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Declass. Documents Back Venezuelan President’s Claim of US Aid to Opposition Groups

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
Declassified Documents Back Venezuelan President’s Claim of US Aid to Opposition Groups
Tuesday, Feb 10, 2004

By: Eva Golinger, Venezuelanalysis.com

Caracas, Venezuela. Feb 10, 2004 (www.Venezuelanalysis.com).- On his weekly live radio and television show, “Hello Mr. President”, Venezuelan head of state, Hugo Chávez, announced that his administration has obtained proof of direct funding from the United States government to virulent opposition groups in Venezuela seeking to oust him.

President Chavez declared that the proof of US financing of groups working to destabilize and overthrow his government through unconstitutional means is now “circulating on the Internet.” Specifically, Chavez confirmed the existence of documents indicating the opposition group Sumate, had received USD $53,400 from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (“NED”). This is part of more than $800,000 distributed to various anti-Chavez organizations over the last two years.

The evidence referred to by the Venezuelan leader was made available to the public via the World Wide Web on the newly launched website, www.Venezuelafoia.info. The site, funded by a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the United States, the Venezuela Solidarity Committee, contains hundreds of documents evidencing the direct chain of financial aid from various U.S. government departments to Venezuelan opposition groups. The documents on Venezuelafoia.info were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by veteran investigative journalist Jeremy Bigwood, an expert in FOIA requests. This act enables citizens to formally request access to classified U.S. government documents belonging to different agencies and departments. The respective government agency then analyzes the documents, and decides whether or not to release them to the solicitor. Often such documents are released, but certain sentences, names, or whole pages may be crossed-out with marker if determined in the interest of ‘national security.’

How the Freedom of Information Act has been used

The FOIA has been used to uncover US government involvement in the 1973 coup d’etat against President Salvador Allende, as well as numerous other US covert wars and interventions throughout the world. FOIA has also been used by U.S. citizens to uncover the brutal actions of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), the U.S. government’s domestic intelligence agency that destroyed entire social movements in the 1960s and 1970s, such as the American Indian Movement and the Black Panthers Party. Once the intrusive, aggressive and unconstitutional tactics of former FBI head J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) were revealed, public outcry forced the U.S. Congress to put the program to rest through denial of funding.



Money for recall against Chavez

The documents discovered through Bigwood’s FOIA requests on Venezuela reveal a consistent pattern of funding from various U.S. agencies and entities, such as the Department of State and the National Endowment for Democracy, to several known anti-Chávez groups in Venezuela. One of these groups, Sumate, received USD$53,400 for “Electoral Education” during the period September 2003 – September 2004. The funds awarded to Sumate were, according to the NED grant, to “train citizens throughout Venezuela in the electoral process and to promote participation in a recall referendum.” Sumate is the organization that led an unapproved referendum drive back in February 2003, attempting to remove President Chavez before half of his term, which is not permitted by Venezuelan law. Sumate claimed to have collected “27 million signatures in one day”, yet it was later discovered that a majority of these signatures were gathered through fraudulent means, including photocopied from bank records and credit card receipts.

Other groups funded by the NED and the State Department that are included on Venezuelafoia.info include groups linked to Primero Justicia, an outspoken anti-Chávez right-wing party that has promoted undemocratic measures to oust the Venezuelan leader. Although they have acknowledged that it was wrong for them to have participated in the April 2002 coup and the lock-out of December 2002, Primero Justicia is presently refusing to accept a decision by Venezuela’s National Elections Council on the possibility of a constitutional recall referendum against President Chavez, if it is not in their favor.

A Continuous and Intimate Relationship Between the US and the Opposition

Venezuelafoia.info includes pages and pages of internal memoranda and email communications between the NED and the State Department and the NED and the various Venezuelan opposition groups. These communications evidence a continuous intimate relationship between the parties that demonstrates a profound support coming out of the U.S. government for these groups. Numerous email communications between Chris Sabatini, Senior Program Director of NED’s Latin America and Caribbean Department, and the various NED benefactors in Venezuela express his concern for the political developments in Venezuela and his reinforcement of support for the grant recipients.

One memorandum between the State Department and the NED reveals a supplemental $1,000,000 awarded in April 2002, right after the failed coup d’etat against President Chávez, that was slighted for NED’s Venezuelan benefactors. The primary grant recipients include the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Smaller grant recipients include Acción Campesina, Asociación Civil Asamblea de Educación, Fundación Momento de la Gente, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad, Asociación Civil Liderazgo y Visión and Asociación Civil Consorcio Justicia, amongst others.

