SANTIAGO, Chile: 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.” Continue reading