Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Document Evidences Destabilization Plan Against Venezuela



During the past few months, the Venezuelan government led by President Nicolas Maduro has denounced multiple incidents of sabotage against the country’s electrical infrastructure along with an ongoing campaign to undermine the nation’s economy. A majority of international media, together with private media in Venezuela, have ridiculed the Venezuelan President’s accusations, and have instead attempted to pin responsibility on the government for the instability and harm caused to the country by these actions. Nevertheless, an internal document authored by three organizations from Colombia and the United States, evidences a sinister plan against the Venezuelan state to provoke violence – even death – with the intention of justifying an international intervention in anticipation of municipal elections scheduled for next December 8.

The document, titled “Strategic Venezuelan Plan”, was prepared by the Democratic Internationalism Foundation (http://fidauv.org), headed by ex Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, together with the First Colombia Think Tank (http://www.pensamientocolombia.org) and the US Consulting firm, FTI Consulting (http://www.fticonsulting.com). Dated June 13, 2013, the plan was developed during a meeting between representatives from these three organizations, leaders of the Venezuelan opposicion, including Maria Corina Machado, Julio Borges and Ramon Guillermo Avelado, expert in psychological operations J.J. Rendon and the Director of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) for Latin America, Mark Feierstein.

The strategic plan to destabilize Venezuela has the primary goal of debilitating the government before the December 8 municipal elections, as revealed in the document: “The objectives put forth in the present plan are essentially geared towards the municipal elections set for December 8, while at the same time including the accelerated deterioration of the government, facilitating an opposition victory for this event...” Though the text states further, “...but if it could be done beforehand, that would be even better”.

The document also details the strategy to sabotage the electrical system in Venezuela, with the objective of blaming the government for a weak infrastructure and therefore projecting an image of crisis in Venezuela on an international level. As part of the plan, the authors propose, “To maintain and increase the sabotages that affect public services, particularly the electrical system, that will enable responsibility to be placed on the government for supposed inefficiencies and negligence”. For the past few months, blackouts and other electrical shortages have affected different regions throughout Venezuela, causing general discontent and reflecting negatively on the government. Just weeks ago, Venezuelan authorities detained various individuals involved in sabotaging the electrical system and at the end of September, President Maduro expelled three US diplomats from the US Embassy in Caracas for their alleged role in destabilization plans against the state.

In the section labeled “Actions”, the authors of the document detail their next steps to undermine the Venezuelan government. In addition to “Perfecting the confrontational discourse of Henrique Capriles”, the opposition candidate who lost to Maduro in April’s presidential elections, they also talk of “Generating emotion with short messages that reach the largest quantity of people and emphasize social problems, provoking social discontent. Increase problems with supply of basic consumer products”.

Throughout the year, Venezuela has experienced problems with the supply of basic products, such as toilet paper, sugar, milk, oil, butter, flour and other food staples. Venezuelan authorities have confiscated tons of these products illegally held inside warehouses belonging to opposition businesses. They have also captured large quantities of these items on the border with Colombia, where they are sold as contraband.

According to the document, “The Strategic Venezuelan Plan, agreed upon by representatives from the opposition to the government of Nicolas Maduro, is oriented towards these objectives with the strong and constant support of various world figures who aim to return Venezuela to the true democracy and independence, which has been kidnapped for more than 14 years”.

During the 14 years of President Hugo Chavez’s democratic governance, threats against his administration were abundant and destabilization plans never ceased. After the failure of the 2002 coup d’etat against Chavez, which was defeated by his millions of supporters and was organized by the US government, there were numerous attempts to oust him through economic sabotages, electoral interventions, assassination plots, psychological warfare, multimillion-dollar funding to opposition groups from US agencies and a plan to isolate Venezuela on an international level, that never had success.

One of the most visible faces of attempts to subvert Chavez’s government was ex Colombian president Alvaro Uribe. The former Colombian head of state ended his presidency in 2010 calling for international intervention in Venezuela in order to destroy Chavez and his Bolivarian Revolution. Uribe has dedicated himself since then to difame Chavez and his legacy, as well as strengthen his ties to anti-Chavez groups inside and outside Venezuela.

The death of Preisdent Chavez in March 2013 didn’t stop Uribe from continuing his actions against Venezuela. With the election of Nicolas Maduro to the presidency and the continuation of the socialist process initiated by Chavez, Uribe has mantained his agressive agenda against Venezuela.

Now this internal document, a product of a meeting between the extreme right-wing in Colombia and Venezuela, together with representatives from the US government, proves the active destabilization plans against Maduro.

As part of this dangerous plot against Venezuela, the authors propose to “Create situations of crisis in the streets that will facilitate US intervention, as well as NATO forces, with the support of the Colombian government. Whenever possible, the violence should result in deaths or injuries”.

Venezuelans, representatives of the opposition, are working together with foreign interests to generate deaths of innocent citizens in their own country, with the objective of justifying a military invasion in their nation. This represents a grave threat – and a vile crime – against the sovereignty of Venezuela.

Furthermore, in addition to promoting an international campaign to marginalize, discredit and tarnish the Maduro government, the document recommends “a military insurrection” against the Venezuelan state. They propose, “contacting active military groups and those in retirement to amplify the campaign to discredit the government inside the Armed Forces...It’s vital to prepare military forces so that during a scenario of crisis and social conflict, they lead an insurrection against the government, or at least support a foreign intervention or civil uprising”.

