March 20, 2012
March 20, 2012
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Monday that his government has received word of plans for an attack on his leading rival.
Chavez did not give details but said his government had information of a possible plot against opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles.
“I have information they want to attack Capriles, and we’ve offered security for his team,” Chavez said in a telephone call broadcast live on state television.
“As a government, we’re obliged to get involved in this situation and provide protection to any Venezuelan, and above all in this context,” Chavez said.
He said his government believes that “foreign groups or sectors” are behind the plans, the government-run radio station YVKE Mundial reported.
“This is information that we’ve treated seriously due to the sources from which it comes,” Chavez said, without elaborating.
The Venezuelan leader made the remark two weeks after gunfire rang out at a political event where Capriles was meeting with residents of a traditionally pro-Chavez neighborhood. One young man, a supporter of Capriles, was injured in the shooting.
Capriles criticized the president’s comments Monday night on his Twitter account.
“The statement of the candidate of the (ruling party)… borders on being irresponsible,” Capriles said in one message.
“A president shouldn’t offer protection to one Venezuelan,” another message from Capriles said. “He should guarantee it to all Venezuelans, which is something very different.”
Chavez, who has been in office since 1999, is seeking another six-year term in the country’s Oct. 7 presidential election. Capriles, a 39-year-old state governor, won a February primary vote to become the opposition’s unity candidate.
Capriles said after the March 4 shooting that despite the incident he had no plans to scale back on his visits to neighborhoods across the country.
The authorities are investigating the shooting. Opposition politicians have accused government supporters of firing the shots.
Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami accused the opposition at the time of seeking to provoke violence and make a “show” out of the shooting.
By Al Arabiya