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The Venezuela's affair strains political situation in Spain

Spain's Socialist Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos confirmed earlier accusations on former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar support to a coup against Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez in April 2002.

All the truth is coming up to the surface on the failed attempt to oust Venezuela’s leftist President, Hugo Chavez, in the US-Spain sponsored coup of April 2002. Chile and Mexico confirmed last week that Washington fuelled a resolution in the Organization of American States (OAS) to acknowledge the “new situation” in the South American country and to legitimate plot leader Pedro Carmona as head of state, hours after the coup.

In the meantime, Spain’s Socialist Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos confirmed on Wednesday earlier accusations on former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar support to Carmona. Before the Parliament in Madrid, Moratinos said Aznar’s government “not only did not condemn the coup, but also offered plotters international legitimism”.

In April 2002, the US and Spain were the only two countries that recognized Carmona’s provisional government and rushed in to obtain support from other nations. President Chavez survived the coup and blamed on Washington for being behind the failed attempt to oust him. During a recent visit to Madrid, and after Moratinos aired his accusation in a TV interview, Chavez confirmed that “from the point of view of Venezuela”, Spain also aided plotters.

Moratinos grounded his accusations on the basis of documents of the Foreign Ministry stating that the Spanish ambassador to Caracas had received direct instructions from his superiors to “support the coup”. The statement sparked an angry debate in the Parliament, where the right-wing opposition asked Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to remove Moratinos from his post.

Photo: Spanish former Prime Minister, Jose Maria Aznar, in the spotlight.

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