Venezuela, November 26, 2007– President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela warned
yesterday of new plans to destabilize the country after the national referendum
next Sunday, December 2nd. He also said he has new evidence of attempts to
assassinate him and called on the Venezuelan people to be on alert for any subversive
actions in the coming week.
In a speech in the western
state of Zulia on Sunday, the Venezuelan president called on his supporters to
watch out for any "perverse plan" of the opposition after the likely
victory of the constitutional reform next Sunday. Chavez warned that sectors of
the political opposition are trying to use preliminary surveys to put the
victory of the reform in doubt, and to later claim fraud when the official results
do not coincide with the polls.
Chavez stated that if the
reform is approved in the national referendum, the opposition will claim that
the elections were fraudulent and call people into the streets to generate
violence and to destabilize the country.
"They try to make
Venezuelans and the world have doubts, repeating surveys and manipulated
numbers, so that when we win on Sunday, as I am sure we will, then they can say
that there was fraud, that the election was stolen, and they will come out into
the streets," he said.
The president reminded
supporters that sectors of the opposition have used this strategy to manipulate
public opinion before, using false survey numbers to create the image of
fraudulent elections. He called on the country to be prepared for any kind of
"The population, the Armed
Forces, the organized communities, we all must be on alert, and prepared,"
he said. "We have to be ready for any perverse plan from those fascist
sectors that still exist in Venezuela,
which in the likely case of a victory for the reform could come out into the
streets with the intention of destabilizing the country."
Sectors from the Venezuelan
opposition have called on their supporters to take to the streets if they lose
the national referendum on Sunday due to fraud. The opposition group Comando
Nacional de la Resistencia (CNR) called for a "March of no return" on
the presidential palace this week, a route that hasn't been used by the
opposition since the 2002 coup which resulted in dozens killed and temporarily
overthrew the Chavez government. The march was called for this Monday November 26th,
but was then postponed until after the referendum on December 2nd.
"The 'march of no return'
will not be Monday the 26th, and probably not Tuesday the 27th, but be sure
that it will happen if they commit the fraud that they have organized for
December 2nd," said CNR member Hermann Escarrá.
Escarrá explained that the
'March of no return' will be an organized event of many simultaneous marches
around the country that could be of varying duration and intensity. He promised
that the opposition would march on the presidential palace in Caracas in the case of fraud in the
referendum, and that they would engage in active resistance in the streets.
"We aren't going to send
the people out on a useless cause, with a high cost of lives and casualties
like happened on April 11th [2002, the attempted coup d'etat]. Be prepared
rather for December 2nd or 3rd. You can be sure that when there is fraud, all
the people will be in the street, and the CNR will be at the vanguard of this
process," assured Escarrá.
President Chavez also said on
Sunday that he had new evidence of plans to assassinate him. In a televised
interview with a group of journalists Sunday night, the Venezuelan president
explained that during a recent campaign event the light of a laser pointer was
seen shining on his body and head.
Chavez explained that after
experts analyzed video of the event, they observed that the light moved up to
his head and remained there for some time despite constant movement on the part
of Chavez. For this reason, the analysts concluded that it was the work of an
expert, possibly using a sniper rifle with a laser sight.
The president also stated that
a Venezuelan embassy in Central America was
recently informed of a plan to assassinate Chavez before the end of the year
and that there is also evidence linking the Cuban terrorist Luis Posada
Carriles to assassination plans.
The Cuban leader Fidel Castro
has repeatedly warned of plans to assassinate the Venezuelan president and
recently advised his Venezuelan counterpart to take more precautions in his
"You have to keep fighting
and running risks, but don't play Russian roulette every day," said Castro
in a recent article.
According to Chavez, upon
seeing the video of the laser light during their visit last week, Castro warned
that it was proof of the Venezuelan president's vulnerability to an
Venezuelan authorities recently
uncovered an arsenal of weapons upon raiding a residence in the Caracas area, including
assault rifles, pistols, a machine gun, ammunition, and US military
uniforms. Government authorities consider that these weapons might have been intended
for use in a plan to create chaos in the country, or even an attempt to
assassinate the president.