Wednesday, November 7, 2007



This week has been pretty active in Venezuela, to say the least!! On the ground, things are heating up with the campaign for the referendum on the constitutional reform, which will take place on December 2, 2007. The pro-reform folks are the "SI" (YES) block and the anti-reform and opposition folks are "NO" this time around. On Sunday, we had a major march in favor of the reform. There were tens of thousands of pro-reform supporters in the streets of Caracas that marched 7 miles from Parque del Este to Avenida Bolivar to hear President Chavez speak. Most international media didn't report on that, but rather has spent its time reporting on the minor opposition student protests that continue to destabilize and provoke violence throughout the nation.

Today, Wednesday, November 7, there was an opposition student march to the Supreme Court in Caracas to symbolically hand over a document protesting the constitutional reform as unconstitutional to the members of Venezuela's highest court. The students marched relatively peacefully throughout the center of Caracas and a small commission of students entered the Supreme Court, were received by the judges and even had a chance to read a statement before the high court members that was broadcast live on national television. This event went without any violent incidents, unlike last week's opposition student march to the National Elections Council (CNE) that resulted in students trying to illegally chain themselves to the staircase inside the CNE headquarters. That incident did end in some violence and obvious reaction from state security forces, though no major injuries occurred.

After the march to the Supreme Court (TSJ), the oppositional students returned to the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and proceeded to kidnap a group of approximately 60 pro-reform and pro-Chavez students, including Libertad Velasco, one of the more well known leaders of the revolutionary student movement. Since public universities have autonomy over their security, state security forces were not able to enter immediately to resolve the situation and rescue the hostages. Private media, such as Globovision, reported that there was an "irregular situation" at the UCV, and later showed images of what they termed "pro-Chavez" supporters armed and firing at the oppositional students. What they did not tell their viewers was that those oppositional students had kidnapped a group of about 60 pro-Chavez students inside the Social Work school of the UCV and the "armed" individuals that entered the ground were members of Venezuela's Civil Protection unit, that entered the UCV after almost an hour had passed, to rescue the hostages. Images broadcast later on national television clearly show the hostages running out of the building on the UCV campus once rescued by the Civil Protection officers. Gunshots were fired up into the air to ward off the violent kidnappers, not to injure them in any way. Unfortunately, in the confrontations before the Civil Protection officers were able to enter the UCV grounds, 9 students were injured, one critically.

International media and wire services, such as Associated Press, published this photograph: and claimed that government forces are repressing students in Venezuela.

Take it from someone on the ground who is closely monitoring all events: The Venezuelan government is doing everything in its power to allow these students to freely enjoy their rights to protest without permitting them to destabilize the country, create chaos, and place in danger the lives of citizens. These types of protests that these students freely enjoy in Venezuela would NEVER, I repeat, NEVER be permitted in the United States. There is just no way the US Government or any city, state or county's police force would permit students to take the streets and public spaces almost daily, throwing molotov cocktails and bottles, as well as other debris, at the police, while damaging public property. In the US, thousands of them would be jailed and subjected to severe repression. Venezuela, on the other hand, is overly permissive with these protests and despite the ample freedom enjoyed by all sectors in this country, the international media distorts the scenario and attempts to paint a portrayal of the Venezuelan government as repressive. Repressive is the US government, permissive is the Venezuelan.

Stay alert to the media manipulation and the growing threat of a "colored revolution" (termed the "Marigold Revolution") in Venezuela (like Ukraine, Serbia, Georgia, etc).


suckerbeagle said...

Thanks so much, Eva. This is enormously helpful. I'm so used to this kind of mis-information that when I read the press reports I just tell people to 'wait and see". It sure helps to have the specifics.
Jeanne Lafferty

TWR said...

Wow you are amazingly hot...are you single? Can we get together some time?

Colin said...

You stated that the Chavez government is allowing violent protest, you then stated that this is something the US government would not permit. I am not sure of the logic of this particular statement. I understand the democratic right of protest, but I also understand the need for law and order. I fail to see how permitting the violence you mentioned to take place is a good thing, could you please explain the thinking behind this.?

Jesus del Norte said...

I wonder who names these "revolutions"? This is the first time that I have seen the term "Marigold Revolution" used and it really doesn't seem to fit. I wonder why a flower revolution rather than a color revolution. The Myanmar movement was the Saffron Revolution which is also a flower but at least "saffron" has an eastern, Buddhist quality.

I cant trace the term any further back than a article.

It was in that article that I learned that the first of these movements, the Serbian Otpor, subsequent to the fall of Milosevic's government evolved into the Center for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) who are closely linked to The Albert Einstein Institute.

The article further states that in 2005, CANVAS turned its attention to Venezuela, and on Oct 5 ...five student leaders from Venezuela arrived in Belgrade for training.

