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US Embassy Officials Expelled from Venezuela, Government Warns of "Conspiracy Plans"

By Tamara Pearson
March 05, 2013 -

Vice-president Nicolas Maduro today denounced destabilisation plans by the international and Venezuelan right wing, announcing the expulsion of two US officials for threatening military security. He also implied that Chavez's cancer was "caused by enemies of Venezuela".

Right-wing destabilisation plans

Maduro made the announcement today just after midday, following a meeting this morning with Venezuela's political military leadership.

Maduro pronounced the expulsion of Air Attaché David Delmonaco, and assistant Air Attaché Devlin Costal of the US embassy in Caracas for being implicated in "conspiracy plans".

"They have 24 hours to pack their bags and leave," Maduro said.

He explained that Monaco had, for the last few weeks, been contacting members of the Venezuelan military in order to bring about a destabilisation plan in Venezuela.

"This official has been given the task of looking for active military members in Venezuela in order to propose destabilisation projects to the Armed Forces."

"We want to denounce that we have certain clues of elements that make up this poisonous picture, which seek to disrupt the social life of our country and give it a beating," he added.

"The enemies of the country, who aim to destroy democracy, have decided to go ahead with plans to destabilise Venezuela and damage the crux of a democracy...they have intensified the attacks against the economy and against goods and services," Maduro said, referring to the scarcity of certain food and hygiene products that the country is currently experiencing.

Maduro argued that the "national and international right wing" were taking advantage of the "difficult circumstances" Venezuela is going through as a result of the "delicate state of health of President Chavez".

Doubt over the cause of Chavez's cancer

Further, he said, "We don't have any doubts that the historical enemies of the country have searched for a way to damage the health of President Chavez... that he was attacked with this illness," alluding to the possibility of a "scientific attack".

"Just like what happened to Yasser Arafat... Eventually there will be a scientific investigation into President Chavez's illness," he said.

There are different theories as to the cause of the former President of the Palestinian National Authority, Yasser Arafat's death in 2004. Last July Al Jazeera reported that traces of polonium-210, a rare and highly radioactive element, were found on Arafat's belongings.

Other experts however claimed that polonium's half life means it would be impossible to discover it now if it had been used for poisoning eight years ago, and that it must have been planted later. In 2005 the Palestinian ambassador to Sri Lanka, Attalah Quiba also alleged that Arafat had been poisoned by "high technology" such as a "high-tech laser".

Continue fighting and working

Maduro concluded his public announcement by saying, "Men and women loyal to Chavez, we're going to continue with our duties, so that no single program for the people is held back".

"Venezuela's political and military leadership is united, we call on the people to close ranks, to unite forces, and to pray for our comandante," he said.

Referring to mainstream media lies and distortions about Chavez's health and the situation in Venezuela, Maduro also expressed his appreciation to Venezuela for its "strength that there has been to face the psychological and dirty war against our people".

The vice-president called for "respect for Chavez, for his family in these difficult times, respect for the pain and worry of our people".


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