the foreign minister, Elias Jaua, to suspend any kind of cooperation or special rapprochement plans toward Uganda and also for Venezuela to authorize political asylum for male and female Ugandan sex-dissidents," activist Chea Rodriguez told Efe.

The letter is signed by organizations involved in defending the LGBT community that support the Venezuelan government.

Rodriguez, who signed the letter as an activist and representative lecturer at the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, explained that they asked the Venezuelan government to take a public stand supporting Ugandans of different sexual orientations.

"Especially (a stand against) the authorities of that country as a way to get them to reconsider," said the activist.

"Our aim in turning to the Venezuelan Foreign Ministry is because we feel that the Bolivarian government is not just any government at this time in the world, at least vis-a-vis the countries that are called the Third World ... This is a government with influence," he said.

The Ugandan Parliament on Dec. 20 approved a law mandating life in prison for anyone engaging in specific homosexual acts "with aggravating circumstances."

Homosexuality has already been declared to be a crime in Uganda, but the new law toughens the penalties against it. EFE