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by Richard Lee
Wednesday, Mar. 26, 2003 at 1:37 PM
Bush/Reich/U.S. oil companies/CIA stage coup attempt in Venezuela to oust democratically-elected President Hugo Chávez. U.S. government gains control of media outlets, trying to incite civil war in Venezuela to seize country’s oil revenues.
Begin Part 1 of 2
Next stop for the traveling Bush War machine: Venezuela, as Bush II instigates covert war on Venezuela.
Hugo Chávez Frías was democratically elected as Venezuela’s president in 1998, and then again re-elected to a term that expires in 2007. So you think Bush would be satisfied by this country’s free exercise of democracy, right? But no. American President George W. Bush II, son of the 41st president and ex-CIA director, has taken it upon himself to expel Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez twice in the past year, in two failed coup attempts, as he is doing in Iraq trying to install an American puppet government to replace Saddam Hussein. Bush & the CIA instigated the coup on April 11, 2002 because Chávez has boldly exercised free speech by challenging the American/British/Israeli financial and military domination of the world oil market. As president in 1990, Bush I proclaimed to the entire world a “New World Order,” a blueprint for American-led dominance of the world shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. His son George the II is following through on this proclamation quite faithfully, trying to protect American oil “interests” in South America as well as the Middle East.
Maracaibo is a city in northwestern Venezuela, located on a strait that connects the Gulf of Venezuela. With a population of approximately 1,000,000, it is the country's second largest city and seaport. The city serves the agricultural regions of both Venezuela and Colombia that are adjacent to Lake Maracaibo. The two countries are natural geographical neighbors. Maracaibo is part of the Zulia province of Venezuela, which declared its independence from Spain in 1821, when it announced an alliance with Colombia. Petroleum was discovered in 1917 in Lake Maracaibo, and has since become not only the center of the country but also of South America. More than three-fourths of Venezuela's petroleum drilling is in the region surrounding the city. This is why George Bush II has pulled out all the stops in the past year, in a gung-ho attempt at regaining control of the region, which he began to lose in 1998 with the election of Hugo Chávez.
Venezuela is located in northern South America clear across the sea from Bush’s home state of Texas. Venezuela is ranked as the world’s fifth largest oil producer, but claims to have even more untapped oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, which is usually recognized as being the most oil-rich country in the world. And Bush has decided that he wants Venezuela’s oil, and he wants it now! After all, God has promised it to him and his oligarchy, right!? And since he’s only got two years left in his presidential term, time is not a’wasting.
In order to consolidate control of the world’s oil supply, Bush has renewed a commitment to American imperialism in the Latin-American theatre to keep South America under the U.S. government/oil industry’s thumb, as they have done successfully for about the past 100 years. Bush is working with Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair to monopolize world oil production to the “Big Four Oil Cartel” companies – three of which are American and the fourth British - Chevron/Texaco (Condoleezza Rice’s company), Exxon/Mobil, Shell/Occidental (Al Gore’s company), and BP (Tony Blair’s company). Rice even had an oil tanker named after her. This consolidation is a virtual reconstruction of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil after the U.S. government’s breakup of that company in 1911, because it violated the American Sherman anti-trust laws of 1890 which outlawed monopolies.
Bush is bent on seizing the oil in Iraq and Venezuela in order to bring the price of gas down for Americans, to help meet their ravenous, insatiable appetite for gasoline. Perish the thought of swapping out their SUV’s for more gas-efficient vehicles; Americans would apparently rather send their sons and daughters off to die in oil wars than part with their gas-guzzling SUV’S. Bush also knows that World War II brought the country out of an economic depression, and he may be reasoning that he could give a jolt to the stagnant U.S. economy by instigating a few wars in Iraq, South America, and North Korea now.
BUSH II “ANOINTED BY GOD” TO CAPRICIOUSLY OUST CHÁVEZ
Bush is trying to break up a unification of South American oil companies, organized by Venezuelan President Chávez, called Petro-America, that has so far united Venezuela's PDVSA with Brazil's Petrobras, a union that is also trying to add Ecopetrol (Empresa Colombiana de Petroleos) from Colombia, PetroEcuador from Ecuador, and PetroTrinidad from Trinidad and Tobago to the fold. The proposed South American oil company alliance would also keep the lion’s share of profits in South American, and end the American/British corporate usurpation of South American oil proceeds, which is largely responsible for keeping the South American countries mired in poverty while the U.S. oil companies and Latino corrupt politicos abscond with seemingly limitless oil bounties. Citgo is the only U.S. petroleum firm with a network of service stations in the United States that has allied itself with Chávez and PDVSA.
