lunes, 26 de agosto de 2013

Venezuelan opposition scoffs at "another plot" to kill President

As if in the grip of the Cold War, Venezuela's socialist rulers have denounced yet another foreign-backed plot against Venezuela, this time in the form of a plan - foiled in time - to assassinate either the President or the Speaker of Parliament. On 26 August the Interior Minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres revealed that two Colombians aged 18 and 22, said to be members of a 10-man squad sent from Colombia, were arrested in a Caracas hotel on 15 August, their hotel room revealing an incriminating paraphernalia of guns, binoculars, army badges and pictures of "targets." The Minister said the plan was to kill President Nicolás Maduro, and failing that the Speaker of Parliament Diosdado Cabello Rondón, Cuba's Prensa Latina agency reported. The country's leading opponent Henrique Capriles Radonsky said the claims were laughable. Not for the first time the detained were linked to Colombia's former conservative president Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Mr Uribe, who had precarious ties at best with Venezuela's late leader Hugo Chávez, has become a bête noire for the Maduro administration, which accuses him of conniving with Venezuelan opponents to undermine the regime. Mr Rodríguez suggested Mr Uribe was involved because "he has relations with and is connected to a group of drug traffickers...he is undoubtedly informed of what is happening," Europa Press reported. Mr Capriles told a gathering in Caucagua in the state of Miranda that day that "nobody believes this tale...people merely laugh at these announcements," though he cautioned the incident's "impact" should be observed, Venezuela's El Universal reported. How many times he asked, "have they spoken of plots to kill leaders (magnicidio)...does anyone really believe these lies?" President Maduro in turn thanked "the Government of Colombia for all its cooperation in identifying the gunmen...and the...hired gang," writing on the website Twitter. He added that "the Right's immediate reaction to the gunmen's capture showed these fascist groups' lack of scruples." On 24 August Mr Maduro warned Venezuelans to expect the opposition's "psychological campaign" and "dirty war" ahead of municipal elections set for 8 December, the official AVN news agency reported.

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