UPDATE 4:55 PM EST: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said just now on Venezuelan television. Chavez died Tuesday at 4:25 p.m.
Maduro teared up as he announced the news: "We must unite now more than ever. Our people can count on having a government of men and women committed to protecting them," Maduro said.
As Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez clings to life, Vice President Nicolas Maduro Tuesday accused 'domestic and foreign enemies' of Venezuela of poisoning Chávez and he announced that Venezuela is expelling a U.S. Embassy military attache for organizing military support for a plot against the government.
Maduro said US Air Force attache David Delmonaco has been spying on the Venezuelan military, meeting with right-wing military officers and planning to destabilize the country. Delmonaco has been given 24 hours to leave the country.
Maduro also said, “This official has been given the task of looking for active military members in Venezuela in order to propose destabilization projects to the Armed Forces... We want to denounce that we have certain clues of elements that make up this poisonous picture, which seek to disrupt the social life of our country and give it a beating. The enemies of the country, who aim to destroy democracy, have decided to go ahead with plans to destabilize Venezuela and damage the crux of a democracy...they have intensified the attacks against the economy and against goods and services.”
Maduro said Chávez was suffering "most difficult hours" since operation and that his doctors are with him while the nation is praying.
Maduro said the cancer afflicting Hugo Chávez was an "attack" by enemies among a barrage of conspiracies against Chávez throughout his 14-year presidency.
CNN is reporting:
[...] Some day, he told the press in a lengthy statement, there will be "scientific proof" that Chávez, fighting a battle with cancer, was poisoned. He also called Venezuela's political right-wing an "oligarchy" and an "enemy of the nation." Maduro urged supporters to close ranks and exercise "unity and discipline."
In December 2011, Chávez suggested that the U.S. may be behind a “very strange” series of cancers among leaders aligned with him in South America.
In 2011 Bloomberg news reported:
Chávez, speaking a day after Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, said the Central Intelligence Agency was behind chemical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s and that it’s possible that in years to come a plot will be uncovered that shows the U.S. spread cancer as a political weapon against its critics.
“It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” Chávez said in a nationally televised speech to the military. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?”
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