Plant Trees SF Events 2004 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021



By Eva Golinger

On April 12, 2002, White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer stated:

?Let me share with you the administration's thoughts about what's 
taking place in Venezuela. It remains a somewhat fluid situation. >But yesterday's events in Venezuela resulted in a change in the 
government and the assumption of a transitional authority until new 
elections can be held.

The details still are unclear. We know that the action encouraged by 
the Chavez government provoked this crisis. According to the best 
information available, the Chavez government suppressed peaceful 
demonstrations. Government supporters, on orders from the Chavez 
government, fired on unarmed, peaceful protestors, resulting in 10 
killed and 100 wounded. The Venezuelan military and the police 
refused to fire on the peaceful demonstrators and refused to support 
the government's role in such human rights violations. The 
government also tried to prevent independent news media from 
reporting on these events.

The results of these events are now that President Chavez has 
resigned the presidency. Before resigning, he dismissed the vice 
president and the cabinet, and a transitional civilian government 
has been installed. This government has promised early elections.

The United States will continue to monitor events. That is what took 
place, and the Venezuelan people expressed their right to peaceful 
protest. It was a very large protest that turned out. And the 
protest was met with violence.?

On that same day, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Philip T. 
Reeker, claimed:

?In recent days, we expressed our hopes that all parties in 
Venezuela, but especially the Chavez administration, would act with 
restraint and show full respect for the peaceful expression of 
political opinion. We are saddened at the loss of life. We wish to 
express our solidarity with the Venezuelan people and look forward 
to working with all democratic forces in Venezuela to ensure the 
full exercise of democratic rights. The Venezuelan military 
commendably refused to fire on peaceful demonstrators, and the media 
valiantly kept the Venezuelan public informed.

Yesterday's events in Venezuela resulted in a transitional 
government until new elections can be held. Though details are still 
unclear, undemocratic actions committed or encouraged by the Chavez 
administration provoked yesterday's crisis in Venezuela. According 
to the best information available, at this time: Yesterday, hundreds 
of thousands of Venezuelans gathered peacefully to seek redress of 
their grievances. The Chavez Government attempted to suppress 
peaceful demonstrations. Chavez supporters, on orders, fired on 
unarmed, peaceful protestors, resulting in more than 100 wounded or 
killed. Venezuelan military and police refused orders to fire on 
peaceful demonstrators and refused to support the government's role 
in such human rights violations. The government prevented five 
independent television stations from reporting on events. The 
results of these provocations are: Chavez resigned the presidency. 
Before resigning, he dismissed the Vice President and the Cabinet. A 
transition civilian government has promised early elections.

We have every expectation that this situation will be resolved 
peacefully and democratically by the Venezuelan people in accord 
with the principles of the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The 
essential elements of democracy, which have been weakened in recent 
months, must be restored fully. We will be consulting with our 
hemispheric partners, within the framework of the Inter-American 
Democratic Charter, to assist Venezuela.?

Why do I re-cite these statements here? These statements from the 
highest levels of the U.S. Government show the prepared version of 
the events that took place during the April 11-12 coup d?etat 
against Venezuelan President Chávez. Moreover, these revealing 
statements now prove, in light of documents recently obtained from 
the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under the Freedom of 
Information Act (FOIA), that this prepared version of events was 
knowingly false and made with the intention of deceiving the 
international community in order to justify a violent overthrow of a 
democratic government.

The White House and the State Department both claimed that the 
Chávez government had provoked violence and actions that resulted in 
the President?s alleged resignation. They also asserted that the 
Chávez government had fired on unarmed, peaceful protesters and that 
the Venezuelan military and police had refused orders to ?support 
the government?s role in human rights violations?. The U.S. 
Government referred to the protests and actions of that day as 
though they were spontaneous, unplanned events. The U.S. Government 
has also continued to deny to this day any involvement whatsoever in 
the April 2002 coup d?etat.

