Venezuela's leading opposition candidate accused President Hugo Chavez on Monday of flirting with terrorist groups and dismissed his rival's suggestions he was behind an alleged assassination plot.
"It's not right that we have a terrorist in the government," Manuel Rosales told a news conference, citing reports that a fugitive member of the Basque separatist group ETA is working for the Venezuelan government. "We shouldn't be forging ties with groups that are identified with terrorism."
Last week, Spanish Justice Minister Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar said authorities were looking into media reports that Arturo Cubillas - a former ETA militant - has been working at Venezuela's agriculture ministry since October 2005.
Venezuelan officials have not publicly addressed the issue, but Chavez has rejected previous accusations that he sympathizes with terrorist groups and has strongly condemned terrorist attacks in Spain, the United States and elsewhere.