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Is hugo Dead?
Monday, May 30, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

That's the question Mora is asking while blogging at Babalu.  She says crowds are gathering at the palace in Caracas and that hugo refuses to come to the balcony. One rumor is that an ex-wife did him in. Another is that he's had a heart attack. She has updates from the world press, but says Cuban sources bear watching: Here's Periodico 26's report, under the headline Venezuela Takes Measures To Thwart President Assassination:

Caracas, May 30,Venezuelan opposition circles, cornered by the success of President Hugo Chavez' political, social and economic development programs are plotting again to carry out anti-constitutional actions three years after a failed coup.

Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel had denounced such plans on Saturday and the leader of government party Movimiento V Republica, Willian Lara, confirmed Rangel's charges on Sunday, Prensa Latina news agency reports this Monday.

Lara said there are intelligence information revealing that some sectors, heartbroken by the defeat of the 2002 coup attempt and the presidential referendum in 2004, are mulling over the idea of assassinate President Chavez.

The Venezuelan official remarked that the government and security departments have taken measures to face an action of this nature.

Lara added that the opposition and transnational sectors are developing plans to destabilize Petroleos de Venezuelan (PDVSA) and undermine the economic and social achievements of the Bolivarian revolutionary government.

Update - Granma is reporting the same thing as Periodico 26.

Update - A commenter at Babalu says a call from Caracas confirms rumors of a coup.

Update - Presna Latina reports all is normal

Caracas, May 30 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela's Communication and Information Minister Andres Izarra assured Monday normality is reigning in the country and President Hugo is perfectly well and working on his agenda.

In telephone statements for Globovision, Izarra denied rumors questioning Chavez' health after not attending a march in Caracas Saturday, and suspending his habitual Sunday program Alo Presidente.

Izarra said that once informed of the situation, the president asked him to contact those in Miraflores and say he was fine.

Chavez is "simply spending time with his family, as is the right of any human being. Nothing out of the ordinary is happening," the minister stated, noting those rumors probably came from sectors interested in destabilizing the population.

Update - commenters at Babalu say hugo has now appeared on national television and appears to be fine.


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