Venezuela: Chavez blames Bush for Bolivia

June 13, 2005 at 8:27 AM

CARACAS, Venezuela, June 13 (UPI) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blamed the Bush administration for weeks of widespread protests in Bolivia.

In his weekly radio address, Chavez alleged U.S. efforts to impose its economic model on poor nations like Bolivia was "poison medicine."

"That is what is killing the people of Latin America," said the leftist leader.

Earlier this month the Bush administration accused Chavez of using Venezuela's oil revenue to fund opposition groups throughout Latin American.

Chavez denied the allegations as ridiculous.

Bolivian protesters were calling for the nationalization of its gas industry, a constitutional assembly and the resignation of President Carlos Mesa, who stepped down last week.

Former Bolivian President Mesa said there was no evidence of Chavez's involvement in Bolivia's protests or opposition groups.

"I didn't see any evidence of Venezuelan intelligence interfering in Bolivian affairs," said Mesa in an interview with Mexican media during the weekend.

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