anastasios.kozaitis on Sat, 27 Apr 2002 19:51:31 +0200 (CEST)

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     Venezuela coup linked to Bush team.....
     Fwd: More on Abrams, et al & Venezuela

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Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 15:16:45 -0400
Subject: Venezuela coup linked to Bush team.....

Maybe it wasn't grey at all...

>Venezuela coup linked to Bush team
>Specialists in the 'dirty wars' of the Eighties encouraged the plotters 
>who tried to topple President Chavez
><>Observer Worldview
>Ed Vulliamy in New York
>Sunday April 21, 2002
><>The Observer
>The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the 
>US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in 
>the 'dirty wars' of the 1980s, and links to death squads working in 
>Central America at that time. Washington's involvement in the turbulent 
>events that briefly removed left-wing leader Hugo Chavez from power last 
>weekend resurrects fears about US ambitions in the hemisphere. It also 
>also deepens doubts about policy in the region being made by appointees to 
>the Bush administration, all of whom owe their careers to serving in the 
>dirty wars under President Reagan. One of them, Elliot Abrams, who gave a 
>nod to the attempted Venezuelan coup, has a conviction for misleading 
>Congress over the infamous Iran-Contra affair. The Bush administration has 
>tried to distance itself from the coup. It immediately endorsed the new 
>government under businessman Pedro Carmona. But the coup was sent 
>dramatically into reverse after 48 hours. Now officials at the 
>Organisation of American States and other diplomatic sources, talking to 
>The Observer, assert that the US administration was not only aware the 
>coup was about to take place, but had sanctioned it, presuming it to be 
>destined for success. The visits by Venezuelans plotting a coup, including 
>Carmona himself, began, say sources, 'several months ago', and continued 
>until weeks before the putsch last weekend. The visitors were received at 
>the White House by the man President George Bush tasked to be his key 
>policy-maker for Latin America, Otto Reich. Reich is a right-wing 
>Cuban-American who, under Reagan, ran the Office for Public Diplomacy. It 
>reported in theory to the State Department, but Reich was shown by 
>congressional investigations to report directly to Reagan's National 
>Security Aide, Colonel Oliver North, in the White House. North was 
>convicted and shamed for his role in Iran-Contra, whereby arms bought by 
>busting US sanctions on Iran were sold to the Contra guerrillas and death 
>squads, in revolt against the Marxist government in Nicaragua. Reich also 
>has close ties to Venezuela, having been made ambassador to Caracas in 
>1986. His appointment was contested both by Democrats in Washington and 
>political leaders in the Latin American country. The objections were 
>overridden as Venezuela sought access to the US oil market. Reich is said 
>by OAS sources to have had 'a number of meetings with Carmona and other 
>leaders of the coup' over several months. The coup was discussed in some 
>detail, right down to its timing and chances of success, which were deemed 
>to be excellent. On the day Carmona claimed power, Reich summoned 
>ambassadors from Latin America and the Caribbean to his office. He said 
>the removal of Chavez was not a rupture of democra tic rule, as he had 
>resigned and was 'responsible for his fate'. He said the US would support 
>the Carmona government. But the crucial figure around the coup was Abrams, 
>who operates in the White House as senior director of the National 
>Security Council for 'democracy, human rights and international opera

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Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2002 16:55:11 -0400
Subject: 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 

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