Military says Chavez is out in Venezuela
Posted: Friday, April 12, 2002
By Jorge Rueda
ASSOCIATED PRESS, www.washtimes.com
CARACAS, Venezuela — Top military commanders rebelled against President Hugo Chavez last night after police and armed Chavez supporters fired upon a march by 150,000 opposition protesters near the presidential palace. At least 12 persons were killed and as many as 110 wounded in that protest, officials said.
There were news reports that Mr. Chavez was preparing to leave the country, and three executive jets were seen preparing for takeoff at La Carlota military air base, which usually closes after dark.
Televised reports that Mr. Chavez and his family were leaving could not be confirmed. A Chavez spokeswoman denied the reports, saying the president was meeting with officials at the palace.
Small tanks guarded the palace as caravans of armored troop vehicles patrolled Caracas streets and highways.
A Venezuelan general said the Chavez government had "abandoned its functions" and the South American country was under the control of the armed forces, Reuters news agency reported. MORE