Hours before announcing that Hugo Chávez died, Venezuela's government resorted to one of the late president's favorite ploys to try to unite his supporters: Talk of an alleged conspiracy by the U.S. to destabilize the country.
Vice President Nicolás Maduro kicked out two U.S. military attaches for allegedly plotting against Venezuela and even suggested that Washington may have been behind Mr. Chávez's cancer [...]
Mr. Maduro's rhetoric is similar to the kinds of conspiracy theories that Mr. Chávez wove during his 14 years in power, and which Mr. Chávez seemed to have adopted from his political mentor, Fidel Castro, who has long rallied support among Cubans by portraying viewed the U.S. as an implacable foe.
"This has all the fingerprints of being 'Made in Cuba,'" said Moises Naim, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "It's like something out of the 60s or 70s, blaming the CIA for poisoning a head of state, but they don't seem to mind trying this in the 21st Century."