Man arrested after being accused of texting death threat against Venezuela's Chavez.
BARINAS, VENEZUELA (APRIL 29, 2010) GOVERNMENT TV - Venezuela's foreign minister said on Thursday (April 30) a man had been arrested for allegedly encouraging the assassination of leftist President Hugo Chavez.
Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami said authorities were investigating a suspect for allegedly sending text messages pushing for Chavez's assassination.
"A Venezuelan citizen has been arrested here in Alberto Adriani in the state of Merida. He's A 29-year-old who is being investigated for alleged links to instigate the assassination of President Hugo Chavez, who as you know was supposed to visit Merida, although this wasn't the motive for not going. Text messages began to circulate that encouraged the assassination of Chavez. We've started an investigation and we've arrested one person allegedly involved. We are going do a deeper investigation. He's a person that's been in and out of Colombia. It reaffirms what we've been denouncing, that there's a permanent and continuous threat of assassination for President Chavez," the foreign minister said.
"Death to Hugo Chavez, for a fatherland free of tyrants," read the text, according to the minister.
He added the message was attributed to an illegal paramilitary group, the AUC or United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, which began disarming a few years ago.
Chavez, who is Latin America's leading critic of Washington, frequently accuses the Colombian government of being a U.S. pawn in the region. But critics say he exaggerates the threat to distract Venezuelans from domestic problems.