U.S. Govt. Support for the Venezuelan Opposition
Interview with Eva Golinger: The Details of U.S. Government Support for the Venezuelan Opposition
May 31, 2005 P
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In April, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez canceled the long-running IMET (International Military Education and Training) program, which had seen Venezuelan soldiers traveling to the U.S. for training, as well as U.S. officers giving courses in Venezuela. Chávez’s announcement of the program’s cancellation grabbed headlines for several days, most media repeating the State Department’s assertion that the announcement was “unexpected” with “no explanation.” But the cancellation was the direct result of findings by a determined young Venezuelan-American attorney and journalist named Eva Golinger, who had discovered a direct connection between the program and coup-plotters in the Venezuelan military.
Today in The Narco News Bulletin, we publish our interview with Eva Golinger, who explains her past and current research on U.S. support for the Venezuelan opposition. Golinger, who works mostly with documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the help of independent journalist (and Narco News contributor) Jeremy Bigwood, is the author of the new book The Chávez Code. She tells Narco News:
“In documents that I obtained from the State Department regarding the program, they clearly stated that the objectives are to obtain influence in the high ranks of the Venezuelan military. They also stated that one of the requirements of the program is that when an officer or soldier is sent to the U.S. as part of the IMET program, the Venezuelan military has to guarantee on return the individual be given a high level or command position.
“In one particular document, they give an example of one of the successes of the program: General Raul Salazar. General Raul Salazar was, at the time of the 1992 military rebellion that President Chávez led, actually a high ranking officer, and he suppressed Chávez and the other officers. But for some reason, he worked his way into the likes of Chávez, and became Chávez’s first minister of defense. At the time of the coup, he was the ambassador to Spain, and Spain was the other key country involved in the coup. Venezuelan opposition members like Pedro Carmona and others who were planning the coup itself took a trip to Spain in the weeks before. There's that whole story about how Carmona made his presidential sash in Madrid.
“Here in the documents they’re lauding the fact that, Raul Salazar is our best example here, and refer to him as somebody who promotes U.S. interests. That’s interesting because he happens to be one of the highest-level military officials that penetrated the Chávez government, actually becoming a key part of it, and then turned on it at the time of the coup. Because of that, it could be said that all along he was supporting U.S. interests, but for some reason Chavez believed and trusted in him enough to make him defense minister, and then an ambassador, while at the same time the U.S. government had maintained an influence and control over him.”
Golinger also speaks about her now famous research into the National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) funding of groups involved in the 2002 coup, new areas of investigation for her, U.S. government response to her work, and much more. Read the whole interview:
Also, don’t miss continuing coverage of the upheavals developing every day in Bolivia, in the Narcosphere:
Today, Jean Friedsky posts an insightful new analysis of the tactics the social movements have employed in the streets during this latest round of protests over gas and hydrocarbons policy:
And remember, the action in the Narcosphere is not always confined just to the top headlines. A short note posted some time ago by Narco News Copublisher Don Henry Ford, Jr. about rising crack cocaine consumption in Mexico has slowly led to an interesting discussion on prohibition, the causes of drug consumption in producer countries, and other issues. Read and participate in the comments section:
From somewhere in a country called América,
The Narco News Bulletin