Moratinos denies accusing Aznar of backing coup
1 December 2004, MADRID- Spain's foreign minister has denied he accused the previous government of taking part in the short-lived April 2002 coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
1 December 2004
MADRID- Spain's foreign minister has denied he accused the previous government of taking part in the short-lived April 2002 coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Miguel Angel Moratinos told the Spanish parliament he said the former administration led by Jose Maria Aznar endorsed the attempted coup afterwards..
"I did not accuse (former Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's government) of participating in the preparation of the coup," el Moratinos said.
"When I said support I meant - and mean to say - that (the previous administration) did not condemn the coup and gave it international legitimacy."
He added that when the crisis took place, the Spanish ambassador received instructions from Aznar's Popular Party (PP) government and that "the result of carrying out those instructions was to back the coup."
Moratinos' appearance before Parliament came 10 days after he made statements on Spanish state television accusing the Aznar administration of backing the putsch that put businessman Pedro Carmona in office for 48 hours.
The leftist-populist Chavez was restored to power by loyal officers.
The statements, which coincided with Chavez's official visit to Spain, sparked a major political row in Madrid and led to the governing Socialist Party and the now-main opposition PP exchanging accusations.
The controversy was fueled by Chavez himself, who, during his visit to Madrid, also alleged that Aznar supported the coup leaders.
The conservative PP has repeatedly denied Moratinos' accusations and has called on current prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to force him to step down.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news