Hugo Chavez Says CIA Assassination Plot Kept Him From Mauricio Funes Inauguration

Hugo Chavez declared that he was unable to fly to San Salvador, El Salvador for the inauguration of former FMLN leader Mauricio Funes earlier this week due to an assassination plot uncovered by Venezuelan intelligence. 

"I don't doubt that the intelligence organizations of the United States
are behind this," Chavez said, accusing them of plotting the murder attempt. Chavez continued saying that Venezuelan intelligence officials had "very precise information" that there was a plot to fire rockets at the plane he was going to be traveling in.

This is not the first time Chavez has leveled accusations of assassination and coup attempts at US intelligence organizations, but he had not done so since President Obama took office. Chavez made sure to clarify his allegations, saying, "I'm not accusing Obama. I think Obama has good intentions, but beyond Obama there's an empire—the CIA and all its tentacles: Terrorists and paramilitaries."

The U.S. Department has repeatedly denied similar claims made by Chavez in the past.