CARACAS, Monday June 13, 2005 | Update
"In view of a potential plot to assassinate the president,"
the usual army parade on June 24th in Carabobo Battlefield was
called off, Defense Minister Jorge Luis García Carneiro
Based on intelligence reports, President Hugo Chávez should restrict public activities as much as possible, the minister added.
According to army chief of staff and second commander, Major General Wilfredo Silva, "that same day, an award ceremony will take place in the honor yard at the military academy," instead of the parade.
Silva was surprised when queried about the action, as he expected that army commander Raúl Isaías Baduel would make the official announcement over the next few days.
Last Wednesday, members of the National Assembly Defense Committee received the invitations for the parade, but the day after they were apprised of the cancellation.
On Thursday, Baduel denied the version and claimed that he had not received any related notice.
For the second time, a parade on June 24th is called off. The first time was in 1983, under the administration of President Luis Herrera Campíns. Then, the government resolved to adjourn it until July 24 to coincide with Libertador Simón Bolívar's 200th anniversary.
02:57 PM. HEAVY RAINS. Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Elias Jaua reported that the government is designing plans to support farmers, cattlemen and peasants of the state of Mérida who have been hit by heavy rains that have caused crop losses.