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Venezuelan VP Claims Evidence Proving US Involvement in Espionage Case


Venezuela's vice president says military officials at the U.S. embassy in Caracas helped pass state secrets to the Pentagon.

Jose Vicente Rangel told reporters Friday that the Venezuelan government has confidential information proving the U.S. officials' involvement.

He also alleged that embassy officials were involved in a brief coup against President Hugo Chavez in 2002. U.S. officials have long denied that charge.

Rangel first said on Wednesday that some low-level Venezuelan officials, both active and retired navy officers, had been caught passing information to the Pentagon.

The U.S. ambassador in Caracas, William Brownfield, said he has not been contacted by the Venezuelan government about the matter. He said on Venezuelan television Thursday that when Caracas presents the United States with a statement, he will respond.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.