anastasios.kozaitis on Fri, 26 Apr 2002 22:57:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] Fwd: More on Abrams, et al & Venezuela

(Excerpted from "Truthout Editorial"
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | April 23, 2002 )


The recent coup attempt in Venezuela also looms large. It appears to have been motivated by a desire within that nation's petroleum business community to wrest full control of that nation's prodigious oil profits away from President Hugo Chavez, who was siphoning funds away from them and towards a variety of progressive policies. Chavez's friendly relations with Cuba and Iraq, along with the rise in oil prices since Venezuela assumed the presidency of OPEC, also likely played a major role in the attempt to remove him. In the days since the coup attempt, led by Venezuelan business leader Pedro Carmona and a number of high-ranking officers in the Venezuelan military, reports have surfaced that indicate significant American involvement in Chavez's aborted overthrow. A number of these officers have spoken of an American military official - U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel James Rodgers, aide to the U.S. military attaché in Caracas - who was present with the coup leaders at Fort Tiuna in Caracas, where the operation was planned. Rodgers, it has been reported, was with these leaders at Fort Tiuna when the coup leaders brought Chavez there to be held after he was deposed. These officers interpreted Rodgers' presence at Tiuna as a green light from the United States to overthrow Chavez. Officials from the Organization of American States, the powerful political and economic alliance between North and South America, has publicly accused a number of influential Bush administration members of actively assisting the coup. Otto Reich, an anti-Castro Cuban and former U.S. ambassador to Venezuela in 1986 who serves as Bush's main policy advisor for Latin America, is accused by OAS of meeting several times with the coup leaders in recent months. John Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who was ambassador to Honduras during Iran/Contra, is accused by OAS of having been informed of "some movement in Venezuela on Chavez" as early as the New Year. OAS also names Eliot Abrams, member of Bush's National Security Council and best known for his criminal involvement in the Iran/Contra affair, as being deeply complicit.

       The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has made plans to begin an investigation
into the Bush administration's involvement in the Venezuelan coup, and names of Rodgers, Reich, Negroponte and Abrams will likely play a central role.