Bush knows that Venezuela’s Chávez is at the hub of this consolidation, and Bush has sicced his “pit bull,” the CIA, to lay siege on Chávez’ democratic government in order to thwart any formation of a large oil company that could conceivably compete with U.S./British/Israeli world finance and oil domination. While Bush is overseeing the consolidation of American oil companies into a virtual monopoly, he is vehemently forbidding any other oil-rich countries in the world from freely organizing outside of American/British control, and is prepared to unleash the fury of the U.S. military on any country that doesn’t cower to his decree. All the while, Bush constantly touts the U.S. as the world’s paragon of freedom while prohibiting other sovereign countries from the same free exercise thereof.
HOW DID BUSH II ORCHESTRATE THE VENEZUELAN COUP IN 2002?
Let’s introduce you to some of Bush’s appointees and the sterling track record they have in causing oil-rich South American countries to think so highly of America:
We’ll begin with the illustrious Otto Reich, Bush II’s ex-ambassador to Venezuela. Reich was recruited by George Bush I’s CIA while still in college. He is an expatriated Cuban (with an Austrian father) maestro specializing in the art of misinformation and disinformation, who was commissioned by Bush as his “Chief Latin America Bombthrower” in the U.S. administration to wreak havoc by throwing a golpe de estado (coup) in Venezuela.
As the Reagan/Bush State Department's “Office of Public Diplomacy” propaganda minister, in 1984, on the night of Ronald Reagan's reelection, Reich “leaked” scary news that Soviet MiG fighter jets were arriving in Nicaragua. At NBC, Andrea Mitchell broke into election coverage with the story, and the well-timed story exploded in the U.S. media as journalists cited unnamed "intelligence sources." The furor even spurred a Democratic senator to discuss a possible air strike against Nicaragua. After Reagan won reelection, it was revealed that the story was a big hoax. Several journalists later acknowledged they'd been handed the story by Reich's office. Shortly thereafter, when the narco-contra scandal--poorly named the Iran-Contra scandal-- blew open with the discovery of drug trafficking operations managed by Cuban-American terrorists Felix Rodriguez and Luis Posada Carriles, Reagan was forced to remove Reich from the White House. As a reward for this exemplary service, Bush II then appointed him as “Chief Diplomatic Bombthrower” in Latin American affairs.
Reich then personally masterminded the April 11, 2002 coup in Venezuela. In still another example of audacious U.S. interventionism, Reich then began to systematically subvert the will of the Venezuelan people. He orchestrated the disinformation campaign carried out by the private Venezuelan media, the siege of the Cuban embassy in Caracas, the false resignation of President Chávez and his alleged plea for asylum in Cuba. This gross package of deceit and lies is vintage Otto Reich.
Reich also plotted the terrorist bombing of a Cuban airliner, killing 76 people including the Cuban Olympic fencing team. CIA agent Orlando Bosch was implicated in the bombing, and detained in Venezuela, but Reich was able to infiltrate Venezuelan intelligence to get him released. Reich came to the United States as a boy, and established his Venezuelan network in military circles — thus obtaining an order for Bosch's release from a military tribunal--and within the Venezuelan secret services, in which the CIA and the U.S. embassy had their people well placed. When Reich was appointed by Bush as ambassador to Venezuela, it was widely perceived as an insult to Venezuelans.
That same U.S. embassy in Caracas is currently occupied by Ambassador Charles Shapiro, former head of the State Department's Cuba Desk, who harbored the central civilian conspirators of the April 11, 2002 coup on a regular basis, for several weeks prior to the execution of the coup.
Reich threw himself into his passion for his cockeyed “journalism” again, starting on January 11, when Bush handed him his new post — against the will of the Senate, but Senate confirmation was not required. Reich promptly started in again February 2002, as he started to feed the U.S. press misinformation of an alleged malaise within the Venezuelan administration. The Washington Post fell for his bait again, writing of a “precarious and dangerous situation,” quoting “a senior State Department official.”
On February 5, 2002, Secretary of State Colin Powell said, right on cue, to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Chávez had “broken with democracy.” On February 6, CIA Director George Tenet and Carl Ford, aide to the secretary of state for intelligence, spoke before the Senate Intelligence Committee of a climate of crisis in Venezuela, a scripted “crisis” that the CIA and Reich were contriving.