If I were the Venezuelan opposition student movement I wouldn't be satisfied with the name. It just is not Latin enough, it doesn't have any sizzle. Granted, it's not "Pansy" or "Buttercup", but it is close. Why are Latins letting a bunch of Serbs name their "revolution".

Hey, I just realized why a "flower" revolution. It's the sixties, man, you know, like the flower people. Far out, dude.

menshevik said...
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Thomas said...

Eva, with all respect, but police units do not act this way if they free histages and one of these guys (even shown in your photos) has been identified as working for PDVSA. How do you explain that ?

menshevik said...
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menshevik said...
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Luc Morin said...

Nobody in the world will accept your version of this history...After the tascon list, the abstention a the election, the close contact with the facist state Cuba, it would be amazing to believe that chavez is doing a fine job...Please wake up...Por favor despierta te !

Who? said...

Wow Eva, so I guess you mean to say that there is no freedom of speech in the US but yes in Venezuela? How about closing down TV stations, or revamping a Constititution to allow ONE person to rule until his death, just like let's think> oh yes, CUBA?
I don't mind your bias or political view, but do question your tactics; the means justify the ends?
Sure, I am not in Venezuela, but to suggest that we believe you just because you are is an intrusion on intelligence! The facts speak for themselves; despite how well intentioned CHAVEZ might be, he is never the less taking power away from everyone in order to retain it for himself...

Who? said...


Don't keep on waiting to see...just open your eyes.

You have the right to speak...but I do wonder why we give you the right to think?

Oh well, God was responsible for that so what can a grown up person do...

Listen, can you verify the specifics for us? How about this one; Chavez is going to rule for ever...there is no disputing this fact if he is successful in revamping his country's constitution; I wonder what you would think if Bush tried doing the same???

menshevik said...

Should I post this by Yoshie Furuhashi of MRzine? After all it notes the piece by Stephen Zunes, notorious "social fascist", I just sent. It would be a counter-revolutionary act to draw further attn. to Zunes wouldn't it?

An Empire of NGOs

On the question of Western "NGO"1 interventions in nations of the global South and their relations to the US-led multinational empire, there regrettably is no consensus on the broadly defined Left. The lack of consensus even among leftists makes it impossible to raise the consciousness of the Western public about the roles of "NGOs" in the empire's "regime change" campaigns, which negate the essence of democracy in the name of "democracy assistance."

Take a look at a recent series of exchanges over the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict 2 in the Green Left Weekly:

* "Interview with Eva Golinger: US Continues Destabilisation Push in Venezuela" (GLW 716, 28 June 2007)

* Jack DuVall (President, ICNC), "Gollinger Interview" (Letter to the Editor, GLW 718, 22 July 2007)

* Michael Barker, "Promoting 'Democracy' through Civil Disobedience" (GLW 722, 25 August 2007)

* Stephen Zunes, "Inaccurate and Unfair Attacks on the ICNC" (GLW 723, 31 August 2007)

* Michael Barker, "An Accurate and Fair Critique of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict" (GLW 725, 22 September 2007)

I doubt that Eva Gollinger or Michael Barker has been able to persuade Stephen Zunes that leftists shouldn't be serving as "chair of the board of academic advisers" of the ICNC (Zunes, 31 August 2007) or otherwise supporting it or any other institution like it. Can anyone?

1 I put the term "Non-Governmental Organizations" between quotation marks, for some of the "NGOs" in question are wholly or largely funded by the United States government and other governments of the multinational empire. The Solidarity Center is a good example: "A well-kept secret about Solidarity Center is that it received 90% (nearly $30 million) of its annual revenue from the U.S. State Department and other government agencies of the Bush administration, but it got less than 2% ($600,000) from the AFL-CIO. These figures are from Solidarity Center's 2003-2004 Annual Report" (Harry Kelber, "How Sweeney Won Three Sham Re-elections; His Role in ULLICO Scandal and Elsewhere," Labor Educator -- downloadable in PDF at

2 For information about the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, see, also, Tom Barry, "The New Politics of Political Aid in Venezuela," Right Web Analysis (Silver City, NM: International Relations Center, July 18, 2007), though all you need to know is probably that it lists Freedom House as one of the "Related Organizations" on the ICNF Web site's "Resources" page. As for its method, get it from the horse's mouth -- check out the "Discussion Guide" that accompanies Bringing Down a Dictator, a film that functions as a how-to manual that teaches you to pull off a "regime change" with the support of the government of the United States and other "democracies." The executive producer of the film is Peter Ackerman, Founding Chair of the ICNC and Chairman of Freedom House, and "Special Thanks" in the film's credit go to the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, and the United States Institute of Peace. The guide encourages the film's audience to debate intriguing questions such as the following:

* A number of factors contributed to the overthrow of Milosevic, especially financial assistance and training from the United States. Based on information in the film, discuss the role of each of the following in bringing down the Milosevic regime:

Aid from the United States and European countries
The NATO bombing
Street marches and protests
The strike at the Kolubara Coal Mine (p. 6)

