Venezuela’s acting President warns about U.S. led assassination attempt on political rival
March 18, 2013
Nicolas Maduro says that Pentagon and CIA plan to assassinate Capriles
By DANIEL WALLIS | REUTERS | MARCH 18, 2013
Venezuela’s acting president urged U.S. leader Barack Obama to stop what he called a plot by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency to kill his opposition rival and trigger a coup before an April 14 election.
Nicolas Maduro said the plan was to blame his opponent’s murder on the OPEC nation’s government and to “fill Venezuelans with hate” as they prepare to go to vote following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez.
Maduro first mentioned a plot against his rival, Henrique Capriles, last week, blaming it on former Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich. Both rejected the allegations as untrue, outrageous and defamatory.
“I call on President Obama – Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, officials at the Pentagon and at the CIA are behind a plan to assassinate the right-wing presidential candidate to create chaos,” Maduro said in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday.
Maduro, who is Chavez’s preferred successor, said the purpose of the plot was to set off a coup and that his information came from “a very good source.”
During his 14 years in power, the charismatic but divisive Chavez, who died March 5 after a two-year battle with cancer, often denounced U.S. plots against him and his “revolution.” Critics dismissed those claims as a smokescreen to keep voters focused on a sense of “imperialist” threat.
In kicking off the opposition’s campaign in the provinces on Saturday, Capriles said Maduro would be to blame if anything happened to him.