On February 7, Colonel Pedro Soto, former aide to Carlos Andrés Perez (president at the time of the 1992 coup led by Chávez), affirmed that he represented "75% of the armed forces," and publicly attacked the Chávez government. He was then invited by an international institute, a CIA client, to visit Miami and then Washington, where he was briefed in preparation for the coup. Then, on April 11, back in his home country, he went center stage loudly celebrating the "return to democracy," along with other Cuban-American terrorist leaders that Reich planted there.
Then Reich and his American cohorts from the Bush Administration mounted a steadily, increasingly more brazen deception campaign that was rapidly joined by the Venezuelan private press, which began to run a grossly hostile campaign against the government. El Universal daily and Radio Caracas Television, Globovision and Venevision TV networks were already actively preparing the media-military coup, channeling misinformation and systematically agitating the constitutional government and the head of state.
The coup was motivated by the U.S. government’s desire to seize control of Venezuela's oil industry, consisted of staging a general strike “Part I,” which happened on April 11, 2002, when Bush-backed rich white-collar executives and managers walked off their jobs and locked out their employees at Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), the nationalized Venezuelan oil company, to give the appearance of a huelga (strike). This was Bush’s response to protest Chávez’ appointment of political allies to the board of directors of the Venezuelan company, infringing on what Bush considers his domain of influence. After the CIA unleashed their rabble-rousers, Bush’s henchmen violently knocked Chávez out of power and replaced immediately by an American-puppet regime, which only lasted for only two days as Chávez recouped power and replaced the top level CIA-backed military officers that staged the coup. The CIA then whisked the officers back to the U.S., while Reich contemplates his next “strategy for Venezuela,” whether it be a military invasion, or another covert blast on the Venezuelan government.
As Bush & Reich had control of the Venezuelan media, they had most of the country convinced that there was a “crisis,” but it was a Bush/CIA-led coup against Venezuelan President Chávez, which the CIA has been routinely pulling off for more than 50 years in most of the Central- and South American countries.
“Part II” of the coup/general strike began on December 2, 2002. The Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Reich, Negroponte, Shapiro, Abrams, et al planned strike is intended to cause long-term economic devastation to a country that depends on oil, as does Iraq, as its main source of income. The national currency, the bolivar, lost about 30 percent of its value against the American dollar in just January of 2003 alone. Violence continued throughout the month of January, 2003, Bush is leading the bull rush to annex the oil fields in both Iraq and Venezuela into American “interests,” which is a Bush administration code word for domination of a country’s economy by American, British, & Israeli billionaires. The strike succeeded in cutting Venezuela’s oil production by approximately 75%, and has cost the government billion, according to Rafael Ramirez, the Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Mines, and has forced the petroleum-rich country to import their gasoline in January. The government, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Citgo, the company's American retail arm based in Tulsa, OK, have all had their debt downgraded, which usually parallels a drop in their stock price.
During the coup, the same Bush/Reich disinformation mob cut off the broadcast of Chávez’ speech to the people and repeated lie after lie, unleashing violent incidents that would subsequently serve to “justify” the subversive operation. Meanwhile, the representatives of the new "order" were destroying state television program material.
Then the communications banditos spread the lie that Chávez had resigned, silenced all public pronouncements by members of the government, and lauded the criminal coup. Then enter stage right another of the cast of characters in the Bush/Reich act, Ambassador Shapiro, who executed his line by proclaiming that April 11 was an “extraordinary day in the history of Venezuela.”
On the morning of Saturday, April 13, speaking before more than 30,000 people at a rally in the municipality of Guira de Melena, Habana province, in the presence of Cuban President Fidel Castro, Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban ambassador to the United Nations, clearly denounced the media disinformation campaign in Venezuela. "The truth is that a coup d'etat has taken place in Venezuela and that a sellout and pro-U.S. junta is usurping, by means of force, the power invested in President Chávez by the Venezuelan people, with hopes of erasing decades of injustice and corruption by applying Simón Bolivar's ideals."
Other lies followed the one alleging Chávez' resignation, including the assertion that Chávez had sought asylum in Cuba, which was rapidly refuted by Havana.
Indeed, the media complicity with the coup organizers was so strong that when they attempted to kidnap the imprisoned president out of the country to the United States, it was planned to transport him aboard a private plane registered in the United States in the name of Gustavo Cisneros, the owner of the Venevision TV network.
An editorial in the supposedly left-wing Washington Post condescendingly calls Chávez “the next Castro”. The American government still controls two major Latino media hubs, in Colombia and Miami.
Meanwhile, CNN en Español linked up with Globovision to finally announce the taking of Miraflores Palace by the people and the presidential guard of honor — five hours after it happened.