* The United States government gave over $25 million dollars in aid to Otpor and other opposition groups during the movement against Milosevic. Some of these groups declared themselves to be anti-American. What is the purpose of the US funding of anti-American groups overseas? Does accepting US funds weaken a group's anti-American stance? If a group is fighting for justice, does that automatically mean that the group is a good group? Do the methods they use in their fight have any effect on whether the group is "good" or not? Explain your answers to the last three questions. (p. 10)

The film is "available on DVD in both the NTSC and PAL television systems," in "Arabic, Burmese, English, Farsi, French, Indonesian, Mandarin, Russian, and Spanish." Very thorough -- all relevant languages for the most urgent US "regime change" campaigns are covered. Needless to say, the ICNC, as well as other members of the empire of NGOs, is working on Iran:

In choosing Freedom House as the venue for a foreign policy address this week, President George W. Bush has stepped into an intense debate among democracy activists in the US and Iran on how US dollars should be used to carry out the administration's policy of promoting freedom in the Islamic republic.

Few in the Washington audience on Wednesday realised that Freedom House, an independent institution founded more than 60 years ago by Eleanor Roosevelt, the former first lady, is one of several organisations selected by the State Department to receive funding for clandestine activities inside Iran.

Peter Ackerman, chairman of the board of trustees, who introduced Mr Bush, is also the founder of a separate organisation that promotes non-violent civic disobedience as a form of resistance to repressive regimes. His International Center on Non-Violent Conflict has organised discreet "workshops" in the Gulf emirate of Dubai to teach Iranians the lessons learned from east European movements.

A separate organisation, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre based in New Haven, Connecticut, has also received US funding and organised a Dubai "workshop" for Iranians last year that was not made public.

Mr Ackerman, who is very wealthy from an earlier career as a financier, says he does not accept government money. Questioned by the FT, Freedom House confirmed it had received funding from the State Department for activities in Iran. It declined to give details but said it was not involved in Mr Ackerman's work in Dubai.

Freedom House also disclosed that it received $100,000 (€83,873, £57,500) from Mr Ackerman last year and a further $100,000 from his organisation.

In a research study, with Mr Ackerman acting as chief adviser, Freedom House sets out its conclusions: "Far more often than is generally understood, the change agent is broad-based, non-violent civic resistance - which employs tactics such as boycotts, mass protests, blockades, strikes and civil disobedience to de-legitimate authoritarian rulers and erode their sources of support, including the loyalty of their armed defenders." (Guy Dinmore, "Bush Enters Iran 'Freedom' Debate," Financial Times, 31 March 2006)

It should be noted that Mr. Jack DuVall himself visited this blog to defend the ICNC, merely because I cited the same Financial Times article in an entry whose focus was Freedom House, not the ICNC: "Queering Freedom House," Critical Montages, 24 September 2007 (be sure to read his comment). It looks like opinions of leftists are a sensitive spot for the organization.

Posted by Yoshie at 6:38 PM

Labels: Empire, Ideology, Iran, Venezuela, Yugoslavia

Boli-Nica said...

This place rocks! bring on the sectarianism...weee....

rae said...

Hi Eva. Ur site is great! I am a lefty journalist activist from Australia writing for Green Left Weekly. I'm doing an article about the US in Bolivia...I would love to pick your brains! Any response would be wonderful! in struggle and solidarity, Rachel Evans

I have complied a list of US backed organizations in Bolivia. Have you seen/ heard of any of these organisations and what they are doing in Bolivia?

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) are funding

1. The U.S. National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI),
2. U.S. International Republican Institute (IRI),
3. USAID opened a branch of the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in La Paz in 2004 4. The Brecha Foundation, an NGO founded by leaders of the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of Bolivia (CIDOB).
6. Casals & Associates are funded by USAID

According to Eva Golinger USAID-Chemonics in Bolivia run 6 official programs in the areas of ‘Democracy’ - Alternative Integral Development, Environmental Issues, Healthcare and Economic Opportunities. Do you know what is happening with these programs?

What are the right-wing civic committees that organized the August 24th actions in Cochabamba against Morales, the Constituent Assembly and secession - doing now? Have they any more plans for actions?

The constitutional assembly impasse – what is response from pro-Morales camp? Is there discussion about what to do it the deadline passes and there is no 2/3rds support?

Where are the students lining up? Like Venezuela, are the right-wing using universities to ferment anti-Morales sentiment/activity?

What about the military? Is there a pro-Morales camp? Do soldiers come from poor backgrounds, like in Venezuela?

Do you know of any activity inside the military by the USA and their front organizations?

EvaG.isdumb said...

Hey Eva, Could you please let me know how it feels to be psychotic. I've only read alittle of your site a I'm dumbfounded how crazy and twisted people can actually get. You must be on drugs when you do your investigating in Venezuela. The world would be a better place if people like you never spoke again.