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CIA ‘plot to kill Hugo Chavez’

Posted by smeddum on June 5, 2009

Hugo Chavez has claimed that he avoided a US plot to kill him.

By Jeremy McDermott, Latin America Correspondent 
 03 Jun 2009


Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez speaks during his weekly broadcast 'Alo Presidente' in the western state of Zulia: CIA 'plot to kill Hugo Chavez'  

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez speaks during his weekly broadcast Alo Presidente in the western state of Zulia Photo: REUTERS

The Venezuelan president said on state television that he had eluded an assassination attempt in El Salvador where he was due to attend the swearing in of its new leader, a Left-wing ally.

“I am not accusing Obama. I think the American president has good intentions,” Mr Chavez said. “But over and above Obama, there is the CIA, and all of its tentacles. I have no doubt US intelligence services are behind this.”

The plot was revealed by Mr Chavez’s friend and ally, the Sandinista revolutionary President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.

El Salvador’s security minister, Manuel Melgar, said that were “strange movements” and that the visit of the Venezuelan president could not be given “full security”.

According to Mr Chavez, the Cuban plane that he and President Evo Morales of Bolivia were to travel on was going to be shot down by a rocket as it approached San Salvador airport.

Behind the plot, according to the Mr Chavez, was former CIA operative, Luis Posada Carriles, who is currently under house arrest in Florida, but wanted in Venezuela for the downing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 in which 74 people were killed.

He was also sentenced to eight years in prison in Panama for planning to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba, another Chavez ally, in 2000, but granted a surprise presidential pardon in 2004, which analysts insisted was the result of pressure from the US, perhaps the CIA.

Mr Chavez was ousted from power in April 2002 by a coup that was allegedly known to the CIA. Washington was one of only two countries to recognise the coup government, which was overthrown by popular protest after just 48 hours.

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