Hugo Chavez appears to be laying all the groundwork to seize lifetime political control of Venezuela. His latest is to charge that a plot to assassinate him was broken up, then to allude that his presidential election rival that had something to do with the plot.
CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez, who has repeatedly spoken of various plots on his life, said Saturday a sniper with a long-range gun and a motorcycle to escape on had planned to shoot him as he exited a helicopter on a recent trip to western Venezuela.
The incident allegedly occurred when Chavez visited the western oil-producing region of Zulia in June to inaugurate a refurbished fertilizer plant. Chavez appeared to link the plot to his main rival in upcoming presidential elections, Gov. Manuel Rosales of Zulia state, claiming that he is in constant danger from opponents seeking to get rid of him.
"The plan didn't work out for them — God is always present over there. But those responsible left for Colombia, and by the way, they were from the Zulia police," he said.
He did not elaborate further on the alleged plot.
Chavez has made other claims of assassination plots in the past, including a case involving 27 Colombians and three former Venezuelan military officers who were convicted last October by a military court for allegedly plotting to kill him.
His government also demanded that Bogota investigate allegations that surfaced in an influential Colombian magazine in April saying the country's secret police plotted to assassinate Chavez and other top Venezuelan officials. Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has denied the allegations.
It looks very much like he's building up a mythology that will allow him to seize full control saying it is in the best interests of "public safety".