CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez called for an investigation into CNN, saying the news network was seeking his assassination after its Spanish-language channel ran an image of the Venezuelan leader next to a caption that read, "Who killed him?"
CNN apologized Wednesday and blamed a technical mix-up, saying the caption referred to a story about Washington Redskins football star Sean Taylor, who was shot this week in his Florida home.
CNN en Espanol ran the caption for several seconds Tuesday night during a story on a spat between Chavez and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
"It's weird, and it needs investigation," Chavez said later that night on state television. "One should ask for an investigation because it looks like a call to kill the president in Venezuela."
He added that he doubted it was an accident and called on his attorney general to launch a probe into the incident.
Chavez, who was briefly ousted in a 2002 coup, has often reported alleged attempts to assassinate him but without offering significant evidence.
Recently he has warned of "psychological warfare" by his opponents ahead of a referendum Sunday on a slate of proposed changes to the constitution, including measures that would let him seek unlimited re-election and strengthen his plan to move Venezuela toward socialism.
"They are going to ratchet up [the psychological war] through text messages on cell phones, rumors through the media, the radio and television," said Chavez, who has a prickly relationship with the media and berates outlets that oppose his government.