Chavez condemns attack on Venezuela synagogue, blames political foes

February 2, 2009 02:21

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday condemned a recent attack on a Venezuela synagogue, suggesting that his political foes were responsible for the incident. The president suggested instead that Venezuela's "oligarchy" - wealthy power brokers who oppose his socialist government - could have been behind the attack. An armed group vandalized Caracas' oldest synagogue, shattering religious objects and spray-painting walls on Friday amid Venezuela's diplomatic spat with Israel over its military offensive in the Gaza Strip. Leaders of Venezuela's estimated 15,000-member Jewish community said vocal denunciations of Israel by Chavez and the country's state and pro-government news media may have encouraged Friday's attack, which they called the worst ever on their community in Venezuela.

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