"As the Son of Bolivar that I am, today my mourning is the same mourning as that of the entire country."
Following the incident, opposition forces and media scoundrels accused authorities of "gross negligence," "under-investment," and poor maintenance.
Chavez called it "very regrettable if some Venezuelans tried to use the pain of the victims to take advantage of the situation" and use it for political advantage.
"I know who is saying this," he said, "but I will not stoop to their level." Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said the plant received around $4.3 billion in 2012.
At the time of the explosion, reports said government web sites were hacked. Corporate-owned Globovision broadcast exclusive footage. Someone unnamed was positioned outside the plant at 2AM to film it. Suspicions followed that Amuay was no accident.
On September 3, Press TV headlined "Sabotage more probably than mishap in Venezuela refinery blast," saying:
Responding to spurious charges of government negligence and other accusations, Chavez said:
"You can't exclude any hypothesis".It's practically impossible that here in an installation like this which is fully automated everywhere and that has thousands of responsible workers night and day, civilian and military, and that there is a gas leak for 3 or 4 days and nobody responds. This is impossible."
On September 6, Press TV headlined "US-backed opposition devises plots to destabilize Venezuela," saying:
Chavez supporters accused them of spreading fear and terror ahead of October's election. Amuay's incident was Exhibit A. Political activist Hindu Anderi said:
"Our principal is to always be mobilized, to be on alert against anyone attempting to sabotage the election on October 7."
"They will do this to create an environment in which Venezuela will be looked upon as an outlaw state."- Advertisement -
"This will make it easier for military intervention or at least sanctions against Venezuela."
He and others accused Washington of plotting against Chavez, his allies and Bolivarianism. Chavez said America and opposition forces want his government destabilized.