How the groups utilize the funds

Acción Campesina (“Farmer’s Action”) received a combination of over $80,000 to engage in efforts to hinder the passage and implementation of Venezuela’s new land reform law in 2002-2003. The Asamblea de Educacion group (“Assembly on Education”) received approximately $57,00 to monitor and distribute information on education policy issues, a respectable objective. Yet the director of this Association was to be named Minister of Education under the brief dictatorial regime of Pedro Carmona implemented after the coup d’etat of April 2002. U.S. possible involvement in the coup has been documented by Newsweek, the New York Times and other mainstream media outlets.

Asamblea de Educacion president Leonardo Carvajal, confirmed on Monday that they have received “international aid” , but said that the aid was cut six months ago. He declared that his group is a non-partisan organization, yet at the time he made these statements, he was at the headquarters of the opposition coalition, Coordinadora Democratica (Democratic Coordinator).

Along these lines, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity has donated several hundred thousand dollars of its funding to the Confederacion de Trabajadores de Venezuela (“CTV”), the corrupt pro-bosses labor union that participated in the coup against President Chávez in April 2002 and later co-led, along with the national chamber of commerce FEDECAMARAS, the economically devastating 64-day business lockout in December 2002 – February 2003 that caused 10 billion dollars in losses to the country.

Other NED major award recipients, such as the Center for International Private Enterprise, which received over $200,000 last year for Venezuela activities and the International Republican Institute, which was awarded almost $300,000 for its work during the past two years in Venezuela, have poured their financial aid into support for Fedecámaras, the radicalized business association at the forefront of the opposition movement and into the development and strengthening of political parties to successfully oppose Chávez in future elections.

US government’s weak response

After President Chávez brought the newly declassified documents to light on Sunday, the Bush Administration responded first thing Monday morning in a State Department daily briefing. Spokesperson Richard Boucher did not deny the funding of Venezuelan organizations and admitted the NED had awarded grants to groups that “promote democracy and strengthen civil society in Venezuela.” He also claimed that such funding falls clearly within U.S. policy to “strengthen democratic institutions around the world.” However, Boucher only mentioned U.S. government funding to two groups, the International Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and failed to mention the more than $800,000 that has been funneled into specific opposition groups in Venezuela through those two groups and through others.

Boucher also did not explain how the funds were aiding the promotion of democracy considering that a majority of grant benefactors have participated in and endorsed two unconstitutional attempts to remove President Chávez. Nor did Boucher explain why groups such as Sumate, that has utilized fraud to achieve its electoral goals, would receive funds intended to “promote democracy.”

Boucher added that pro-government groups have received U.S. funds in the past and that aid is available to them also.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/print.php?newsno=1190
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Specifically, Chavez confirmed the existence of documents indicating the opposition group Sumate, had received USD $53,400 from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy (“NED”). This is part of more than $800,000 distributed to various anti-Chavez organizations over the last two years.[/url]
Wow. Using the National Endowment for Democracy, to try and illegally overthrow a democratically-elected head of state.

That's the all-you-can-eat grand fucking buffet of irony.

Bravo U.S. foreign policy!

Pete <- not surprised.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
not surprised at all either..

In this climate where regime change is now open policy, i doubt this will result in any adverse impact on the US.
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
my lord 53 thousand dollars!!! Thats almost an entire kilo of coke!!!!




These are pretty sad aligations considering the billions of dollars involved in this. At best there is around 1 million in foul play listed above (adding it all up). Some of it is dubious at best, but all things considered compared to the amounts of money on the line, its nothing...
 

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
These are pretty sad aligations considering the billions of dollars involved in this. At best there is around 1 million in foul play listed above (adding it all up). Some of it is dubious at best, but all things considered compared to the amounts of money on the line, its nothing...
At issue isn't the amount of money involved (obviously).

The issue is hard proof of America's support of an illegal coup against a democratically-elected head of state.

All of it... it seems, in the name of "democracy".
 
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swilly

TRIBE Member
America and thier stupid american government makes me sick.

It deeply saddens me to see people elected to government to help thier nation and develop. Only to be over thrown by the imperialist americans.

WHY ?????????????????????

cant they just leave them alone for gods sakes what is wrong with them.

It is much like what geronimo said when he was told that his people must move onto reservations and never leave

" we have already given much land to the white man and yet he does not stop. why does the white eye want all the land? he already has more than the apache. Why cant the apache live on the land the creator gave him? why is there no room for the apache? We can never know why the creator made so many more white eye then apache or why he made him so greedy. Maybe the white eyes god is stronger then ours"

This was how the poor apache felt when the americans came and forced them into a war of survival. It is sad that some 200 years later the americans and white eye have learned little. In fact all they have done is expanded the lands they want. Geronomio was right the american white eye does want all the lands there is no room for the apache, south americans or arabs.