Lies, deception, violence, terror: everything smacks of Otto Reich in this failed coup, including the U.S. government-sponsored hysterical rabble of Cuban-Venezuelan émigrés that surrounded the Cuban embassy in Caracas for a number of hours, destroying cars and threatening to enter by force - before fleeing when Chávez’ return was announced.
Otto Reich, the White House's top representative in Latin America, servant of the Miami mafia and protector of terrorists, had a fleeting triumph on April 11, 2002. But this time he had a bitter pill to swallow— that the voice of the people, when the truth is imparted to them — is much stronger than a flurry of lies and deceit.
John Negroponte, a Yale crony of G.W. Bush, was sworn in as United States Representative to the United Nations just one week after 9/11/01. Negroponte oversaw U.S. government-sponsored large-scale murders of approximately 700 people while in Honduras serving as U.S. Ambassador to Honduras (1981-85) while Bush I was vice-president, before he got promoted to Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (1985-87), which is basically a public-relations deceptive buzz phrase for “off-shore oil drilling czar” in the Caribbean and elsewhere around the world. He also served as Ambassador under Bush I to another oil-rich country, Mexico (1989-93).
Elliott Abrams, who headed the Latin American bureau for the State Department during the Reagan/Bush I administration, and Iran-contra figure who plead guilty to two counts of lying to the U.S. Congress about sending arms to Iran, which was supposedly America’s enemy during the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war, to help Iran to kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis while the U.S. was also helping Iraq to kill hundreds of thousands of Iranians, unbeknownst to each other at the time. Bush confidant Henry Kissinger’s private quote during the war? “I hope they both kill each other,” referring the the Iraq-Iran war. The U.S. Government theorized that if they could help Iranians & Iraqis obliterate each other, the U.S. could move in with little resistance to take over the oil fields. Abrams has been rewarded for his faithful service to the Bushes with a key post among President Bush II's “national security” aides, an assistant to Condoleezza Rice, who sits on the board of Chevron/Texaco. His current assignment with Bush is to help perpetuate Israeli/American military dominance of the Middle East, by disarming all other countries in the region while the U.S. arms Israel to the hilt with enough nuclear warheads to holocaust all Arab populations off the face of the map in just one day.
BUSH/CIA MODUS OPERANDI
The Bush II coup d’etat plan in Venezuela included a takeover of the armed Venezuelan police, which instigated mass violence as Chávez ordered his military to disarm the police. As of February 6, 2003, Chávez appeared to be wrestling control of Venezuela’s media away from U.S. government control from April 2002 – January 2003 and restoring it back to Venezuelan control.
As it is doing in Iraq, the Bush administration claims the right to change regimes anywhere in the world it sees fit. The standard line that Bush uses is that he is going to “liberate” the people as he installs his “American style democracy” puppet government, which is really a dictator obeying the dictates of Bush and the U.S. government. A neutral observer would wonder how Bush would react if China or Russia were to invade the U.S. with overwhelming military force and change the U.S. regime by installing their own puppet government?
Chávez publicly held up photographs of innocent children killed in the American bombing attacks in Afghanistan in late 2001 & 2002, denouncing Bush for "fighting terrorism with terrorism." The Bush administration responded by temporarily withdrawing its ambassador to Venezuela.
Bush was also irked by the fact that Venezuela began selling oil to Cuba at lower rates, as Bush has determined that he ought to be the one who controls Venezuela’s oil, and also dictate to Venezuela whom to sell oil to at what price, and tell Venezuela who their friends and enemies should be. Cuba is located in the Caribbean Sea between the U.S. and Venezuela.
Chávez, through his defense minister, asked the U.S. government to withdraw its military from its headquarters in Caracas, saying its presence was no longer warranted since the dissolution of the Soviet threat in the late 1980’s, which ended the “Cold War.” So Bush covertly declared war on Venezuela, like he does on every oil-rich country that dares to declare its independence from U.S. government/oil company hegemony.
Bush is upset that Chávez is not complying with U.S. demands that Venezuela open up their airspace to U.S. “counter-drug” flights so the U.S. can fight the Colombian guerrillas. Bush is also convinced that he should control Venezuela’s airspace, not any duly-elected Venezuelan president. And this is the same America that is supposedly the beacon of freedom and proclaimer of independence from tyranny?!
