World

Chávez Fears Libya-Like Uprising

People pass in front a mural depicting Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. Chavez celebrated his 12th anniversary in power Wednesday saying he is ready to battle for six more years in next year's election. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

People pass in front a mural depicting Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011. Chavez celebrated his 12th anniversary in power Wednesday saying he is ready to battle for six more years in next year's election. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (AP2011)

Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez accused his political opponents and the United States on Sunday of conspiring to spark a Libya-like uprising in Venezuela.

"They want to divide the armed forces," said Chávez, referring to Venezuela's opposition. "The Yankee empire, the CIA and the State Department is behind them."

"The empire has a plan that has worked in Libya," he said during his weekly television and radio program. Chávez commonly refers to the United States as "the empire."

Venezuela's opposition leaders deny conspiring to topple Chávez by provoking a military coup attempt, saying they plan to unseat the former paratroop commander-turned-president at the ballot box in December 2012.

Opposition lawmaker Alfredo Ramos called the president's accusations unfounded, saying he's heard similar charges in the past.

"He sounds like a broken record," Ramos said in a telephone interview. "Chávez feels the possibility of losing in 2012."

U.S. officials have also rejected Chávez's repeated accusations of coup plotting.

Chávez is a friend and ally of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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