RealNews

Venezuela Reinforces Embassies' Security

Venezuela tightened security at embassies Wednesday after two bombs ravaged Colombian and Spanish diplomatic missions, injuring four people and generating fears that the nation’s political crisis was entering a more violent phase. The United States, Colombia and other nations demanded a swift investigation into Tuesday’s bombings, which came 15 minutes apart at the Spanish embassy and Colombian consulate. Venezuela suggested the bombings were meant to destabilize the government of President Hugo Chavez, who on Sunday criticized Spain and Colombia for allegedly interfering in Venezuelan affairs. “There are elements thinking of taking the route of terrorism” to oust Chavez, said Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel. Chavez had just weathered a two-month strike seeking his ouster and has vowed that strike leaders, including prominent business and labor chiefs, will be prosecuted. Colombia and Spain expressed concern over the arrest of Carlos Fernandez, head of Venezuela’s largest business chamber. Rangel announced the creation of an anti-terrorism task force and played down the importance of pamphlets left at the bombing sites swearing allegiance to Chavez and his so-called “Bolivarian revolution.” The attackers, Rangel said, merely neglected “to leave Chavez’s photo” to implicate the president. Rangel expressed Venezuela’s solidarity with both Colombia and Spain. Full Story

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