Suspect plotted election violence: Venezuela

The Salvadoran was arrested while trying to enter Venezuela this week.

Caracas: Venezuela on Saturday accused a Salvadoran arrested while trying to enter the country this week of plotting attacks to disrupt Legislative Elections due to be held on September 26.

Venezuelan authorities said Francisco Chavez Abarca was detained on Thursday at Caracas`s international airport. They alleged he belonged to a gang led by accused plane bomber Luis Posada Carriles.

"This terrorist ... has shown that his presence was to launch a phase of attacks to provoke violence and destabilisation to disrupt the forthcoming elections," Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami told state television.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday it was clear Abarca had not come to the Latin American country as a tourist. "They are trying to generate new violence in Venezuela," he said.

The elections are seen as a test of the Venezuelan leader`s popularity ahead of a presidential ballot in 2012.

Abarca is accused of being a member of a group led by Carriles, a former CIA operative and Cuban exile wanted in Cuba and Venezuela on charges including masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people.

A Cuban-born naturalised Venezuelan, the 82-year-old Carilles escaped from prison in Venezuela in 1985. He requested political asylum in the United States in 2005 but is awaiting trial on immigration charges and perjury.

Chavez calls him the region`s biggest terrorist and has demanded Washington extradite him.

Bureau Report

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link