Wackenhut denies its employees are cia agents
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Wackenhut denies its employees are CIA agents plotting to overthrow Venezuela's Chavez
The Associated Press
CARACAS, Venezuela --
A Florida company accused of working with dissidents to overthrow the Venezuelan government rejected on Saturday videotape evidence allegedly linking them to subversive activities.
The Venezuelan unit of Florida-based security company Wackenhut denied that the video - presented Wednesday by legislators allied with President Hugo Chavez - showed CIA agents advising Venezuelans in June on how to destabilize the country later this year.
"The video was in reality filmed in the installations of Wackenhut Venezolana, C.A in September 2002 during an ordinary meeting of company officials, relating to security services offered to a client," the company said in an ad placed in El Nacional newspaper.
A spokeswoman for the Palm Beach Gardens-based company did not immediately return a phone call Saturday.
Ruling party lawmaker Nicolas Maduro claimed the three men in the video were U.S. secret agents training dissident military officers and municipal police in espionage and "terrorist" tactics.
The U.S. Embassy said the video showed an event held by a private security company, not CIA agents. It added that the U.S. government did not participate in the event.
Wackenhut said that affirmations that one of the men in the video was a CIA agent and retired army colonel were "false and groundless." The company, which has worked in Venezuela since 1994 and has operations in six states, also denied that police officers were present at the meeting.
Last modified: October 25. 2003 2:48PM