Archive for Saturday, October 26, 2002

Chavez warns officers of armed response

October 26, 2002


— Four days after protesters took over a plaza in Caracas, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez accused dissident officers Friday of "cooking up a military insurrection" and warned that violence would be met with violence.

Chavez's denunciations came after three key military garrisons proclaimed their loyalty to their commander in chief.

"If they try to seize power with arms, we will respond with arms," Chavez said in a speech at the presidential palace. "I am not going to resign."

Since Tuesday, thousands of civilians have rallied at the Plaza Francia, where dissident officers have transformed a hotel into a virtual barracks,

The officers want Chavez to resign and call early elections or at least a quick referendum to measure his support.

By Friday, their numbers had grown to 100, most of whom were stripped of their command for their roles in a brief April coup.

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