Venezuela Will Defend Bolivia in the Event of a Coup

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez claimed yesterday that the United States government is planning a coup d’état against the government of Bolivian President Evo Morales, adding that Venezuela would not stand by and let it happen.

By Steven Mather - Venezuelanalysis.com
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Caracas, October 13, 2006 (Venezuelanalysis.com) —Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez claimed yesterday that the United States government is planning a coup d’état against the government of Bolivian President Evo Morales, adding that Venezuela would not stand by and let it happen.

Chávez said he has evidence of a “destabilization plan” that is already in progress to prevent Morales from governing, citing current protests and hotel bombings earlier this year. Last week in particular there were violent clashes between groups of striking miners that have created great difficulties for Morales.

Chávez said that the “oligarchy” is also involved in the coup plans. “If the Latin American oligarchy, on its knees before the US empire, breaks the rules of the game and disavows the sovereign rights of the peoples, Venezuela will not fold its arms before aggression,” he said.

Chávez also said that the US government was using the supposed “war on drugs” to increase its military presence in Latin America.  He says this undermines Bolivia in particular due to Morales’ plans to decriminalise coca farming.

He also vowed to defend Bolivia. “Venezuela will not keep its arms crossed if the Bolivian government and people are attacked from outside or within,” adding that Venezuela would do whatever it could to ensure any new government following a coup would last no longer than that of Pedro Carmona. Carmona headed the 47-hour coup government that followed the brief overthrow of Chávez in 2002.

The Bolivian opposition group Podemos has criticised Chávez for his threats “to intervene if in his criteria there are attempts to destabilise this country,” said Senator Oscar Ortiz.  He added that there was no need to intervene as Bolivia was a sovereign republic.

The US government also denies the allegations.  US Ambassador to Bolivia Phillip said that the accusations were “false,” saying his government was in Bolivia, “trying to promote democracy, prosperity, the rule of law and freedom of the press.”

Chávez’s accusations come after a recent military agreement between Venezuela and Bolivia that has been criticised by the US government and opposition politicians in both of the South American countries involved.

Venezuela-FMLN Oil Deals Under Investigation by Salvadorean Government

The President of El Savador, Tony Saca, said Thursday that the cheap fuel agreements signed between Venezuela and the left wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) would be investigated to establish whether the deal had helped provide funds for the party.  It is illegal for foreign governments to fund political parties in El Salvador.

“It would be very very serious for the country the fact that a government was directly financing a political party, that is very serious.”

He did acknowledge that the relationship between the Chávez government and the FMLN regarding “commercial aspects…is totally valid.”

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