Hugo Chavez Revamps Intelligence With Four New Spy Agencies

President Hugo Chavez is revamping his intelligence agencies to counter what he calls U.S. attempts to undermine his government.

Four new spy agencies will replace the current DISIP secret police and DIM military intelligence agency, Interior Minister Ramon Rodriguez Chacin said Thursday.

A new law has established the General Intelligence Office and the General Counterintelligence Office, both overseen by the Interior Ministry, plus similar military intelligence and counterintelligence components, Rodriguez Chacin told reporters.

He did not say how they will differ from the current spy agencies or whether any top officials will be replaced.

Rodriquez Chacin announced the change the previous night, saying the new agencies are meant to confront U.S. attempts to meddle in Venezuela's internal affairs.

Chavez often accuses the United States of espionage against his leftist government. In 2006, he expelled a U.S. military attache he accused of spying.

The same year, Washington named a career CIA agent as "mission manager" to oversee intelligence on Cuba and Venezuela.