Chavez: Assassination Attempt Foiled


Richard Moore

Original source URL:

Chavez: Assassination Attempt Foiled
The Associated Press
Saturday, September 30, 2006; 10:09 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela -- President Hugo Chavez, who has repeatedly spoken of 
various plots on his life, said Saturday a sniper with a long-range gun and a 
motorcycle to escape on had planned to shoot him as he exited a helicopter on a 
recent trip to western Venezuela.

The incident allegedly occurred when Chavez visited the western oil-producing 
region of Zulia in June to inaugurate a refurbished fertilizer plant. Chavez 
appeared to link the plot to his main rival in upcoming presidential elections, 
Gov. Manuel Rosales of Zulia state, claiming that he is in constant danger from 
opponents seeking to get rid of him.

"The plan didn't work out for them _ God is always present over there. But those
responsible left for Colombia, and by the way, they were from the Zulia police,"
he said.

He did not elaborate further on the alleged plot.

Chavez has made other claims of assassination plots in the past, including a 
case involving 27 Colombians and three former Venezuelan military officers who 
were convicted last October by a military court for allegedly plotting to kill 

His government also demanded that Bogota investigate allegations that surfaced 
in an influential Colombian magazine in April saying the country's secret police
plotted to assassinate Chavez and other top Venezuelan officials. Colombian 
President Alvaro Uribe has denied the allegations.

Chavez has also accused the U.S. government of secretly backing his opponents in
the Dec. 3 elections and recently claimed that President Bush may be seeking to 
kill him after he called the U.S. leader "the devil" at the United Nations 
General Assembly.

"For sure, one walks around risking one's life ... We're being threatened with 
death by the (U.S.) empire," he said.

U.S.-Venezuela ties sharply deteriorated after the Bush administration swiftly 
recognized leaders who ousted Chavez in a 2002 coup before the Venezuelan 
returned to power amid a popular uprising.

Chavez has claimed before that the U.S. government is out to kill him and invade
his country. U.S. officials deny that but criticize Chavez as a destabilizing 
force in Latin America.

© 2006 The Associated Press

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