Venezuelan president promotes military rebels

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Associated Press

Posted on December 27, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 27 at 9:36 PM

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is promoting several military officers who participated in a failed 1992 rebellion led by the late leader Hugo Chavez.

Among those ascending in rank is Ramon Rodriguez Chacin, a former Chavez Interior Minister whom the U.S. has accused of having ties to drug-trafficking rebels in neighboring Colombia.

While Maduro lacks Chavez's military background, he's awarded key positions in his government to military officers and raised the salaries of soldiers to cultivate the support of the armed forces.

Chavez was jailed following the 1992 coup attempt, but the uprising rocketed him to fame and gave birth to the political movement under whose banner he was elected president in 1999.

Maduro announced the promotions at an end-of-the-year address to the military on Friday.

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