Chavez slams critics for downplaying alleged plot

President Hugo Chavez reprimanded skeptics on Sunday for questioning his warnings that Washington is out to kill him ї an accusation that Venezuela's opposition dismisses as a ploy to distract attention from domestic problems such as rampant violent crime and corruption, reported Associated Press.

Venezuelans are sharply divided between those who believe that radicals backed by the United States are plotting to assassinate their socialist leader, as the government claims, and critics who seriously doubt the accusations.

"Those who talk about it try to ridicule the allegation. For Venezuela's opposition, it's a lie," Chavez said on his Sunday broadcast show. "Some say it's a farce."

"They don't care about my death," Chavez added, suggesting some government adversaries would like to see him assassinated.

Chavez ordered the U.S. ambassador to leave Venezuela last week ї both to underscore his accusation that the envoy was aiding a purported coup plot by dissident military officers, and to show support for embattled Bolivian President Evo Morales, who expelled the U.S. envoy in that country after accusing him of egging on opposition protesters. The U.S. ambassadors in both countries have denied the allegations.

Chavez also recalled Venezuela's ambassador in Washington, saying diplomatic relations will not return to normal until President George W. Bush leaves the White House.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack called the allegations against the ambassador false, saying Duddy's expulsion reflects Chavez's "weakness and desperation."

Chavez made the accusations after a recording surfaced of a purported conversation between conspirators on plans to assassinate him and topple his government. He claims plotters sought to blow up the presidential plane or bomb the presidential palace.

Five suspects including active and retired military officers have been detained. Military prosecutors are questioning others.

In the recording, a voice identified as an ex-officer says "we're going to take" the presidential palace. Others discuss using troops to block highways and establishing communications with military outposts surrounding Caracas.

"It's proof they'll do anything to get rid of Chavez," said Omar Blanco, a 56-year-old mechanic interviewed in downtown Caracas. He vowed to defend the president "if they try to remove him from power."

It was not clear when the conversation broadcast on state television was recorded. The military officers identified as suspects have not responded to the accusations publicly, and some suspect the recording is bogus.

"Who would be so stupid as to plan a coup or assassination during a telephone conversation, giving names of the conspirators and details?" radio talk show host Marta Colomina, a fierce Chavez critic, wrote in an editorial published Sunday in the local El Universal newspaper.

Chavez has accused Washington of conspiring with his opponents to assassinate him or spur his ouster dozens of times since he took office in 1999.

In 2006, Chavez said a sniper with a long-range rifle had planned to shoot him as he exited a helicopter on a trip to western Venezuela. The alleged suspect was never arrested.

Several days later, the former paratroop commander said he had received warnings from within the White House that Washington was plotting to assassinate him. He did not provide details or reveal of the name of his alleged source.

And last year, Chavez said Venezuela had gathered intelligence that associates of Cuban militant Luis Posada Carriles ї a former CIA operative ї were plotting his assassination. He did not elaborate, saying only that U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte ї a former director of national intelligence ї was involved.

U.S. officials have repeatedly denied that Washington has any designs on Venezuela.

The United States is believed to have been involved in the 1963 assassination of South Vietnam President Ngo Binh Diem and repeated attempts to kill Cuba's Fidel Castro ї one of Chavez's closest allies ї but political assassination was officially outlawed by former President Gerald R. Ford in an executive order in the mid-1970s.

