When the coup took place in Caracas, Venezuela, on April 11, the usurper of the U.S. Presidency, George W. Bush, had his press agent, Ari Fleischer, state, “Chavez brought it on himself.”
Yet, according to an article in The London Observer by Ed Vulliamy, “Washington was deeply immersed in the overthrow of Chavez many months ago.”
The plan was hatched by Otto Reich, the professional liar and behind-the-scenes hater of Cuba just shortly after Bush named him Under Secretary of Latin American Affairs.
There were a number of other players besides Reich in the Bush administration who planned this coup d’etat. One of the main characters was Eliot Abrams, convicted of giving false information during his involvement in the Iran-Contra Affair, later pardoned from prison by former President George Bush. Abrams presently heads the National Security Council for Democracy, Human Rights and International Operations. A leading braintruster in the Council, Abrams was head of the school known as ‘Hemispherism,’ the main purpose of which is to combat Marxism in the Americas.
The third person in the coup conspiracy is John Negroponte, newly appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Negroponte, ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1986, sat silently while death squads tortured and murdered hundreds of political activists campaigning for social change. The death squads were trained at the School of Americas.
The London Observer confirmed that, “the U.S. government was not only aware of the coup but sanctioned it.”
These three scoundrels were the main architects of the coup at the behest of George W. Bush. They had a number of meetings with Pedro Carmona, the business magnet who headed the coup government, the Venezuela military, and Gustavo Cisneros, the multi-billionaire magnet who owns four of the five television stations and all the radio stations in Venezuela.
At the time of the right-wing demonstrations, Cisneros jammed the one government TV station and focused on the right-wing counter-democracy mob. According to Newsweek, Reich and Cisneros deny having anything to do with the coup except speaking to Carmona for information on the situation.
The most glaring information on the coup came from a report by James Madsen and Richard M. Bennet, former National Security Officers. They reported that, from Eastern Colombia, the CIA and the U.S. government “contracted military personnel, ostensibly used for counter-narcotics operations and stood by to provide logistics support for the leading members of the coup.”
Additional U.S. Navy vessels in a training exercise in the Outer Range in the U.S. Navy’s Southern Puerto Rico Operating Area also stood by in the event that the coup against Chavez faltered, thus requiring a military evacuation of U.S. citizens. The ships included the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and the destroyers USS Barry, Laboon, Mahan and Arthur W. Radford. Some of the latter vessels reportedly had NSA Direct Support Units aboard to provide additional signals intelligence support to U.S. special operatives and intelligence personnel deployed on the ground in close cooperation with the Venezuelan army and along the Colombian side of the border.
The CIA provided Special Operations Group personnel headed by a lieutenant colonel on loan from U.S. Special Operations Command from Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This group was involved since the summer of 2001 and contacted pro-U.S. military officers including Venezuelan Arms Forces Chief General Lucas Rincon, Deputy Security Minister Gen. Luis Camacho Kairuz, and union leaders from the state-owned oil company PDVSA and the Venezuelan Workers Confederation (CTV). Last summer, the CIA lieutenant colonel began meeting with corporate and labor leaders at the PVDSA refinery in Maracaibo to lay plans for the coup against Chavez. Carmona, who heads the FEDECAMARAS business syndicate, was recruited early on, too. It is quite obvious that millions of dollars was used to pay off the labor leaders.
This information has never been published in American newspapers. Yet our government screams about freedom of the press issues in Cuba.
We need a full investigation of the U.S. role in the attempted Venezuelan coup and American newspapers need to publicize the role of the U.S. government in undermining democracy.
Chavez was catapulted back into power by the Venezuelan people who had voted him in as president in the first place. People in glass houses should not throw stones.
John Gilman is the Director of Wisconsin Committee for Peace and Justice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org