Chavez suggests Spanish king knew of 2002 coup

Venezuelan president claims Spain's ambassador appeared at presidential palace during the two-day operation.

By
November 12, 2007 08:23
2 minute read.
Chavez suggests Spanish king knew of 2002 coup

Chavez salutes 224.88. (photo credit: AP)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Hugo Chavez suggested that Spanish King Juan Carlos knew in advance of a 2002 coup that briefly removed the Venezuelan president from power, stoking a diplomatic spat that arose after the monarch told Chavez "shut up" at a summit. Chavez, who was in Chile for the Ibero-American summit, claimed that Spain's ambassador had appeared at Venezuela's presidential palace during the two-day coup to support interim President Pedro Carmona - with the King's blessing. Chavez asked how deeply Juan Carlos had been involved. "Mr. King, did you know about the coup d'etat against Venezuela, against the democratic, legitimate government of Venezuela in 2002?" Chavez asked reporters on Sunday. "It's very hard to imagine the Spanish ambassador would have been at the presidential palace supporting the coup-plotters without authorization from his majesty." The Spanish embassy in Caracas, Venezuela, was closed Sunday and phone calls seeking comment went unanswered. No one was available to comment at the royal palace in Madrid, Spain. The spat began Saturday when Chavez accused former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar of backing the 2002 coup and repeatedly called him "fascist" in an address at the summit of leaders from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. "Fascists are not human. A snake is more human," Chavez said on Saturday. Spain's current socialist prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, asked Chavez to be more diplomatic and show respect for other leaders despite political differences. "President Hugo Chavez, I think there is an essential principle to dialogue, and that is, to respect and be respected, we should be careful not to fall into insults," Zapatero said. Chavez continued to interrupt as Zapatero spoke, although his microphone was off. A frustrated King Juan Carlos, seated next to Zapatero, leaned toward Chavez and loudly asked, "Why don't you shut up?" The monarch then left the chamber. "They told me some Spanish officials grabbed him by the arm, because he's strong and tall. He acted like an angry bull" as he stormed out, Chavez recalled in comments published Sunday by Spain's El Mundo newspaper. "I'm no bullfighter - but olé!" Chavez, who faces violent protests at home against a proposed constitutional reform package that would greatly boost his power, said the incident had been exaggerated by the media. "I hope this will not damage relations," Chavez said as he left his Santiago hotel room Sunday. "But I think it's imprudent for a king to shout at a president to shut up." Chavez regularly accuses Washington of helping orchestrate the 2002 coup against him - a charge US officials deny. US and Spanish ambassadors did meet with Carmona and his newly appointed foreign minister on April 13, 2002, hours before Chavez was restored to power following massive demonstrations.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

December 14, 2018
U.N. adopts breakthrough convention to address world migration crisis

By VICTOR CABRERA/THE MEDIA LINE