Vice President Nicolas Maduro accused Venezuela's "historic enemies" on Tuesday of being behind the cancer of President Hugo Chavez, whose health took a turn for the worse.
Maduro said he had no doubt that a scientific commission would be formed and that it would reveal that "Chavez was attacked with this disease... The historic enemies of this nation looked for how to harm the health of our commander."
Chavez's hand-picked political successor spoke hours after the government announced that the leftist leader, hospitalized in Caracas, had suffered a new and severe infection and that his breathing had worsened, putting him in a "very delicate" state.
Maduro also announced a US embassy military official was being expelled from the country for seeking out active Venezuelan military officials to get information about the armed forces and propose "destabilization projects."
He named an Air Force attache, David Del Monaco, and gave him "24 hours to pack your bags and leave Venezuela."