Bomb Explodes at Venezuelan Oil Co.
A bomb exploded in the Caracas offices of Venezuela’s state oil monopoly early Wednesday, injuring a taxi driver who was passing by. The 2:00 a.m. (0600 GMT) blast was the third bomb to explode in Venezuela’s capital this year in a wave of violence which has frustrated internationally backed efforts to pave a peaceful path toward a possible referendum on Hugo Chavez’s presidency. The explosion damaged 14 floors of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.’s eastern Caracas office building, said Leopoldo Lopez, mayor of the district where the building is located. The taxi driver was hospitalized with light injuries, Lopez told Union Radio. There were no immediate suspects, and it was not clear what type of explosive was used. A plaza just outside the building is the frequent site of opposition rallies and marches. The building was also the workplace of many senior executives fired for joining an unsuccessful general strike to oust Chavez earlier this year. Venezuela has been mired in political turmoil surrounding Chavez’s leftist policies for more than a year. The former army paratroop commander survived an April 2002 coup attempt. Full Story