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by Stephen Lendman
Friday, Nov. 24, 2006 at 1:52 PM
HOW THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION IS TRYING TO UNDERMINE HUGO CHAVEZ
Eva Golinger's New Book - Bush vs. Chavez - by Stephen Lendman
Eva Golinger's eagerly awaited new book is now out - but only for those able to read and understand Spanish as it's not yet available in English. It's appropriately called Bush vs. Chavez - Washington's War Against against Venezuela published by Monte Avila Editores in Caracas. Hopefully it will soon be available in English as well.
Golinger is a Venezuelan-American attorney specializing in international human rights and immigration law. She wrote her first blockbuster book published in 2005 called The Chavez Code - Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela that documented the events surrounding the 2002 US-directed failed coup against Hugo Chavez that ousted him for two days and that the people of Venezuela through their mass outrage reversed. In her first book, Golinger obtained top-secret documents from the CIA and State Department through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests showing the Bush administration had prior knowledge of and was complicit in the 2002 coup against President Chavez and had provided over million in funding aid to opposition groups to help pull it off. It failed because they hadn't expected the kind of people-power that's likely to arise again in the face of trouble and support the president they love and won't give up without a fight.
Golinger also showed how the US government funded the so-called National Endowment for Democracy (NED) that functions to subvert the democratic process to help oust leaders more concerned with serving their own people than the interests of wealth and power. Also involved in the coup plot was the international arm of the Republican party, the International Republican Institute (IRI), the National Democratic Institute, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the AFL-CIO that has a long and disturbing record of acting as an instrument of US foreign policy instead of sticking to what it's mandated to do - representing the interests of American working people it falls far short of much too often in its policy of selling out to the interests of capital for the personal gain of the union's leadership.
In the Chavez Code, Golinger showed how these agencies funded and worked with the Chavez opposition beginning in 2001 cooking up schemes that led to mass-staged street protests leading up to the day of the coup. It was done with the full knowledge and approval of the Bush White House that mounted a full-scale effort post-9/11 to oust Hugo Chavez and has now tried and failed three times to do it.
In her new book, Golinger picks up from her first one chronicling the Bush adminstration's focused efforts at illegal intervention in Venezuelan affairs attempting to destabilize the Chavez government leading up to another scheme to overthrow it that may be only days away following the December 3 presidential election Chavez is virtually certain to win impressively. The book documents the usual kinds of mischief directed out of Washington:
-- a demonization campaign conducted through the complicit US corporate-controlled media that's likely to reach a crescendo in early December.
-- financing 132 anti-Chavez groups. Golinger explains ...."the US is funding these organizations in civil society....to obtain control in all different parts of the country." She goes on to say "The US government has censored the names of organizations, but they've left the descriptions of what the funding is for....what they are proposing to do with the money; we just don't know if they're actually doing it."
-- The Bush administration is making a determined effort at subversion in the run-up to the December 3 election "bringing down their best experts....political strategists, communications experts, to help them craft the entire (opposition) campaign" - of Zulia state governor Manuel Rosales who was the only governor in the country to sign the infamous Carmona Decree after the 2002 coup that dissolved the elected National Assembly and Supreme Court and effectively ended the Bolivarian Revolution and all the benefits it gave the Venezuelan people (for two days.)
-- The Bush administration is conducting "diplomatic terrorism" against the Chavez government. Golinger explains "This includes sanctions against Venezuela for made-up things....claiming Venezuela is not collaborating on (curbing) drug trafficking, which is not true (as a US State Department report shows by having documented that from 1998 - 2004 Venezuela's drug seizures rose from 8.6 to 19.1 tons and Caracas claims the tonnage rose dramatically in 2005)." It also includes a "second sanction....for trafficking in persons. But there is not a shred of evidence that Venezuela is not doing everything in its power to prevent trafficking in persons."
-- Most important of all, the US created a new classification in May, 2006 "and Venezuela is the only country (under it) - which is for not cooperating with the war on terrorism." Venezuela is now sanctioned and "prohibited from buying arms that have been manufactured in the US or use US parts." The Bush administration is hard-pressed explaining what this new classification means, why Venezuela in the only country accused under it, and what the Chavez government is doing. It can only say (fraudulently) "All the countries on the list are state sponsors of terrorism" even though the US has never classified Venezuela as a terrorist nation as the world community would never go along with that kind of outrage.
-- a campaign of hostile rhetoric coming out of Washington has been ongoing for some time and is part of the Chavez-demonization project attempting to justify whatever schemes the Bush administration has cooked up trying for the fourth time to oust him. It comes in the harshest language and from the highest levels in the administration like Secretary of State Rice referring to Chavez as "a negative force in the region" and now fired and discredited former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld calling Chavez another Hitler and one of the most dangerous and destabilizing forces in the region.
