Within hours of President Hugo Chavez’s untimely death (he was 58), US civil rights groups filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with numerous federal agencies seeking information and documents that “relate to or reference or discuss any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. ” The records demands have been made to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the Defense Intelligence Agency and have been filed by the civil rights legal organization, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the anti-war group, ANSWER Coalition and Liberation Newspaper.

The Venezuelan government is also calling for an investigation into the circumstances of President Chavez’s illness, specifically whether he was poisoned or deliberately exposed to cancer causing elements.

The FOIA request makes reference to the recent exhumation of Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat’s body. His body was exhumed in November to have samples taken for possible poisoning. This was after abnormal levels of polonium 210 were discovered in his personal belongings. Results should be available later this month.


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