Kazakhstan, Mongolia eye signing roadmap for trade, economic co-op
Kazakhstan, Mongolia eye signing roadmap for trade, economic co-op
Russia bans import of tomatoes from Uzbekistan’s Fergana region
Russia bans import of tomatoes from Uzbekistan’s Fergana region
Cotton growing in Azerbaijan hits record - agriculture ministry
Cotton growing in Azerbaijan hits record - agriculture ministry
Loading Bars
England reveals new regional COVID tiers in fight against coronavirus
Azerbaijani gymnasts reach finals of 36th European Championship in Ukraine
Georgia continues to support its citizens amid COVID-19 pandemic
News on return of Azerbaijani soldier captured by Armenians false, relative says
Azerbaijan sends note of protest to France
Ample opportunities for investments to be created in Karabakh – minister
Azerbaijani's negotiations with UAE on renewables nearing completion
Kazakhstan, Mongolia eye signing roadmap for trade, economic co-op
Russia bans import of tomatoes from Uzbekistan’s Fergana region
36th COMCEC session opens under chairmanship of Turkish president (PHOTO)
Uzbek Ministry of Finance publishes draft law on increasing taxes on gasoline, diesel
Russian Gazprombank predicts Azerbaijan's economic recovery in 2021
iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Mini now at Azercell Exclusive shops!
Iran becomes self-sufficient in building oil, gas platforms
Cotton growing in Azerbaijan hits record - agriculture ministry
Italian municipalities adopt documents expressing solidarity with Azerbaijani people
Uzbekistan to grow industrial cannabis in Sardoba district
Azerbaijan detects 3,705 new COVID-19 cases, 1,609 recoveries
Turkmen Ministry of Construction opens tender for equestrian sports complex construction
Azerbaijani, Saudi FMs exchange views on current situation in Karabakh
Uzbekistan reveals data on its ICT sphere enterprises and organizations
Azerbaijan to export persimmons to Slovakia and Czech Republic
Level of religious tolerance in Azerbaijan is much higher than in France - ISESCO ex-director
Kazakhstan's exports to Switzerland decrease year-on-year
Azerbaijani medical insurance agency signs contract with tender-winning IT company
Resolution adopted by French Senate must be canceled – Azerbaijani NGO head
Volume of Turkish textile clothing supplies to Kazakh market surges
Latvian AirBaltic cancels Riga-Tbilisi-Riga flights
Reconnaissance work completed within Baiterek space complex creation in Kazakhstan
Thermal power plant modernization, other projects underway in Kazakhstan's Karaganda
Georgia imposes further restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus
Georgian carrier to launch regular cargo flights from China to Europe
Russia's Rostelecom expects to develop transit routes through Turkmenistan
Average monthly salary in Azerbaijan's Nakhchivan rises
Azerbaijani, Afghan FMs discuss latest situation in region
WB, AIIB to fund rural infrastructure development in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijani, Indonesian FMs stress importance of trilateral ceasefire statement
Austria fully supports Uzbekistan obtaining of EU’s GSP beneficiary status
Turkmenistan's Dashoguz region opens tender for installation work
France not part of Karabakh settlement, but part of problem - Turkish defense minister
Japanese companies to provide technical support for terry production in Uzbekistan
Germany's hotspot district to launch COVID-19 mass tests for children
Yield of citrus fruits in Azerbaijan up
Capital of Kazakh companies operating in Turkey revealed
Iran boosts its pistachio exports
World Economic Forum announces Azerbaijan's road quality score
Share of assets in Azerbaijani banking sector declines
Kazakhstan eyeing amending legislation to support renewable energy dev't
Georgian Hualing Free Industrial Zone plans to finalize deal with 4 new companies
Mortgage lending in Azerbaijan through state line grows manifold
Kazakhstan to launch hundreds of industrial projects before year-end
Azerbaijani ICT company wins tender on purchase of licenses
Central Bank of Azerbaijan discloses data from foreign exchange auction
Employment in Iran's West Azerbaijan Province increases
Buta Airways to Increase the Frequency of Flights Performed to Izmir
Azerbaijan, Hungary discuss possibilities of attracting investors to liberated territories
Georgian Huliang FIZ offering available land plots to potential investors
Azerbaijani NBCO talks about its activities amid coronavirus
Azerbaijan’s carpet producer signs tender contract
Many members of French Senate unaware war in Karabakh ended (VIDEO)
Number of people infected with coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 900,000
Baku Stock Exchange admits local investment company
Uzbekistan eyes to set up local production of various vaccines
France does not deserve Azerbaijan’s confidence – senator
Bahar Azadi gold coin price still falling in Iran
Bank mortgages in Azerbaijan rise
Full text of Azerbaijani parliament’s statement against French Senate’s resolution
Iran's economy remains strong and steady – Iran's president
Turkmenistan to be vital strategic partner, gas supplier to China long-term - Wood Mackenzie
EDB talks Kazakhstan's economy growth forecast, return to pre-COVID levels
Ambassadors of Turkey, Iran to Azerbaijan hold discusses on Karabakh
“I am quite sure that giving a hand to customers in this challenging time will pay off in the future”: interview with Dariusz Kacprzyk, Member of Supervisory Board of AccessBank Azerbaijan
Import of Turkish ready-made clothes by Iran down
Water resources of Azerbaijan’s Kalbajar district to be re-explored
Turkey's export of ready-made clothes to Uzbekistan down
Money supply in Azerbaijan grows - CBA
Lending to banking sector in Azerbaijan up
Turkmenistan raises 10M2020 imports of Turkish ready-made clothes
Uzbek gas chemical company opens tender for insurance services
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan up
Azerbaijan’s natural gas exports to Turkey down by 8%
German manufactures interested in buying high-quality walnuts in Georgia
New carpet factory opens in Turkmenistan
German company builds float glass plant in Uzbekistan’s Zarafshan city
Iranian oil minister talks about petrochemical facilities launched in Iran
Azerbaijan can't be pressured by adopting some paper piece - parliament's vice speaker
Azerbaijani parliament voices appeal to government due to France
Azerbaijan to implement digitalization of services of local executive authorities
French Senate betrays democratic values - Turkish government
China's import of Turkish cement up
Azerbaijani parliament condemns resolution adopted by French Senate
AP highlights devastation caused by Armenia in Azerbaijan’s Aghdam
Azerbaijan's ADY Express boosts daily volume of cargo handling at Astara terminal
Turkish Foreign Ministry condemns French Senate’s resolution on Karabakh
French Senate's resolution is not binding, says ambassador
Azerbaijani Ministry of Communications developing final strategy of 'Smart City' project
Protesters give statement in front of French embassy in Baku (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Integration of modern solutions contributes to growth of online sales - MiMobile
Georgia eyes to minimize negative impact of global crisis on country's private sector
Int’l standard of energy management system to be introduced at Uzbekneftegaz facilities
All news