Another of Bush’s motivations for the coup is that Venezuela is not pro-actively searching out information on its large Arab community so these “suspicious” individuals could be turned over to the U.S. Bush wants Venezuela to allow US intelligence agencies to operate autonomously with full reign in the South American country, as if America rules the country. After all, the Bushes have ruled it for so many years that Bush considers it his own.
Bush is also incensed that Chávez is questioning the U.S. government’s “inalienable right” to dominate the entire world’s oil supply, and that Chávez is organizing a regional free-trade bloc and uniting Latin American petroleum operations as a way to break free from U.S. economic exploitation of Latin-American oil.
Bush is also miffed that Chávez has good relations with Sadaam Hussein in Iraq, Fidel Castro in Cuba, and Moammar Khadaffi in Libya, who share Chávez’ dream that each country should be able to control is own oil reserves free from U.S. imperialistic aggression. The U.S. media demonizes any country that attempts to declare its independence from the tyrannical United States.
Unlike Bush II, who was born into opulent wealth, Chávez grew up very poor, and empathizes with the 80% of Venezuela’s population that is currently living in poverty, while the U.S. & Venezuelan oil executives in the country are living extravagantly prosperous lives unconcerned with the rampant economic enslavement, mass starvation and squalor of the populace at large. The U.S. government wants to overthrow Chávez as punishment for his steadfast reluctance to capitulate to U.S. imperialism. After Chávez fired the dissident Bush white-collar Venezuelan managers after the walkout/coup on April 11, 2002, he made the mistake of reinstating them shortly afterwards. That led to the next coup attempt on December, 2, 2002, by the same clan that made another coup attempt, but by February 2003, after Chávez made another round of mass firings, this time apparently for good, declaring victory February 5, 2003 as he once again sent the elite Bush-backed executives back to the U.S. to plot their next offensive.
The Washington Post reported from Venezuela on April 13, 2002: "Members of the country's diverse opposition had been visiting the U.S. Embassy here in recent weeks,” hoping to enlist U.S. “foreign aid” in expelling the democratically-elected Chávez. The visitors included active and retired members of the military, media leaders and opposition politicians.
The U.S. government said publicly that “we wouldn't support a coup," but that public relations disinformation is right out of the CIA “regime changing” handbook. Part of the coup includes organizing street demonstrations that represent very small percentages of the Venezuelan population, and then declaring that “the will of the people” has been done after the government overthrow.
The CIA also brought opposition Venezuelan legislators to Washington last year, including at least one delegation sponsored by the International Republican Institute, an integral part of the “National Endowment for Democracy,” long used by the CIA for covert operations abroad.
Chevron/Texaco Corp., the company for whom Bush’s “National Security Advisor” Condoleezza Rice has sat on the Board of Directors, has restarted its Boscan field on the western shore of Lake Maracaibo and produces 120,000 barrels a day there.
BUSH I & HIS FAVORITE LATIN AMERICAN CORRUPSTER - COLOMBIA’S RODRIGO VILLAMIZAR: “THE TEXAS-COLUMBIA OIL CONNECTION,” A 31-YEAR PARTNERSHIP IN HIGH-LEVEL CRIME. VENEZUELA’S CHÁVEZ TRYING TO BREAK BUSH LOCK ON COLOMBIA’S OIL CARTEL, & BRING IT INTO SOUTH AMERICA’S FOLD.
Colombia's state oil company Ecopetrol, allows foreign investment via joint partnership contracts. Ecopetrol received a big boost from the discovery of the giant Cusiana and the nearby Cupiagua fields in 1991, holding potential reserves of 1.6 billion barrels of crude oil and 3.0 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The fields are being developed primarily for export markets, with none other than the United States expected to be the major purchaser.
The Bush/Colombian oil connection began when George W. met Rodrigo Villamizar at a 1972 fraternity party in Austin, Texas. Villamizar and the young Bush hit it off immediately, and he told Bush he was looking for a job. A week later, Villamizar got a position in the Texas statehouse, as an adviser to the Committee of Economic Development--courtesy of George Bush II.
Four years later, in 1976, Villamizar again requested help from his pal, George W. Bush. The Colombian informed Bush that there was an opening on the Texas Public Utility Commission and he was interested in getting the job. Done. A few days later Villamizar received a copy of a letter of recommendation signed by Bush II's father, then director of the CIA, and former Texas governor John Connelly, a notorious corrupster in his own right, and Villamizar got the position.
When Villamizar returned to Colombia in the 1980s, he went to work exploiting the country's burgeoning oil reserves, setting up a series of satellite oil companies to U.S. firms and financial backers. He served as Colombia's ambassador to Japan, and then became Colombia's Minister of the Department of Minerals and Mines, where he supervised the sale of mining and oil concessions.
