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Paranoia strikes deep in the heartland ...

Of Venezuela.

The line in DC is that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is paranoid. Sure, the right-wing opposition kidnapped him in a failed coup, and yes, the U.S. is backing Sumate, the opposition group with a bunch of coup alumni and, yes, the boss of the opposition polling firm Datanalysis told the Los Angeles Times that Chavez would have to be assassinated.

But, he’s utterly paranoid to believe anyone might be plotting against him. That belief is, in the words of Washington conservatives, just not serious.

Now, lo and behold, we get this tidbit from Alvaro Uribe, the President of Plan Colombia, the U.S.-financed aircraft carrier to our South ( via UPI):

Venezuelan soldiers conspired with some of their Colombian counterparts to overthrow Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, said Colombian leader Alvaro Uribe.

Uribe made the announcement amid meetings with Chavez in Colombia, El Tiempo reported.

The Colombian president said Chavez gave him documents proving the meetings took place. Uribe then said the conspirators met at building belonging to the Colombian military. The Venezuelan leader first came to Uribe with the conspiracy allegations last month.

Seven Venezuelans with alleged ties to a failed 2002 coup in Venezuela that saw Chavez briefly deposed were linked to the more recent plot.

The neighboring nations have been at odds in the past, with Chavez criticizing Uribe for his close ties with Washington. Meanwhile, the conservative Colombian leader has accused Chavez of backing leftist rebel movements in Colombia.

Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer .