Tag Archive: Chavez

Venezuela's acting President, Nicolas Maduro, gestures to supporters after he registered as a candidate for president in the April 14th election outside the national election board in Caracas March 11, 2013. REUTERS-Carlos Garcia Rawlins

By Andrew Cawthorne

CARACAS | Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:52pm EDT

(Reuters) – Venezuela will set up a formal inquiry into claims that the late President Hugo Chavez’s cancer was the result of poisoning by his enemies abroad, the government said.

Foes of the government view the accusation as a typical Chavez-style conspiracy theory intended to feed fears of “imperialist” threats to Venezuela’s socialist system and distract people from daily problems.

Still, acting President Nicolas Maduro vowed to open an investigation into the claims, first raised by Chavez himself after he was diagnosed with the disease in 2011.

“We will seek the truth,” Maduro told regional TV network Telesur. “We have the intuition that our commander Chavez was poisoned by dark forces that wanted him out of the way.”

Foreign scientists will be invited to join a state committee to probe the accusation, he said.

Maduro, 50, is Chavez’s handpicked successor and is running as the government’s candidate in a snap presidential election on April 14 that was triggered by the president’s death last week.

He is trying to keep voters’ attention firmly focused on Chavez to benefit from the outpouring of grief among his millions of supporters. The opposition is centering its campaign on portraying Maduro, a former bus driver, as an incompetent who, they say, is exploiting Chavez’s demise.

“Let’s take the president (Chavez) away from the political debate out of respect for his memory, his family, his supporters,” opposition candidate Henrique Capriles’ campaign chief Henri Falcon told reporters.

Polls from before Chavez’s death gave Maduro a lead over Capriles of more than 10 percentage points. Capriles lost to Chavez by 11 percentage points in October last year.


In an increasingly acrimonious campaign, both sides on Tuesday accused each other of planning violence.

The opposition displayed photos circulating on the Internet showing an assault rifle and a pistol being held up to a TV screen that was broadcasting Capriles’ face.

They also said there were indications of plans to attack Capriles when he was scheduled to register his candidacy on Monday. In the end, aides went instead.

Government spokesmen repeated accusations that opposition activists planned to disrupt Maduro’s campaign.

Trying to discredit Capriles, they also waved photos of a plush New York apartment they said belonged to him, and copies of university documents that they said showed he never completed a law degree.


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Venezuelan government via EPA, file

The last pictures of Hugo Chavez made publicly available were taken on Feb. 14.


Tens of thousands of people wept openly in the streets of Caracas over the death of their “Commandante,” President Hugo Chavez, while exiled Venezuelans in the U.S. cheered after learning of the socialist leader died.

By Fabiola Sanchez, The Associated Press

CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez died of a massive heart attack and inaudibly mouthed his desire to live, the head of Venezuela’s presidential guard said late Wednesday.

“He couldn’t speak but he said it with his lips … ‘I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die,’ because he loved his country, he sacrificed himself for his country,” Gen. Jose Ornella told The Associated Press.

The general said he spent the last two years with Chavez, including his final moments, as Venezuela’s president of 14 years battled an unspecified cancer in the pelvic region….


….Ornella echoed the concern of Vice President Nicolas Maduro that some sort of foul play was involved in Chavez’s cancer.

“I think it will be 50 years before they declassify a document (that) I think (will show) the hand of the enemy is involved,” he said.

The general didn’t identify who he was talking about, but Maduro suggested possible U.S. involvement on Tuesday. The U.S. State Department called the allegation absurd.


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Chávez Dies, Leaving Bitterly Divided Nation

Egilda Gomez/Associated Press

Over nearly a decade and a half, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela built a political movement and a government that were centered on his outsize personality. More Photos »

Published: March 5, 2013

CARACAS, Venezuela — President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela died Tuesday afternoon after a long battle with cancer, the government announced, leaving behind a bitterly divided nation in the grip of a political crisis that grew more acute as he languished for weeks, silent and out of sight in hospitals in Havana and Caracas.

