Yesterday evening, during a nationally televised speech at the opening of an international women’s conference, President Chavez accused the U.S. of not doing anything against Venezuelan terrorists who are intent on overthrowing his government. He said that a Miami newspaper recently published photos on its front page of Venezuelans wearing military uniforms, who were “anti-castro terrorists, and Venezuelan military putschists, who are training with weapons of war to kill Chavez.” He personally turned over the newspaper to the U.S. ambassador and has yet to hear a response. He was refering to retired Capitan Luis García, whose picture training with anti-Castro paramilitaries in Florida, appeared recently in the Miami Herald.
“Over there on North American territory, terrorists are preparing to attack Venezuela. This is a protest that has to be made to the government of that country. They are obligated by law and by international right – if it is true, as they say, that they are fighting against terrorism – they have to act against individuals who in their territory are active against Venezuela,” said Chavez.
Chavez added that the Bush administration was interfering in Venezuelan affairs. He asked, “who gave the U.S. government the right to bomb cities, to invade countries, to overthrow governments?” Suggesting that the Bush government had less legitimacy than his own, he said, “Mister Bush was chosen by a very strange method; he did not win more votes than Al Gore, but less, and with strong evidence of fraud, but he is president. This is a problem of the North Americans. We will not interfere, but we have to demand that they don’t interfere in our affairs.”
During his speech Chavez reiterated that the reason he cancelled his trip to the UN this week was because he had heard “from friends” that “an assassination could be prepared against me. I will not accuse anyone because I do not have definitive proof to do so.”