- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2005

CARACAS, Venezuela (Agence France-Presse) — President Hugo Chavez yesterday ordered the expulsion from Venezuela of American evangelical missionaries whom he accused of spying for the United States.

Mr. Chavez charged that the New Tribes Mission, which works in indigenous areas of Venezuela, sent strategic information to the United States and violated his country’s “national sovereignty.”

“These are real imperialist infiltrations,” he said as he marked the “Day of Indigenous Resistance” in southeastern Venezuela. “The CIA, the New Tribes take sensitive information, strategic information and exploit the Indians here in our own home.”

The leftist leader, who has accused the United States of plotting to kill him, said he was “ashamed” of the evangelical group’s actions after seeing a video and a military report on its operations in the indigenous communities.

He said that while Indians live in difficult conditions, the missionaries have electricity and even landing strips for planes that avoid customs.

“We don’t want New Tribes here, we are an old tribe. … Enough with colonialism,” Mr. Chavez said.

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