 With his voice cracking and close to tears, Vice President Nicolás Maduro said that he and other officials had gone to the military hospital where Mr. Chávez was being treated, sequestered from the public, when “we received the hardest and most tragic information that we could transmit to our people.”

Mr. Chávez’s departure from a country he dominated for 14 years casts into doubt the future of his socialist revolution. It not only alters the political balance in Venezuela, the fourth-largest foreign oil supplier to the United States, but also in Latin America, where Mr. Chávez led a group of nations intent on reducing American influence in the region.

Mr. Chávez changed Venezuela in fundamental ways, empowering and energizing millions of poor people who had felt marginalized and excluded. But his rule also widened society’s divisions, and his death is sure to bring vast uncertainty as the nation tries to find its way without its central figure.

When a president dies, the Constitution says that the nation should “proceed to a new election” within 30 days, and that the vice president should take over in the meantime. The election is likely to pit Mr. Maduro, whom Mr. Chávez designated as his political successor, against Henrique Capriles Radonski, a young state governor who lost to Mr. Chávez in a presidential election in October.

But there has been heated debate in recent months over clashing interpretations of the constitution, in light of Mr. Chávez’s illness, and it is impossible to predict how the post-Chávez transition will proceed. Mr. Chávez was given a diagnosis of cancer in June 2011, but throughout his treatment he kept many details about his illness secret, refusing to say what kind of cancer he had or where in his body it occurred. He had three operations from June 2011 to February 2012, as well as chemotherapy and radiation treatment, but the cancer kept coming back. The surgery and most other treatments were done in Cuba.

Then on Dec. 8, just two months after winning re-election, Mr. Chávez stunned the nation by announcing in a somber televised address that he needed yet another surgery.

That operation, his fourth, took place in Havana on Dec. 11. In the aftermath, grim-faced aides described the procedure as complex and said his condition was delicate. They eventually notified the country of complications, first bleeding and then a severe lung infection and difficulty breathing.

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Related Multimedia


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dies

Published on Mar 5, 2013

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday after losing the battle against cancer. The 58 year-old socalist leader had surgery in December of last year in Cuba and since his return to Venezuela last month, Chavez had not been seen or heard from. RT’s Liz Wahl and Lucy Kafanov bring us more on this breaking news.


Hugo Chavez: Venezuela hits out at ‘historic enemies’ as leader’s condition worsens

Venezuela’s vice-president has accused the country’s “historic enemies” of infecting Hugo Chavez with cancer after the government admitted a grave worsening of the “Commandante’s” condition.

Hugo Chavez: Venezuela hits out at 'historic enemies' as leader's condition worsens

Mr Maduro accused one diplomat at the American Embassy in Caracas of running ‘destabilisation projects’ Photo: Reuters

By Girish Gupta, Caracas

6:53PM GMT 05 Mar 2013

Nicolas Maduro, the vice-president and Mr Chavez’s chosen successor, appeared on television to say that the collapse of leader’s health was down to an “attack” by outside forces.

Mr Maduro then accused the US of trying to exploit the power vacuum caused by Mr Chavez’s disappearance. The vice-president named one diplomat at the American Embassy in the capital, Caracas, accusing him of running “destabilisation projects” and giving him 24 hours to leave the country. Venezuela later announced the expulsion of a second US official for conspiracy.

“Special measures” were now in hand to prevent any “conspiracies” from succeeding, added Mr Maduro, who said Mr Chavez was undergoing his “most difficult hours” since he flew to Cuba for his fourth round of cancer-related surgery.

He spoke as generals, state governors and ministers gathered in “Miraflores”, the presidential palace in Caracas, apparently to prepare for further developments.

Earlier, a sombre communiqué had acknowledged the “worsening” state of Mr Chavez’s health. Ernesto Villegas, the information minister, appeared on television to say that a new respiratory infection had complicated the president’s cancer.


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Correo del Orinoco Engish Edition
Fri, 01 Mar 2013 14:18 CST

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the heightening of measures against economic sabotage in the country last Friday after meeting with President Hugo Chavez, currently recovering from cancer surgery in the military hospital Dr. Carlos Arvelo in Caracas.

