CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuela's defense minister is marking the anniversary of a bloody crackdown two decades ago by assuring that soldiers will never again attack civilians.
Henry Rangel's comments come on the anniversary of 1989's "Caracazo," when the military was deployed to suppress violent protests.
Rangel said Monday via Twitter that the armed forces "will never again use their weapons against the Venezuelan people."
President Hugo Chavez has often cited the "Caracazo" as a horror that motivated him to try to seize power in a failed coup in 1992.
Chavez is in Cuba for to have a possibly cancerous tumor removed. He said he would have the surgery early this week, but there has been no recent word from authorities on his health status.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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