Venezuela Coup - 2009
Venezuela President Hugo Chavez is threatening to take action against opponents he says seek violent means to topple his government. In his weekly radio address 30 October 2009,. Chavez accused the opposition of preparing a coup to coincide with a protest march. He said the alleged plot was similar to the brief coup in April 2002 which was triggered by gunfire during a large opposition march to the presidential palace. Chavez warned that his government is prepared to put down any coup attempt and will neutralize those who want to take power by force.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez reported a new coup plot against his government, just days before a referendum on allowing him to seek re-election. In an interview November 02, 2009, Chavez said some active duty soldiers were arrested after collaborating with a Venezuelan soldier who, he alleged, is on the run in the United States. He said the troops were trying to "infiltrate" his palace and that they had sent messages to military units in areas governed by the opposition.
The Venezuelan president gave few details about the alleged plot, but said officials had confiscated military weapons, including several different kinds of explosives. Chavez was briefly ousted in a 2002 coup and frequently tells of alleged plots to remove him.
The Venezuelan leader is finishing a campaign to amend the country's constitution to allow the president and other politicians to run for re-election as many times as they like. Venezuelans will vote on the issue in a referendum Sunday. Before regional elections late last year, the president said there was a plot within the Venezuelan military to assassinate him and carry out a coup.
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