Maduro reported that the convalescing head of state gave orders to confront sectors of the Venezuelan private sector that through hoarding and price-hiking have been attempting to sow instability in the country.

“The President was very clear in saying that we have to increment the actions to confront the economic war that the bourgeoisie is waging against the people. It’s a real economic war and we must continue winning it”, Maduro said in a press conference.

Friday’s meeting with Chavez lasted for more than 5 hours and included the presence of Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas, and the head of the national intelligence service Miguel Rodriguez.

While details on the actions that will be taken against those members of the business community who engage in illicit activity were not forthcoming, Maduro said that they would be formulated “to favor the public and our national interests”.

For months, Venezuela has seen a shortage of some basic commodities as unscrupulous businessmen seeking to subvert government price-controls on staple products withhold the commodities from the shelves.

The products are then either sold on the black market at double the price or shipped illegally to Colombia as contraband. Many retailers are also taking advantage of a recent devaluation in the country’s currency, the bolivar, to raise prices exponentially.

Vice President Maduro said last week that his discussions with Chavez included proposals on how to limit inflation in the country, maintain economic growth and ensure food security for the population. “These are topics that will be decided upon and implemented in the coming weeks in order to strengthen agricultural and food production and solidify productive in-vestment as well as industrial development”, Maduro said.

The Venezuelan VP also suggested that many of the problems associated with the market in recent months have their origins in external interests. “The attacks against the economy in general have as their source the enemies of our country. Some of them have Venezuelan ID cards, others have documents from other countries”, Maduro imputed, adding that the conspiracy “will be dismantled”.

With respect to the health of President Chavez, the VP reported that the head of state is rigorously following his medical program. “The President is receiving his treatment. He has a problem with respiratory insufficiency that is being treated intensively”, Maduro informed. “He is making an effort with extraordinary spirits, with a smile and bright, vibrant eyes… We left [the meeting] full of energy and strength that we are passing on to the people”, the Vice President added.

Chavez was operated on in Cuba on December 11 after a relapse of the cancer that first appeared in his pelvic region in June 2011. He returned to Venezuela on February 18 and has since been receiving treatment at the Military Hospital Dr. Carlos Arvelo in the capital Caracas.



Okla. teen arrested in school shooting plot

The Associated Press


Police in Bartlesville, a community about 40 miles north of Tulsa, arrested 18-year-old Sammie Eaglebear Chavez shortly before 5 a.m. Friday on charges of conspiring to cause serious bodily harm or death. He remained in Washington County Jail on Saturday on $1 million bond, and he is due in court Jan. 11.

Court documents didn’t list an attorney for Chavez, and calls to a number listed in court documents as his reached a recorded message saying the line wasn’t available.

Layne Jones, an assistant principal at the school, alerted police to the alleged plot on Thursday, according to a probable cause statement. A student told authorities that Chavez had tried to “recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut,” police said.

“Sammie tried to recruit other students to assist him with carrying out a plan to lure students into the school auditorium where he planned to begin shooting them after chaining the doors shut,” Bartlesville Police Lt. Kevin Ickleberry wrote in the affidavit.

Chavez told the students he planned to place bombs at the doors that he’d detonate when police arrived, and he threatened to kill students who didn’t want to join him, police wrote.

Investigators said Chavez told a teacher earlier this month that he had bought a .45-caliber gun and had been learning to shoot it. Also, the affidavit said Chavez had been trying to obtain a diagram of school facilities and had used a school computer to seek information on a .22-caliber rifle that could be mounted on a machine gun platform.

Students said they saw Chavez researching the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, in which 12 Colorado students and a teacher were murdered by two students who also died.

The district alerted parents and faculty by email around noon on Friday that it had investigated a “potential incident” Thursday and forwarded the information to the police department, which dealt with it appropriately. News was still trickling out about the attack in Newtown, Conn., in which a gunman forced his way into an elementary school and killed 20 children, all ages 6 or 7, and six adults before killing himself.

Superintendent Gary Quinn, in a news release, credited administrators’ quick action in following up on what he said had been unsubstantiated rumor and presenting their findings to the authorities.

