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Friday, 3 May, 2002, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
Venezuela minister warns of new coup

The Venezuelan Defence Minister, Jose Vicente Rangel, has warned that opponents of President Hugo Chavez may be planning another coup against him.

Testifying before a congressional inquiry into last month's failed coup against Mr Chavez, Mr Rangel said that there would be more bloodshed unless the opposition agreed to talks on national reconciliation.

He said a group of dissident military officers and civilians had conspired for a long time to bring about a coup.

Mr Chavez was removed from power after violent anti-government protests, which resulted in 17 deaths.

He was reinstalled 48 hours later after demonstrations by his supporters.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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