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Venezuelan man accused of plotting Chavez assassination

By the CNN Wire Staff
Hugo Chavez has accused Colombian officials and right-wing paramilitary units of plotting his assassination.
Hugo Chavez has accused Colombian officials and right-wing paramilitary units of plotting his assassination.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A 29-year-old man was arrested, the nation's justice minister said.
  • The man was arrested in El Vigia on suspicion of plotting to kill President Hugo Chavez
RELATED TOPICS
  • Venezuela
  • Hugo Chavez
  • Colombia

(CNN) -- Venezuelan authorities have arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion that he was plotting to kill President Hugo Chavez, the nation's justice minister said.

The man, whose identity was not released, was arrested in the city of El Vigia, in western Venezuela, near the border with Colombia, said Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami.

The suspect had sent text messages about the assassination, El Aissami said Thursday on the ministry's web site.

Chavez recently canceled a visit to Merida state, where El Vigia is located, El Aissami said. The cancellation had nothing to do with the alleged plot, the justice minister said.

The suspect traveled to Colombia several times, the minister said.

Venezuela and Colombia have strained relations and Chavez has previously accused Colombian officials and right-wing paramilitary units of plotting his assassination.