“We appreciate the excellent relationship we have with our local law enforcement and their swift response to the information we provided them. We will always put the safety of the students of the Bartlesville Public School District first and foremost.”

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Politics – War on terror  :  National Sovereignty – Unethical


Published on Oct 10, 2012 by

At his first press conference after his victory in last Sunday’s Venezuelan presidential election, Hugo Chavez reaffirmed his support for the Syrian government during the current unrest.

Human rights groups claim that after 19 months of unrest in Syria tens of thousands of people have been killed.

Venezuela has been one of the staunchest defenders of the Syrian government. Since the unrest began, Venezuela has provided three shipments of oil to Syria.

Chavez went on to attack his frequent foe, the United States, for their support of the foriegn backed militant groups in Syria and their involvement in the unrest.

Speaking about last Sunday’s presidential election, Chavez attacked the western and mainstream media for calling his 11-point victory against opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Randonski close.

The Venezuelan president said that on January 10th, inauguration day, he would submit a second socialist plan to the national assembly. Chavez also said that he would increase dialogue with the opposition after the election.


Hugo Chávez comes out swinging in first post-election press conference

Venezuelan leader lambasts Washington, backs Assad and laments death of Gaddafi in ebullient address

The Guardian

Hugo Chávez press conference

Hugo Chávez speaks during a press conference with a portrait of independence hero Simón Bolívar in the background. Photograph: Miguel Gutierrez/EPA

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez may have started a new term, but it was the old, anti-imperialist, anti-US drive that characterised his first press conference since winning re-election for six more years.

Lambasting Washington, backing Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad and accusing Europe of cashing in on the death of Muammar Gaddafi, Chávez came out swinging after his comfortable victory on Sunday.

On ebullient and provocative form, the president accused the US of fomenting unrest in the Middle East, particularly in Syria. “This is a crisis that has been planned and provoked … Syria is a sovereign nation. This crisis has a single cause: the world has entered into a new era of imperialism. It’s madness. The US government has been among the most irresponsible. I hope Obama rethinks this,” he said.

Venezuela has supported the Syrian government by shipping oil to make up for shortfalls caused by US-initiated embargoes.

“How can I not support Assad. He’s the legitimate leader … We will continue in our support and advocate peace,” Chávez told reporters at the presidential palace in Miraflores.

He also lamented the death of his friend, former Libyan leader Gaddafi. “The way he died was a barbarity. Gaddafi was assassinated almost on TV.” He said the former Libyan leader had sent him a last message, in which he compared himself to Che Guevara: “I shall die like Che – I will be a martyr.”

Europe, he said, had frozen billions in Libyan assets, which was “convenient” at a time when it was facing its own financial crisis.

Chávez accused outside forces of trying to oust him in the presidential election.

“We didn’t just defeat [his rival, Henrique] Capriles. We also defeated an international coalition. This wasn’t just a domestic battle.”

He said voters had been inundated with 500,000 automated messages from the US and Europe urging them to back his Capriles.

“How much did this cost? Who has the capacity to do such a thing?”, he asked. “The great transnational phone companies were supporting Capriles. It was electoral harassment.”

Friendlier foreign forces were, however, quick to congratulate Chávez on his victory. Other leftwing leaders in Latin America gave celebration calls. Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly told him the election news was the “best present I could have for my 60th birthday”.

Chávez also castigated the foreign media’s coverage of the election, which he won with 55.2% of the vote against Capriles’s 44.1%.

“I’ve read that Venezuela is divided. But the US is also divided. Every country is divided,” Chávez said. “I won by 10 points and the foreign media call the victory slim. How much did Hollande win by in France? How much will Obama win by? You know Obama is my candidate? … I would vote for him if I could.”

With six more years in power, the Venezuelan president said he would ask the opposition for proposals and look for possible areas of collaboration, though he emphasised that past efforts had come to nothing.

“The opposition has a catastrophic vision for the country,” he said. “They deny everything the government achieves.”

• This article was amended on Wednesday 10 October to correct the figures on Chávez’s margin of victory.