And naturally, one of the companies that benefited most from Villamizar's post in the Colombian government was Houston-based Harken Energy, that is the oil company that Bush II started personally. Bush's initial entry into the oil business was Arbusto (which means “bush” in Spanish), which merged with Spectrum 7, which was in turn bought out by Harken Energy in 1986. Of course, Bush got a seat on Harken's board, million in stock options, and a 0,000/year consulting contract.
Then, in the early 1990s, Bush II & Harken opened a subsidiary in Colombia, headquartered in Bogotá. Beginning in 1992, the company was awarded five contracts for drilling and production rights in Colombia. Of course the official who signed those deals was Villamizar. One hand washes the other. Now Harken sees Colombia as its main investment for the future, ahead of even the United States and other Latin American countries."
In 1997, during Colombian President (and Bush associate) Ernesto Samper’s “democratic” dictatorship (1994-1998) Villamizar’s extravagant spending habits began to arouse suspicion even in Colombia, long-known for its expansive gulf between the rich and poor. Samper’s campaign was largely financed by the cocaine lords. Villamizar was forced to resign his post in disgrace when he was caught selling off public radio stations and keeping the profits. The affair became known as the "Mitad-Mitad" or "half-and-half" scandal, because Villamizar split the illegal profits down the middle with Saulo Arboleda, another minister in the Samper government. When Bush installs his puppet governments in any country, the form of government he fears the most are democracies, because they have an inherent balance of power. Bush instead highly prefers an extremely powerful executive branch. The existence of the legislative branch is primarily for public relations purposes, so Bush can say that the U.S. government supports their “democracy.” As a result of people of all political persuasions having virtually no representation in Colombia, there is a constant tendency of the unleashing of pent-up violence coming from both the left and the right sides of the political spectrum against the corrupt dictatorships because of their lack of representation.
Also during his tenure as minister of Colombia's Department of Minerals and Mines, Villamizar rapidly auctioned off the Colombian rainforest to international mining and oil companies, including land held by native indigenous tribes such as the U'Wa, who, against their will, were unceremoniously “cleansed” from the land they had lived on for centuries. Villamizar became an opulently wealthy man and a best friend of jet-setting American oil company executives and politicians like George Bush II.
Just before Bush took office in January 2001, Villamizar was invited to Bush's Crawford, Texas, ranch for a meeting as Bush asked him to develop a new U.S. strategy for further oil exploitation in Colombia. According to the March 2002 issue of Cambio, George Bush has more than 0 million in oil investments in Colombia. Harken de Colombia’s latest contract with Ecopetrol, duration of six years, was signed on February 18, 2002.
On December 4, 2001, Villamizar was sentenced to 52 months in prison for the “Mitad-Mitad” scandal, after a criminal court judge from the Bogotá circuit found him responsible for the crime of "illicit interest." Ex-minister Arboleda had already been sentenced for his part in the case. The key evidence in the case was a tape recording of a phone call between Villamizar and Arboleda, where they talk of how they should divide up the ownership of several FM stations.
After being sentenced to 4½ years in prison, the last thing Villamizar wanted was to actually serve his time in prison. After all, he has American friends in high places. And sure enough, with a little help from his friends, Villamizar was whisked out of Colombia, a fugitive from justice. Upon his arrival back in the U.S., Bush II rewarded Villamizar for his upstanding service by creating a position in his cabinet especially for Villamizar, as “Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs.” But Villamizar declined the offer, saying he had to first get himself out of his legal quagmire.
Villamizar released a report on November 11, 2002. It candidly describes the U.S. goal of opening Colombia to increased exploitation by international oil conglomerates. It cites the various Colombian guerrilla liberation factions as the major obstacle to this objective and urges Bush to expand the U.S. commitment to the “Plan Colombia” U.S. military intervention. Canadian Oxy is co-owner of a contract for exploiting an important oil well discovered in the Sumapaz region, near Bogotá. This region was declared a war zone the same week as “Plan Colombia” was initiated.
