Skip to comments.Castro called embassies to stop Chavez from immolating himself, Bolivarian cadre, Honor Guard
Posted on 04/19/2002 10:51:21 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Cuba says it asked embassies in Venezuela to protect Chavez from sacrificing himself
HAVANA - During the confused first hours of last week's coup in Venezuela, Cuba asked diplomats from Spain and 21 other countries to help prevent President Hugo Chavez and his supporters from sacrificing themselves, Fidel Castro said in a statement Friday.
Castro said in the note appearing in the Juventud Rebelde newspaper that his foreign ministry contacted representatives of foreign missions in Cuba and Venezuela early April 12 to "prevent Chavez from immolating himself in the Miraflores Palace, as he was proposing, with the 300 Bolivarian cadre (supporters) and the Honor Guard accompanying him."
Chavez considers Castro a friend and at one point during the crisis did talk with him on the telephone, Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque confirmed last week. He refused to give details.
Castro's statements appeared to be in response to news reports from Spain, citing Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar about contacts with Cuba during the Venezuelan crisis.
Aznar reportedly said that Cuba sought help from Madrid to get Chavez to the island, something that Castro evidently believed that Chavez wanted. He also said that Cuba had sought help in protecting its embassy in Caracas.
In his note, Castro said he would wait for the "opportune moment" to comment further on reports that Chavez had asked to go to Cuba during the crisis. On April 13, Cuba vigorously denied reports that Chavez was headed to the island, but said if he wanted to come it would pick him up and bring him here in its "best and fastest" plane.
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