Chavez warns against protests during tournament

June 18, 2007 04:44

President Hugo Chavez warned Sunday that opposition groups are planning to disrupt the upcoming Copa America international soccer tournament by staging street protests and possible transportation strikes. Chavez urged authorities - including Venezuela's Armed Forces and state intelligence services - to neutralize any effort to disrupt the June 26 to July 15 tournament, which is being hosted by Venezuela for the first time. The tournament brings together 12 national teams from across the Americas, including squads from the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. "This (protest) plan continues developing," said Chavez, speaking during his weekly radio and television program. "We are defeating it, but they are not going to give up."

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