Of course Harken has been one of the biggest supporters of “Plan Colombia,” the U.S.-funded “anti-drug campaign” that has put billion into the hands of the Colombian military. By accepting the money, Bush II now can mandate that the Colombian military, with “advice” from the U.S. military, also be used to guarantee American control of the oil fields. Bush lackey Villamizar conveniently argues that the Colombian military “isn't up to the task of fighting both the revolutionaries and the drugs,” so he proceeds to justify further U.S. intervention in Colombia to keep the notoriously corrupt government from falling. Additionally, he also seeks refuge behind the U.S. war machine to protect him from the wrath of the Colombian people who would like to see his head roll. By the way, Al Gore, of Occidental Petroleum was also a strong supporter of “Plan Colombia,” so American foreign policy in Colombia would not have been much different even if he had prevailed over Bush in the 2000 election. During the eight-year reign of Clinton/Gore, Bush and the oil companies were still allowed to set the same basic foreign policy in Colombia.
While Bush depends on the ignorance of American taxpayers to finance his oil wars, he is assured that his own corporation is exempted from paying taxes. In 1997 George W. Bush II’s oil company, (whose name was changed from Bush Exploration Co. to disguise his personal control of the company) under the new name Harken Energy, (which includes the Harken de Colombia division), a Cayman Islands corporation (so Bush can avoid paying taxes to the same U.S. government that he’s in charge of) signed a contract July 22, 1997 with the Colombian government. The contract is published at: http://contracts.corporate.findlaw.com/agreements/harken/parker.drill.1997.07.22.html.
“Hearken” back to the infamous, contemptuous comment made by billionaire Leona Helmsley, the New York City hotel magnate, back in the 1980’s, “Only little people pay taxes.” Some things never change.
Other oil companies in Colombia that Bush has paved the way for include BP (British Petroleum)-Amoco, (did you ever wonder why Britain is always such a good ally of the U.S.?) Shell/Occidental, and Chevron/Texaco. The Andean region of Columbia between 1995-97, according to some accounts, supplied more oil to the United States than did the Middle East.
Here is a list of the last 4 Colombian presidents over at least the last 13 years whom have all been Bush/American lackeys, supported even by Bill Clinton/Al Gore. They never get re-elected because of the endless public uproar against them:
CESAR GAVIRIA 1990-94
Has been a puppet to both George Bush I in 1990, and still to this day in 2003, is working for George Bush II to “mediate” the U.S. government-concocted April 11 “strike” in Venezuela. Back in 1990, Bush I lied to President-elect Gaviria, telling him that there was no foundation to press reports about massive U.S. military involvement in Colombia. History proves that there was indeed.
ERNESTO SAMPER, 1994-98
Prior to 1994, American oil companies had partnership contracts with Ecopetrol that essentially shared revenue 50%/50%. But under Samper the contracts were modified so the American/British energy conglomerates got 75% of the revenue, leaving just 25% to stay in Colombia with the national oil company Ecopetrol. This scandal outraged many from the poverty-ridden country. These revised contracts favoring American & British oil companies enrich them even further, in addition to enriching the corrupt Colombian politicos, collecting their take of the bounty, and represents still another loss for the impoverished people of Colombia. Samper’s advisor was none other than former Nixon National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, the U.S. master hitman of CIA government overthrows. Kissinger overthrew the democratically-elected President Salvador Allende of Chile back in 1973, by orchestrating the killing, torturing, brutalizing and rape of hundreds of innocent Chilean citizens who had done nothing more than participate in and try to defend their democratic elections. Also killed was American filmmaker Charles Horman. After the coup, Kissinger and Nixon then installed American puppet dictator Augusto Pinochet in Allende’s place. Kissinger is also the humanitarian who carpet-bombed and killed approximately 3 million innocent civilians in Cambodia during the Vietnam war. Because of Kissinger’s exemplary track record, Bush attempted to re-hire him in the “war on terror” in December of 2002, but because Kissinger refused to reveal his client list, which would have in turn divulged his past sordid activities, he was not allowed to accept the job.
To Bush, a terrorist is anyone who fights back against American imperialist aggression.
In another move to curiously accommodate Bush, Samper also eliminated the "war tax" on foreign oil companies for new fields discovered after January 1, 1995. The tax was originally instituted so the Colombian government could interdict against Colombian rebels who were regularly blowing up American oil pipeline installations in the country. After Bush & his American oil companies began to step up their incursion into Colombia, in 1996-97 alone more than 60 insurgent attacks were made on American oil infrastructure, including the country's largest oil pipeline, Caño Limón-Coveñas, which was attacked by Colombian independence warriors 12 times. U.S. “aid” to Colombia was temporarily suspended for these two years. In January 2003, Bush sent approximately 70 Green Berets to Arauca state in Colombia in January to train Colombian troops to protect an American oil pipeline that continues to be the target of rebel bombings due to the American occupation. The U.S. “foreign aid” is used to train the Colombian military how to suppress and kill opposition political parties. As Samper’s scandalous and violence-ridden term drew to an end in 1998, Bush II was already at work grooming Samper’s successor, another Colombian crony, Andrés Pastrana, who naturally had strong links with Harken de Colombia Energy Corporation for many years. The fact that Bill Clinton was still in the middle of serving his second term as president had no effect on the Bush family’s ongoing manipulation of Colombian politics.
