April 9, 2013 / 1:17 AM / 4 years ago

Salvadoran official denies role in alleged Maduro murder plot

Opposition conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance party (ARENA) congressman Roberto D'Aubuisson attends a news conference in San Salvador April 8, 2013.Ulises Rodriguez

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - A right-wing Salvadoran congressman on Monday dismissed accusations by acting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that he was involved in a plot to murder Maduro.

Last Saturday, Maduro said Venezuelan intelligence had learned Nationalist Republican Alliance(ARENA) Congressman Roberto D'Aubuisson and other right-wing politicians were planning to murder him ahead of presidential elections.

Maduro, acting president and protege of socialist leader Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last month, has a double-digit lead over his opponent according to opinion polls.

D'Aubuisson told reporters his accusers simply "want to redirect attention from what is really happening in that country ahead of April 14th elections."

"I have nothing to say to these people who give false ... statements because such a serious topic cannot come from people whose source is a bird," he said, referring to Maduro's recent statement that the spirit of Chavez appeared to him in the form of a whistling bird.

The Salvadoran right has been peppered with countless allegations of involvement in attacks in Cuba and Venezuela.

D'Aubuisson's father founded the ARENA party and the death squads that left 75,000 dead in El Salvador's 1980-82 civil war.

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua also accused D'Aubuisson of plotting against the oil-producing nation, and has said he has a telephone conversation as proof that he will soon reveal.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria

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