However, there is a vast amount of evidence that has surfaced since 
the coup demonstrating that the events on April 11, 2002 were 
entirely premeditated by a sector of the opposition intent on 
overthrowing the Chávez government. Furthermore, my own 
investigations have provided a plethora of evidence proving the U.S. 
involvement in the coup on various levels. Most revealing on the 
Venezuelan front was a news program on Saturday morning, April 12, 
2002, ?24 Horas? with host Napoleon Bravo. On that program, Bravo 
interviewed Vice-Admiral Carlos Molina Tamayo, a professed coup 
leader, and Victor Manuel Garcia, Director of the polling company 
CIFRA who claimed to have represented the ?civil society? during the 
coup. Both Molina Tamayo and Garcia gave a jaw-dropping, detailed 
account of the events leading up to the coup and those key 
Venezuelans involved, including crediting the private televisions 
stations for their complicity and aide. Their testimony, along with 
Chacao municipal mayor Leopoldo Lopez of the Primero Justicia 
political party and Napoleon Bravo?s own admissions of complicity in 
the coup, provided plenty of proof that the overthrow of Chávez was 
a premeditated event.

Later, an extraordinary and award-winning documentary by filmmaker 
Angel Palacios, ?Puente Llaguno: Claves de un Masacre?, revealed how 
the Venezuelan private media had manipulated and distorted the 
events that unfolded on April 11, 2002 in the opposition march, 
which resulted in widespread violence and death. The documentary 
also provided sufficient proof that snipers unrelated to the Chávez 
government had provoked the violence in the opposition march that 
justified the forced removal of Chávez from office. Furthermore, the 
documentary succeeded in proving that a well-planned 
military-civilian coup d?etat had taken place that day and that 
those involved were connected to the highest levels of the U.S. 

But the evidence of actual U.S. involvement in the coup itself remained 
scarce up until recently. On I have 
posted hundreds of documents that evidence the intricate financing 
scheme the U.S. government has been carrying out in Venezuela since 
2001, that includes financing well over twenty million dollars to 
opposition sectors. The funding of the National Endowment for 
Democracy (NED), a quasi-governmental entity in the U.S. financed 
entirely by Congress and established by congressional legislation in 
1983, has provided more than three million dollars since late 2001 
to opposition groups, many of which were key participants in the 
April 2002 coup. And in June 2002, the U.S. Agency for International 
Development (USAID), set up an Office of Transition Initiatives 
(OTI) in the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, allegedly for the purposing of 
helping Venezuela to resolve its political crisis. The OTI in 
Caracas has counted on more than fifteen million dollars in funding 
from Congress since June 2002 and has recently requested five 
million more for 2005, despite the fact that it was only supposed to 
be a two-year endeavor. All evidence obtained to date shows that the 
OTI has primarily funded opposition groups and projects in 
Venezuela, particularly those that were focused on the August 15, 
2004 recall referendum against President Chávez.

I have written other articles explaining the intervention model 
applied through NED and USAID in Venezuela. This method of 
intervention is very sophisticated and complex, as it penetrates 
civil society and social organizations in a very subtle way and is 
often either undetectable or flimsily justified by the concept of 
?promoting democracy?, which is what the NED claims to do around the 
world, despite evidence to the contrary. The mere fact in Venezuela 
that the NED has financed exclusively anti-Chávez groups and those 
very same organizations that were involved in the April 2002 coup 
shows that ?democracy? is far from the NED?s intention.

But the CIA intervention in Venezuela is of the crudest, simplest 
kind. Top secret documents recently obtained and posted on show that in the weeks prior to the April 
2002 coup against President Chávez, the CIA had full knowledge of 
the events to occur and, in fact, even had the detailed plans in 
their possession. An April 6, 2002 top secret intelligence brief 
headlining ?Venezuela: Conditions Ripening for Coup Attempt?, 
states, ?Dissident military factions, including some disgruntled 
senior officers and a group of radical junior officers, are stepping 
up efforts to organize a coup against President Chávez, possible as 
early as this month, [CENSORED]. The level of detail in the reported 
plans ? [CENSORED] targets Chávez and 10 other senior officers for 
? The document further states, ?To provoke military action, 
the plotters may try to exploit unrest stemming from opposition 
demonstrations slated for later this month