ANDRÉS PASTRANA, 1998-2002
And guess who won the “election,” to become the next president of Colombia in August 1998? A coincidence, no doubt — Andrés Pastrana. Since Bush had approximately 0 million invested in Colombia, in his mind he practically owns Colombia, and he, by his own hubris, not the people of Colombia, should determine who the next president should be. Every four years, the U.S.-sponsored president-to-be runs under the supposed belief of the people that, “Here’s the savior you’ve all been waiting for to finally bring democracy and economic justice to all in Colombia.” But time and again, it becomes very clear that the real campaign slogan should have been — “Meet the New Boss, same as the Old Boss.”
In October 1999, while Bush was still Governor of Texas, he invited Pastrana to Houston to meet with him and executives of all the major American oil companies and energy companies, including Reliant Energy and the infamous Enron, both from Houston. Enron was the owner of most household gas networks in Colombia. The topic of discussion was, as always, Colombia’s oil and energy situation. Pastrana promised that all the major oil and gas exploration concessions would go to the American companies, in addition to the continuation of privatizations in the electricity sector.
In fiscal year 2002, U.S. taxpayers, led by Bush, pumped in 0 million in foreign aid to Colombia, which makes it the third largest U. S. aid recipient (after Israel, .8 billion and Egypt .9 billion per year). By accepting this money, Colombia’s military is beholden to the U.S. and must obey the Bush/U.S. oil-company mandates that unleash the fury of the U.S./Colombian military on any group that opposes U.S. policy in the region, especially FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), the leftist rebels fighting on behalf of the 80 percent of the population that are mired in incessant poverty and violence. Instead of the 0 million going to buy food and other necessities, it goes to the military to augment more violence, often under the pretext of “fighting a drug war.”
ÁLVARO URIBE VELEZ, 2002-06
This “foreign aid” also guarantees that Colombia’s “elections” will come out the way Bush & the oil companies want them too. Colombia’s most recent election took place on August 7, 2002, and again, another of Bush’s friends took office, Álvaro Uribe Velez, whose group was on the State Department’s terrorist list.
Bush’s own Secretary of State Colin Powell said September 10, 2001 that designating the AUC as a terrorist group should “leave no doubt that the United States considers terrorism to be unacceptable, regardless of the political or ideological purpose.”
Both Velez’s group, United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) were on the State Department’s terrorist list, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. AUC comprises several right-wing paramilitary groups supported by wealthy landowners, drug cartels, and segments of the Colombian military. AUC forces have assassinated leftist guerrillas, politicians, activists, and other Colombian civilians. Because Colombia’s government has little control of any territory outside the country’s major cities, all three organizations have been able to expand their operations and prosper by trading in cocaine, opium, oil, gold, and emeralds. Alvaro Uribe Velez won a landslide victory in Colombia’s May 2002 presidential election by promising to crack down on FARC.
When Uribe became President, last year, Bush was ecstatic. The State Department was now so enthusiastic about Uribe’s election that Ambassador Anne Woods Patterson made a special trip to congratulate Uribe on election night, before Uribe was declared the winner and his main opponent had conceded. What uncanny confidence the Bush administration had in his victory!
While previously serving as mayor of Medellin, Uribe helped to develop the AUC “United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia,” which is a coalition of death squads that targets and kills destitute Colombian civilians for daring to challenge their U.S. masters, who have subjugated them to an endless cycle of economic slavery, so people like Dick Cheney can continue to get their million a year (which is how much Cheney earned in 2000 as CEO of his Halliburton oil company) while innocent Colombian children die from malnutrition and violence. Cheney is connected to Unocal, Exxon, Shell and Chevron.
The recently increased U.S. “foreign aid” to Colombia also guarantees U.S. control of their oil fields. U. S. troops, advisors and contractors stationed in Colombia have recently intensified their intelligence, surveillance, and military coordination in support of the Bush/Uribe government and its military forces to defeat the Colombian citizens fighting for independence from foreign (U.S.) control. The U.S./Colombian military junta has recently seized control of the Southern part of Colombia.
END PART 1 OF 2
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