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Venezuela's Chavez Alleges $100 Million Assassination Plot

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is accusing some of his opponents of offering $100 million to anyone who assassinates him.

Chavez did not give any details or evidence to support his claim but said the owner of the pro-opposition Venezuelan Globovision television station, Guillermo Zuloaga, is among those behind the alleged plot.

"They are collecting money to pay someone to kill me," Chavez told reporters in Caracas. "As I understand it from very trustworthy information, they say they have 100 million U.S. dollars to give to the person that kills me. He's [Zuloaga] one of them and he's the owner of a station that is transmitting right now in Venezuela."

The leftist leader described Zuloaga, who fled to the United States this year after being charged with fraud, as a fugitive from justice and urged Venezuelan authorities to take action against him.

Zuloaga has denied wrongdoing, saying prosecutors are carrying out a vendetta against him as directed by Chavez.

Chavez, whose government is an ally of Iran and Russia, has often accused opponents of trying to topple him.

compiled from agency reports