-- Golinger also explains the US Congress issued a report on border issues mentioning Venezuela and incredibly saying: "President Chavez is engaged in smuggling Islamic radicals from out of the Middle East to Margarita Island (off the Venezuelan coast) where they are training them in Spanish and giving them ID documents and sending them to Mexico, where they are crossing the border to the US."
-- Golinger also covers Washington's "military front" attack directed against Venezuela including "an increased presence in the region." She explains she investigated the Pentagon's presence on the tourist island of Curacao in the Caribbean, close enough to Venezuela to see the coastline, where a US base is located. She calls this an "alarming" development, and it's being supported by the government of The Netherlands.
-- Golinger also cites the Pentagon's use of anti-Chavez directed psychological warfare including the use of ugly agitprop directed against the Chavez government.
-- She also explains "The use of Colombian paramilitaries by the US (as part of the "military front")....And the intervention of US Special Forces....as well." US Special Forces handle the command-and-control function directing the intruding paramilitaries who are "actors....sent over to try to assassinate Chavez."
-- Further, the book covers the US "building up a secret base near the border with Venezuela, next to Apure state....a small base, but the US is building airplane hangars for spy planes (to be used as a) launching point for espionage operations and monitoring of Venezuela. They also have large amounts of high-ranking US Special Forces there" along with high and low-ranking Colombian forces all controlled by US Special Forces.
Golinger shows how once again the Bush administration is funding and directing the above-mentioned agencies like NED to subvert and overthrow democracy in Venezuela as well as one other one - Sumate - a nominally non-governmental organization (NGO) founded in 2002 by a group of Venezuelans led by Maria Corina Machado functioning as an anti-governmental organization dedicated to the overthrow of Hugo Chavez and the return of the country to its ugly past ruled by the former oligarchy and the interests of capital.
The book also covers possible Bush administration plans to invade the country outlined in Plan Balboa. It "was created as a military exercise jointly simulated with NATO (an arm of US interventionism) forces, supposedly realized during the month of May, 2001....but contains real satellite images, of the US institutions and precise coordinates of Venezuelan airstrips and strategic points within the territory of the country." The idea is to "come in from Colombia, Panama and from bases in Curacao....take over (oil-rich) Zulia (state) and the border area and declare it an international zone" - in other words, divide the country and steal the oil-rich part of it by force, then deal with the rest of the country.
She also discusses the possibility of Colombian right wing paramilitary intervention, and she believes their mission is to assassinate Hugo Chavez. She interviewed a paramilitary leader who told her there are already more than 3000 paramilitaries in the region around Caracas alone.
If paramilitaries intervene, it won't be the first time as this tactic has been used before and was foiled by Venezuelan police when a paramilitary plot was uncovered and arrests were made. Chavez has also had to combat years of paramilitary infiltration across the border conducting a wave of kidnappings and assassinations, especially in areas bordering the two countries like in Tachina state where the number of killings rose from 81 in 1999 to 566 in 2005.
There's also considerable evidence Colombian right wing president and close Bush ally Alvaro Uribe had a hand in these activities as well as the present destabilization efforts to oust Hugo Chavez and possibly try to assassinate him. He has a long and ugly record supporting the interests of wealth and power in his own country and has used his paramilitary assassins to leave a long trail of blood in displacing three million peasants from their land as well as having one of the worst records of state-sponsored terrorism in the world and a well-known contempt for democracy and human rights.
Golinger believes there are plans in place to overthrow the Chavez government and recently said Washington is "trying to implement regime change (in Venezuela). There's no doubt about it (even though it) tries to mask it saying it's a noble mission."
Many longtime Venezuelan observers and this writer believe the next attempt at regime change will unfold around the time of the December 3 election and likely begin the day after its conclusion when Hugo Chavez is virtually certain to be declared the winner with an impressive margin of victory. Expect it to include mass-opposition street protests claiming fraud and demanding Chavez not be allowed to claim victory and another term in office. Whatever happens next, only the coup-plotters know for sure, but it's almost certain to be ugly and may include US-behind-the-scenes-directed violence, possibly extreme in a determined effort to succeed this time unlike previous attempts to oust Chavez that failed.
We'll soon learn whether the coup-plotters will be any more successful this time than before. Chavez knows something is up and is prepared to act against it when it comes. It won't be long before the fireworks begin, and it now remains to be seen how the latest chapter in the saga of the Bush administration vs. Hugo Chavez will play out. Stay closely tuned.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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