Venezuela expels U.S. Embassy official accused of plotting against the government.

MADUROCARACAS—Shortly before announcing that Hugo Chávez died, Venezuela’s government resorted to one of the late president’s favorite ploys to try to unite his supporters: allege a conspiracy by the U.S. to destabilize the country.

Vice President Nicolás Maduro kicked out two U.S. military attachés for allegedly plotting against Venezuela and even suggested that Washington may have been behind Mr. Chávez’s cancer.

“Behind all of [the plots] are the enemies of the fatherland,” Mr. Maduro said on state television, flanked by the entire cabinet, state governors and Venezuela’s military commanders.

Mr. Maduro said that the U.S. Embassy’s Air Force attaché, Col. David Delmonaco, and another unnamed U.S. military official had approached members of the Venezuelan military and tried to recruit them into plans to “destabilize” the oil-rich South American nation. Mr. Maduro didn’t offer further details on the alleged plot.

Trending: WATCH: City Inspector Demands Store Owner REMOVE U.S. Military Flags, Insults Veteran at Store

Mr. Maduro also suggested that the country’s “historic enemies,” a phrase long used in Venezuela to refer to the U.S. and its allies, may have caused Mr. Chávez’s cancer. He said the country would likely discover in the future that Mr. Chávez “was attacked with this illness.”

The Obama administration, which has been hoping for closer relations with Venezuela following years of antagonism from Mr. Chávez, rejected the allegations.

READ MORE AT WSJ.COM

 

Join the conversation!

We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, vulgarity, profanity, all caps, or discourteous behavior. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain a courteous and useful public environment where we can engage in reasonable discourse.