This document evidences and confirms the veracity – and the severity – of the accusations made by President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela is under attack, as it has been throughout the past 14 years since the beginning of the Bolivarian Revolution and the recovery of Venezuela’s sovereignty, independence and dignity. Let us not forget that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves on the planet. The powerful interests that seek control of those resources will not stop until they attain their objective.

T/ Eva Golinger

Artículo en español con documento original aquí


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Hugo Chavez, Dream Maker




By Eva Golinger


Most of what you read or hear in mass media about President Hugo Chavez is always negative, his faults exaggerated, his discourse distorted and his achievements ignored. The reality is quite different.

Hugo Chavez was beloved by millions around the world. He changed the course of a continent and led a collective awakening of a people once silenced, once exploited and ignored. Chavez was a grandiose visionary and a maker of dreams.

An honest man from a humble background who lived in a mud hut as a child and sold candies on the streets to make money for his family, Chavez dreamed of building a strong, sovereign nation, independent of foreign influence and dignified on the world scene. He dreamed of improving the lives of his people, of eradicating the misery of poverty and of offering everyone the chance of a better life – the “good life” (el buenvivir), as he called it.

President Chavez made those dreams come true. During his nearly fourteen years of governance, elected to three full six-year terms but only serving two due to his untimely death, Chavez’s policies reduced extreme poverty in Venezuela by more than 75%, from 25% to less than 7% in a decade. Overall poverty was reduced by more than 50%, from 60% in 1998 when Chavez first won office to 27% by 2008. This is not just numbers, this translates into profound changes in the lives of millions of Venezuelans who today eat three meals a day, own their homes and have jobs or access to financial aid.

But the dreams don’t stop there. Chavez dreamt of a nation filled with educated, healthy people, and so he established free, quality public education from preschool through doctoral studies, accessible to all. In fact, for those in remote areas or places without educational facilities, schools were built and mobile educational facilities were created to bring education to the people. Chavez also created a national public health system offering universal, free health care to all, with the help and solidarity of Cuba, which sent thousands of doctors and medical workers to provide quality services to the Venezuelan people, many who had never received medical care in their lives.

To strengthen and empower communities, Chavez propelled policies of inclusion and participatory governance, giving voice to those previously excluded from politics. He created grassroots community councils and networks to attend to local needs in neighborhoods across the nation, placing the power to govern in the joint hands of community groups. His vision of diversifying his nation and developing its full potential transformed into railways, new industries, satellite cities and innovative transport, such as MetroCable Cars soaring high into the mountains of Caracas to connect people with their steep hillside homes and the bustling city.

The centuries-old dream of Independence hero Simon Bolivar to build a unified “Patria Grande” (Grand Homeland) in South America became Chavez’s guiding light and he held it high, illuminating the path he paved. Chavez was a driving force in unifying Latin America, creating new regional organizations like the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). These entities have embraced integration, cooperation and solidarity as their principal method of exchange, rejecting competition, exploitation and domination, the main principles of US and western foreign policy.

Chavez inspired a twenty-first century world to fight for justice, to stand with dignity before bullying powers that seek to impose their will on others. He raised his voice when no others would and had no fear of consequence, because he knew that truth was on his side.

Chavez was a maker of dreams. He recognized the rights of the disabled, of indigenous peoples, all genders and sexualities. He broke down barriers of racism and classism and declared himself a socialist feminist. He not only made his own dreams come true, but he inspired us all to achieve our fullest potential.

Don’t get me wrong, things are not perfect in Venezuela by any stretch, but no one can honestly deny that they are much better than before Hugo Chavez became President. And no one could deny that President Hugo Chavez was larger than life.

The first time I flew on President Chavez’s airplane he invited me to breakfast in his private room. It was just me and him. I was nervous and felt anxious and rushed to tell him about the results of my investigations into the United States government role in the coup d’etat against him in 2002. After all, that’s why I was on the plane in the first place. I had been invited to participate in his regular Sunday television show, Alo Presidente (Hello Mr. President) to present the hundreds of declassified documents I had obtained from US government agencies through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that exposed US funding of coup participants. The date was April 11, 2004, exactly two years after the coup that nearly killed him and sent the nation into spiraling chaos.

As I began pulling out papers and spreading documents on the table that separated us, he stopped me. “Have you had breakfast yet”, he asked. “No”, I said, and continued fiddling with the revealing paper before me. “We can discuss that later”, he said, “for now, tell me about yourself”. “How is your mother”, he asked me, as though we were old friends.

A flight attendant came through the door of his private room with two trays and placed them on the table. I quickly gathered up the documents. “Let’s eat”, he said. I started to protest, trying to explain that his time was so limited I wanted to take advantage of every minute. He stopped me and said, “This is a humble breakfast, a breakfast from the barracks, what I most love”. I looked at the tray for the first time. On it was a small plate with an arepa, a typical Venezuelan corn patty, a few shreads of white cheese, a couple of pieces of canteloupe and some anchovies. Beside the plate was a small cup of black coffee. No frills and not what you would expect on a presidential airplane.

“After all, I am just a soldier”, he added. Yes, Chavez, you are a soldier, a glorious soldier of a dignified, proud and kind people. And you are a maker of dreams for millions around the world.