Peruvian TV host Jaime Bayly accused by Venezuela’s OAS ambassador of plotting to kill President Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has widened the circle of alleged conspirators in a supposed assassination plot against him to include Jaime Bayly, one of Peru’s leading talk show hosts.

Chávez last week gave U.S. Ambassador Patrick Duddy 72 hours to leave the country, charging that Washington was behind a plan by rogue military officials to overthrow him. He played audio recordings that  he alleged were of retired officers discussing their infiltration of military bases and ways to kill the president.

Chávez’s envoy to the Organization of American States,  Roy Chaderton Matos, on Thursday accused Bayly, a Peruvian TV icon and award-winning novelist, of intentionally seeding the idea of Chávez’s murder in the public mind

Chaderton alleged in a statement to the OAS that the assassination plot against Chávez was part of a “secret international operation” and that a polemic interview by Bayly aired on Miami’s Mega TV last month was part in parcel of the conspiracy.

Bayly is the host of the TV interview program “Bayly” transmitted Monday though Friday via Miami’s Mega TV  at 10 p.m.  (EST). The program is very similar to his Peruvian show El Francotirador, or “The Sharpshooter,” but contains more defiantly anti-social references to Castro, Morales and Chavez.

During the Aug. 12 interview, Bayly —  known in Peru as the “Terrible Kid” — asked Spanish journalist Federico Jiménez Losantos who he would prefer to see dead, Cuban President Fidel Castro or Chávez, and later asked Losantos to choose between the death of Chavez or Bolivian President Evo Morales. The two also discussed the hypothetical military overthrow of Chávez’s government by the United States.

“They are supported by media programmed to motivate ultra-rightist sectors involved in the conspiracy,” Chaderton charged.

Bayly responded to Chaderton’s accusations on his show Sunday night,  verbally sparring with a Chávez impersonator garbed in a bright red shirt and a beret.

Bayly argued that he is not involved in a plan to kill Chávez because he is “too busy,” and leveled his own charge that, “on Friday, Chávez or Fidel sent two armed spies, I believe with the intention to kill me.

“One hypothesis is that they were going to kill me on the air,” he said. “When the program ended, the two escaped.”

“I am not preparing a conspiracy, a plan to kill him, but yes, I want God to carry him to his lap,” Bayly said of Chávez in comments Monday to Radio Programas radio. “I do not want to kill Chávez, first of all because I am not courageous. I am a coward.  Second, I don’t have the time,” Bayly said with his trademark wry intonation.

“I want God in his infinite mercy to collect Chávez.  If it’s not God that kills him, then cholesterol.”

According to Peruvian lawmaker Luis Gonzales Posada, a former president of Peru’s Congress, Chaderton’s accusations are an “absurdity,” and definitely marked by an undercurrent to terrorize freedom of expression.

“It is a blow to intelligence and an absurdity to try to involve journalist (Jaime) Bayly in an attempt to assassinate Chávez,” said Gonzales, “These types of accusations are designed only to create the illusion of an alleged foreign aggression against the Venezuelan government, a situation that doesn’t exist.”

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