So the CIA knew that a coup attempt would take place soon after 
April 6, 2002, and moreover, they knew the plan would include 
Chávez?s arrest and an exploitation of violence in the opposition 
march. In other words, they knew the plans before the coup occurred 
and surely they knew the actors involved, many of whose names are 
probably in the censored parts of the top-secret documents. One 
could assume that if the CIA had the detailed plans in their 
possession in the weeks prior to the coup it was because they were 
associating and conspiring with the coup plotters. So, when Ari 
Fleischer and Philip Reeker made those statements on April 12, 2002 
on behalf of the U.S. Government, they did so with full knowledge 
that a coup had taken place, Chávez had been arrested and the 
violence in the opposition march, which they attributed to Chávez, 
had actually been a premeditated part of the coup plot. The top 
secret documents that prove this information show they were sent to 
the U.S. Statement Department and the National Security Agency, 
which means frankly, the White House knew what was happening all 

Furthermore, the CIA documents make no mention of any attempts to 
have Chávez forcibly resign from office. The CIA warnings indicated 
as early as March 5, 2002 (which is the date of the earliest 
document provided) that a coup was on the rise and even hinted that 
prospects for a successful coup were limited. The CIA rightfully 
felt the opposition was too disperse and divided to successfully 
overthrow Chávez. But the concept that Chávez had ?resigned? as the 
White House and State Department ?confirmed? on April 12, 2002 was 
merely a set-up, a false claim made with the intention of deceiving 
the U.S. public and the international community. Remember that the 
U.S. stood practically alone in the world in its endorsement of the 
coup-implemented Carmona Government, which it later weakly condemned 
but only after the coup came tumbling down and the U.S. realized it 
needed to save face quickly.

A top secret CIA document from April 14, 2002 shows concern that 
Latin American governments will view U.S. foreign policy as 
?hypocritical? because of its sole endorsement of the Carmona coup 
government. The CIA also seems surprised that the region of Latin 
America so quickly rejected the coup in Venezuela and that the 
Carmona government ?stunningly collapsed?, which demonstrates a 
possible out-of-date view of the hemisphere and a failure in 
intelligence gathering and analysis. In fact, the CIA never imagined 
the coup would buckle because of support for Chávez ? their analysis 
all along showed possible failure due to lack of opposition unity 
and hasty actions. This is a very important point, because it 
demonstrates that although the CIA was involved in the coup plotting 
and the collaborations with dissident military factions and 
opposition leaders, it was fairly detached from the reality of 
Venezuelan society.

The CIA?s intelligence failures in Venezuela were apparently 
repeated during the oil industry strike later in 2002 and the 
guarimba destabilization attempt, an old-school CIA tactic applied 
in Chile and Nicaragua. Both of these harsh actions injured the 
Venezuelan economy and affected the government?s international 
image, but failed in their goal to oust President Chávez. The NED?s 
and USAID?s tens of millions of dollars in financing to build and 
maintain the opposition movement and finance the recall referendum 
campaign against President Chávez also failed to achieve their 
mission. In fact, all of these bungled attempts by the U.S. 
government and its marionette opposition movement have served to 
strengthen Chávez?s support within Venezuela and paint him as a 
strong and solid international leader.

Now that some of the top-secret documents have surfaced that show 
the CIA?s complicity and involvement in the April 2002 coup, it 
leaves one to wonder what is next on the agenda. In September 2001, 
shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, 
President Bush unconditionally authorized former CIA Director George 
Tenet?s ?Worldwide Attack Matrix?, which targets leaders and 
prominent figures in 80 countries around the world for 
assassination. The authorization of the Worldwide Attack Matrix 
provided the CIA with a virtual carte blanche to conduct political 
assassinations abroad, justified under the ?war against terrorism?. 
The ?Attack Matrix?, a top secret CIA document, authorizes an array 
of covert CIA anti-terror actions that range from ?routine 
propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military 
attacks?. The plans give the CIA the broadest and most lethal 
authority in history. Some analysts have indicated that Venezuela is 
possibly included in the plans.

The recent assassination of Venezuelan Prosecutor Danilo Anderson, 
conducted in a style reminiscent of CIA operations, could be setting 
the stage for future political murders. History shows that when the 
CIA fails to remove a target via non-lethal means, more desperate 
measures are taken. Despite the fact that the Venezuelan government 
and its supporters appear to have foiled the CIA numerous times 
already over the past few years, vigilance, intelligence and 
increased security measures should become a priority.
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