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[ex-ussr-left] Fw: [che-list] Venezuela: CIA Coup Topples Elected President - ïî ïîâîäó ÷àâåñà!
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Sent: Friday, April 12, 2002 11:41 PM
Subject: [che-list] Venezuela: CIA Coup Topples Elected President
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> Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 23:14:24 -0700 (PDT)
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> Subject: Venezuela: CIA Coup Topples Elected President
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> Venezuelan Leader Forced to Resign
> By JORGE RUEDA -Associated Press Writer
> Published April 12, 2002, 12:38 AM CDT
> CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuela's military leadership forced President
> Hugo Chavez to resign Friday after a day of violence in which National
> Guard troops and pro-Chavez gunmen clashed with 150,000
> opposition protesters, the Globovision television station reported.
> At least 13 people were killed and as many as 110 wounded in the
> Globovision said Chavez handed his resignation to three generals at the
> presidential palace. The report could not be immediately confirmed.
> A motorcade left the palace minutes later, apparently headed for
> Caracas' La Carlota military base, Globovision said.
> The report came after Armed Forces Chief of Staff Bernabe Carrero
> Cubero said Venezuela's military leadership asked Chavez to resign and
> call elections.
> Carrero Cubero said Chavez had asked him to negotiate with rebellious
> officers "to avoid a blood bath."
> Chavez's supporters gathered outside the presidential palace upon word
> their leader was leaving.
> El Universal newspaper reported that Pedro Carmona, president of the
> Fedecamaras business chamber, had accepted a military offer to lead a
> transitional government. The report couldn't be immediately confirmed,
> but Union Radio reported that Carmona, Rincon and retired Gen.
> Guaicaipuro Lameda, former head of the state oil monopoly, had entered
> Fort Tiuna, Caracas' main army base, early Friday.
> Defense Minister Jose Vicente Rangel had asked for asylum at the
> Chilean Embassy, El Universal said. Dissident National Guard troops,
> meanwhile, seized the government television station.
> The head of the state security police said he'd ordered his forces to
> remain in their barracks. A spokesman for Oil Minister Alvaro Silva
> said Chavez had spent Thursday evening meeting with his ministers at
> the presidential palace.
> Small tanks arrived outside the palace late Thursday, adding to
> tensions in a city already racked by the day's violence, in which
> National Guard troops clashed with pro-Chavez gunmen and participants
> in a 150,000-strong opposition march.
> The Jose Maria Vargas hospital said Thursday that 12 people were killed
> and as many as 110 wounded. Jorge Tortoza, a 45-year-old photographer
> with Diario 2001 newspaper, later died of a gunshot wound,
> the newspaper confirmed Friday. Tortoza was shot in the face by a man
> in civilian clothing while he was covering the protest, said reporter
> Angel Arraez.
> Chavez's family flew from a Caracas military base to the western city
> of Barquisimeto earlier Thursday, said Air Force Col. Marcos Salas.
> Army Cmdr. Gen. Efrain Vasquez Velasco ordered his subordinates --
> including Chavez loyalists -- to join him in rebellion against Chavez
> and said military bases throughout the nation were under the
> dissidents' control.
> "We ask the Venezuelan people's forgiveness for today's events," he
> said. "Mr. President, I was loyal to the end, but today's deaths cannot
> be tolerated." More than 40 other high officers rebelled,
> including Gen. Luis Alberto Camacho Kairuz, vice minister for citizen
> Earlier Thursday, Chavez ordered five private Caracas television
> stations to close for allegedly inciting opposition protests that
> erupted in violence. The stations continued transmitting by satellite,
> however, and some were able to re-establish their
> signals intermittently to report on the violence and casualties. The
> Organization of American States demanded the restrictions be lifted.
> "The Constitution obliges us to maintain internal order and avoid more
> spilling of blood and the destruction of our brave people and
> their institutions," the officers said in a communique read by Navy
> Vice Adm. Hector Ramirez.
> Earlier, 11 other generals, admirals and commanders of the armed forces
> declared themselves in rebellion. None had active commands, palace
> officials said. But Gen. Carlos Alfonso Martinez, inspector general of
> the National Guard, condemned the armed pro-Chavez civilian groups
> known as "Bolivarian Circles" for firing on civilians.
> National Guard troops fired tear gas at the front ranks of marchers
> bearing sticks and throwing rocks to keep them about 100 yards away
> from the palace and thousands of Chavez supporters. Tear gas drifted
> into the presidential compound.
> Multiple shots were fired near the palace, and scuffles with police
> erupted throughout downtown. Witnesses said snipers belonging to pro-
> Chavez street groups fired on crowds from rooftops; Caracas
> Fire Department Cmdr. Rodolfo Briceno charged that snipers fired on
> ambulance crews as they tried to evacuate the wounded.
> Pena accused government snipers of firing on crowds, especially at
> opposition demonstrators. "Chavez has shown his true face. This
> dictator's apprentice brutally ordered the repression of a
> peaceful demonstration," Pena claimed.
> "This is state terrorism. The international community must condemn
> these killings. This government is criminal," said Ramon Escobar Salon,
> a former attorney general.
> Luis Miquilena, Chavez's longtime mentor and a powerful interior
> minister until earlier this year, denounced the repression.
> Globovision television displayed videotape of what it said was Chavez
> supporters shooting civilians at random near the palace.
> The violence erupted on the third day of a general strike called to
> support oil executives who want Chavez to sack new management he
> appointed at the state oil monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela.
> The executives are conducting a work slowdown that has seriously cut
> production and exports in Venezuela, the No. 3 oil supplier to the
> United States. Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press
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