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Obama Meddling, Trying to Topple Hugo Chavez, Castro Writes

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April 28 (Bloomberg) -- Attempts by President Barack Obama to bring down the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez would result in “a river of blood,” former Cuban President Fidel Castro wrote.

The U.S. government is trying to topple Chavez by promoting the idea of discord within Chavez’s government due to his battle with cancer, Castro wrote in a column published today in Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party.

“It’s worrying that the government of the United States has decided in such circumstances to promote the downfall of the Venezuelan government,” Castro wrote. “An error by Obama, in such circumstances, could result in a river of blood in Venezuela.”

An e-mail sent to the spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela seeking comment wasn’t immediately returned.

Chavez, 57, who has undergone three operations and several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatment in Cuba since June, has said he can continue as his party’s candidate in October’s presidential election, where he’s seeking another six-year term. He has refused to say what kind of cancer he has, where it’s located or give his prognosis, fueling speculation that his illness is worse than he’s letting on.

The self-declared socialist was criticized by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski for governing by Twitter as he receives treatment in Cuba.

Castro, 85, said he’s a witness to the fact Chavez has kept working even as he receives radiation therapy.

“His obligations never stray from his mind, not even for a minute and sometimes to the point of being overwhelming,” Castro wrote. “I can testify to that because I’ve been in constant contact and communication with him.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Charlie Devereux in Caracas at cdevereux3@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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