Maduro urges Obama to halt coup 'plot'

2013-03-18 09:07
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles gestures during a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela. (File, AP)

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles gestures during a press conference in Caracas, Venezuela. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Caracas - Venezuela's acting president urged US leader Barack Obama to stop what he called a plot by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to kill his opposition rival and trigger a coup before a 14 April election.

Nicolas Maduro said the plan was to blame his opponent's murder on the Opec nation's government and to "fill Venezuelans with hate" as they prepare to go to vote following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro first mentioned a plot against his rival, Henrique Capriles, last week, blaming it on former Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich. Both rejected the allegations as untrue, outrageous and defamatory.

"I call on President Obama - Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, officials at the Pentagon and at the CIA are behind a plan to assassinate the right-wing presidential candidate to create chaos," Maduro said in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday.

Maduro, who is Chavez's preferred successor, said the purpose of the plot was to set off a coup and that his information came from "a very good source".

During his 14 years in power, the charismatic but divisive Chavez, who died on 5 March after a two-year battle with cancer, often denounced US plots against him and his "revolution". Critics dismissed those claims as a smokescreen to keep voters focused on a sense of "imperialist" threat.

Death as a campaign tool


In kicking off the opposition's campaign in the provinces on Saturday, Capriles said Maduro would be to blame if anything happened to him.

Capriles, a 40-year-old centrist state governor who cites Brazil as his economic model for Venezuela, accuses Maduro of using his boss's death as a mawkish campaign tool ahead of the 14 April vote.

Maduro, aged 50, a former bus driver who is trumpeting his working-class roots like Chavez, has a lead over Capriles of more than 10 percentage points, according to two recent opinion polls. Both were conducted before Chavez's death.

Maduro has sought to emulate the late president's common touch and emotional bond with voters but has struggled - beyond copying Chavez's bombastic rhetoric against foes at home and abroad.

In Sunday's interview, recorded at the military museum where Chavez's body was carried in a sombre funeral procession on Friday after 10 days of mourning, Maduro said he had cried more when Chavez died than when his own parents passed away.

Later on Sunday, his campaign team plans to launch Maduro's official Twitter account in another move reminiscent of Chavez. Chavez's @chavezcandanga account had drawn more than 4 million followers before his death - making it the second most-followed presidential account after Obama's.

Largest oil reserves


The election campaign began in a particularly nasty atmosphere, with both sides accusing each other of dirty tricks, and Capriles and Maduro landing very personalised blows.

At stake in the election is not only the future of Chavez's leftist revolution but also the continuation of Venezuelan oil subsidies and other aid crucial to the economies of leftist allies around Latin America, from Cuba to Bolivia.

Venezuela boasts the world's largest oil reserves.

Read more on:    cia  |  henrique capriles  |  hugo chavez  |  barack obama  |  nicolas maduro  |  venezuela  |  us  |  coup

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
20 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.