Tuesday, December 11, 2007


CARACAS, Venezuela— The Washington Post is reporting today that a mysterious Venezuelan air force flight came under attack from vigilantes when it touched down last week at an airfield in northern Bolivia amid fears that the transport plane was delivering weapons. Suspicions were only deepened when officials confirmed that a Venezuelan banking official on board the flight had been carrying a briefcase stuffed with $160,000 in cash.

The airfield, at Riberalta, is located near a Bolivian uranium-mining area, adding to long-standing suspicions that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is trying to purchase uranium from his Latin American neighbor for transshipment to Iran. Riberalta is in Bolivia's northern and eastern lowlands, where local officials are resisting efforts by President Evo Morales to concentrate more power in his central government, which is dominated by highland Indians.

More than 400 changes to the constitution were approved by a special assembly dominated by Mr. Morales' ruling party during an all-night session ending Sunday morning.

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