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Tags: Chavez | Spain | row | assassination

Chavez to Spain: 'Nothing to Explain'

Wednesday, 03 March 2010 10:27 PM EST

CARACAS — Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez dismissed Wednesday Spanish accusations that his government was involved in plots by Colombian and Basque guerrillas to assassinate the Colombian president, saying he had "nothing to explain."

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero had demanded an explanation after a Spanish judge charged that the guerrilla groups plotted to kill in Spain Colombian politicians, including President Alvro Uribe, with Venezuelan "governmental cooperation."

"I have nothing to explain to him (Zapatero) and I demand that he respect the sovereignty of the people and government of Venezuela," Chavez said at a public event.

He said he did not want to damage Venezuela's relations with Spain, but that would depend on "the attitude of the government of Spain."

"This government does not support and will not support any terrorist group," Chavez added. "We have nothing to explain to anyone because we support peace."

The Venezuelan president said he had received a call from Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos before the charges were made public.

"Moratinos didn't ask us for any explanation... He called to clarify things to us, to give us an explanation."

Chavez described his country's relations with Spain as "very good" and said he did not want to return to the tensions that marred bilateral relations after a spat between the bombastic leader and Spanish King Juan Carlos in 2008.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a Latin America tour, told reporters she was "not familiar with any of the allegations being made in Spain."

"I am familiar with the constant allegations being made by the Venezuelan government with respect to our government," she said.

"I can only reiterate what we've said many times: We are not involved in any activities intended to harm any Venezuelan."

Clinton added that the United States remained "deeply concerned about the behavior of the Venezuelan government," which she said had contributed to poor relations between Caracas and some regional capitals and was "limiting, slowly but surely, the freedoms within Venezuela."

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, 03 March 2010 10:27 PM
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