I do not think that the white eyes god is stronger then the creator as i think we all were made by the great spirit. But i do think that creator made a mistake when he allowed men to become so greedy.

I honestly do not like to think about the situation in veneluzla as i know the outcome. In a short amount of time he will be over thrown and the toronto star and CNN and the economist will go on about how the new reforms are helping the economy and how latin america is now better off without hugo. We will be shown images of the spanish upper class with thier shiny new mobiles and new SUVs and we will think that my god the americans are doing good things in this world. Sadly the underclass will be even more improverished like we are in canada and even more sad is that chances are they will be exterminated much like they are in niehbouring columbia ( by cattle ranchers wanting more land)

I just wish those in power could be content with the land they already have

WHY MUST THE AMERICAN WHITE EYE want all the land?

why was there no room for the apache and now why is there room for the south american?

I often think perhaps the creator left us but... not to often as i think perhaps the tide will turn and indeed one can view much supposed terroism as a natural reaction. i have little problem with terrorism as i see it as a tit for tat situtaion witht the US. Except that one side needs to catch up
cheers
swilly
 

Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
"I like bats much better than bureaucrats. I live in the Managerial Age, in a world of "Admin." The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the offices of a thoroughly nasty business concern."

-C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
^^ I have that book on my shelf. I disagree with C.S. Lewis' ideals, but it's a good book. :)


The reason Americans "go along" with imperial ambitions can be understood here.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
if by "ideals" you mean Christianity then I can understand. :p

bingo. His book "Mere Christianity" had some blatant logical errors which I'm sure Lewis noticed, but chose to ignore, for the sake of his beliefs. But that's another discussion...your damned shirt shoudl arrive Friday or Monday. :p
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Subsonic Chronic
At issue isn't the amount of money involved (obviously).

The issue is hard proof of America's support of an illegal coup against a democratically-elected head of state.

All of it... it seems, in the name of "democracy".

No it isn't hard proof of anything. 53,000 dollars is proof that a horse won a race. You want to prove american involvement in a coup you better be able to show me billions! We're not talking about a third world country here.

I'm sure given some time they can prove every single government of the G8 has given more than this. But lets face ity order has to be restored in this country and its best to forever paint it as an american attempt at an overthrough, rather than yet another failed revolution that went nowhere.


We're talking about 1 mi9llion dollars here, easier to just rig a lottery, hell its easier to not keep records of 1 million dollars. Why sign all the papper work?


Come on...
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much

But lets face ity order has to be restored in this country and its best to forever paint it as an american attempt at an overthrough, rather than yet another failed revolution that went nowhere.
My god. Hahaha.
 

416

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
But lets face ity order has to be restored in this country and its best to forever paint it as an american attempt at an overthrough, rather than yet another failed revolution that went nowhere.
Go read a book.
 
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Boss Hog

TRIBE Member
I guess it only buys a few dozen roses with a little card "think you could leave office so we could control your government? k thx bye!"


And since that didn't seem to work I guess they've just forgotten the whole idea.




Really.


Where the fuck does your reality come from.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
besides 1 million simply doesn't buy a revolution in an oil producing nation.
So what you are saying, is that the Venezuelan government is using oil revenue to thwart right wing dissent in the country?

Uhuh.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
it barely buys the vase to carry the flowers to qask him nicely.


Labour strikes costing 10 billion. People having there savings wiped out while on strike. A completely crippled economy...

all for 1 million ... You've gotta be kidding me. Every 2 bit terrorist group would have switched to this tactic 25 years ago. Christ there would be revolutions every other year...
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
BACKGROUND: The auditor general

The sponsorship program was basically designed to generate commissions for private companies rather than to produce any benefit for Canadians, she said.

Between 1997 and 2001, $250 million went to the sponsorship program, ostensibly to boost the federal government's profile in Quebec in the wake of the 1995 sovereignty referendum.

More than $100 million was paid to a variety of communications agencies in the form of fees and commissions, Fraser found.

She also said five Crown corporations including VIA Rail, Canada Post and the RCMP were involved in faulty money handling under the sponsorship program.


350 million....


vs under 1 million.


Get some perspective. If this is tyhe besty he can do he hasn't proved that the armerican government bought everyone a coffee let along tried to cause the coup.
 
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