America's War on Venezuela

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  War on Venezuela
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THIS PAGE IS NOW AN ARCHIVE ONLY


As of March 2010, Google is no longer supporting FTP publishing of it's Blogger blogs. Therefore I will be consolidating all of my blogs into a single front page format that I will be experimenting with and changing from time to time until I find something I like.



posted by Lorenzo 3:18 PM

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U.S. Stance Against Venezuela Has Dangers
(Nick Wadhams, Forbes.com, July 19, 2006)
The United States is lobbying hard to block Venezuela's bid for a seat on the U.N. Security Council, fearful that Hugo Chavez, its fiercely anti-American president, will disrupt the body as it confronts hot issues such as Iran and Sudan. . . . But interviews with some 15 diplomats of member states reveal substantial wariness about the U.S. effort, with the critics warning it could boomerang against the U.S. choice, Guatemala, when the General Assembly votes in October. . . . A European diplomat, refusing to be identified further saying he didn't want to anger the Americans, said lobbying against Venezuela would only gain it votes. . . . Normally, the Latin American group would fill the council seat with its own choice. But this year, because both Guatemala and Venezuela want the seat, the vote will be by secret ballot. That means governments can promise one thing, and vote otherwise. Guatemala and Venezuela both say they have a majority in the 192-state assembly. . . . Chavez has campaigned energetically to raise Venezuela's profile and counter what he calls U.S. hegemony. The countries he plans to visit this summer include Iran and Belarus, which are sharply at odds with the West, and Cardenas, the Venezuelan ambassador, said a trip to North Korea is also in the works. . . . Chavez pushed his Security Council bid at a summit of African leaders early this month, and Venezuela has won observer status in the Arab League, which has expressed support for its council bid. . . . Venezuela denies it will be a spoiler in the council, but promises to stand up for poor countries. . . . "We are trying to look for a balance between the powers around the world," said Cardenas. "We are not only good for south countries, we are also good for those countries that do not want "X" country to impose its views on them."


posted by Lorenzo 3:41 PM

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Greg Palast Uncovers the 'Armed Madhouse' of the Bush Reign
I was able to obtain a document. That's why we have all these illustrations in the book - because I want people to actually see these things. I got a document from inside the Department of Energy, which says that Venezuela - in other words, Hugo Chavez - has more oil than Saudi Arabia, and that's a real shake-up. . . . That's a disaster for George Bush because - and that’s why I have that chapter called "The Assassination of Hugo Chavez". . . . I showed the chart to Chavez himself last month in Caracas, and he said, "That's absolutely right. And we're going to demand that OPEC recognize Venezuela, not Saudi Arabia, as the leader." That's big, bad news for the Bush House of Saud cartel because you have to understand that King Abdullah will always sell us his oil. He’ll never cut it off. . . . But that's not the most important point here. Abdullah sends back his oil earnings. After he takes his slice and gives his slice to Exxon, the remainder goes back to the United States in the form of Treasury Bill purchases. They would never lend a dime to their Muslim brothers. They just lend it back to George to fund his oil wars and his tax cuts. And that’s the game. Abdullah lends us back the petro-dollars, and we lend him the 82nd Airborne to stay in business.


posted by Lorenzo 6:45 PM

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Assassination Teams Begin Targeting Venezuela President
(Sorcha Faal, 23 May 2006)
While American propaganda has successfully diverted their citizens attention towards Iran and the Middle East, Russian Intelligence Analysts are reporting today that the Military Leaders of the United States have this week authorized the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and whom the US Army has labeled as being the largest threat to them since the Soviet Union, and as we can read as reported the Venezuelanalysis.Com news service in their article titled "Top U.S. Defense Officials Increase Hostility Towards Venezuela", and which says: "Over the past few years, the Bush Administration has funneled millions upon millions of dollars into building up an opposition movement to the Chávez administration in Venezuela, utilizing U.S. tax payer dollars filtered through the National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and has backed a failed coup d’état against President Chavez and oil industry sabotage that caused billions of dollars in damages to the nation yet failed to oust the government from power. . . . For the year 2006, the U.S. Congress has allocated more than $9 million dollars to opposition groups in Venezuela (again, U.S. taxpayer dollars) and has launched a psychological operations campaign coordinated from the Pentagon's Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. In a document published by the U.S. Army in October 2005 entitled "Doctrine for Asymmetric War Against Venezuela," President Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution were labeled as the "largest threat since the Soviet Union and communism." . . . The propaganda rhetoric by the American President against Venezuela has also increased, and as we can read as reported by the Bloomberg News Service in their article titled "Bush Warns of 'Erosion of Democracy' in Venezuela, Bolivia" . . . To the threat of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador reclaiming the vast wealth of their nations oil for the betterment of their citizens instead of the United States oil giants is the truest American hypocrisy of all.


posted by Lorenzo 8:54 AM

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New Estimate of Venezuela's Total Oil Reserves Makes It the Grandest of Grandest Prizes for US
(Stephen Lendman, OpEdNews.com, 23 May 2006)
I just finished reading an important new book the author's publisher sent me, which I'll shortly be reviewing for publication. The book is investigative journalist (and in his words "forensic economist") Greg Palast's latest foray into exposing the hidden from view crimes and wrongdoings of the Bush administration. . . . Palast's book is almost encyclopedic in detail, but I only want to focus here on one part of it that relates to Venezuela. In it Palast provides information showing the country may be of far greater strategic importance to the US than we likely realized. . . . Palast makes a key point related to the price of crude. At $10 a barrel the supply is low because only the easy to extract and refine kind are economically feasible. But at $70 a barrel it's a whole new oil market. . . . How This Relates to Venezuela . . . From what we know for sure plus what we think we may know about Venezuelan "total" oil reserves, I suggest the reader first take a seat and buckle up. In previous articles, I reported Venezuela may have reserves of about 350 billion barrels if all their known heavy and light crude are counted. That total is far more than is now officially recognized by OPEC which means unofficially the country has greater reserves than Saudi Arabia by that number alone. . . . But wait, there's more, a lot more. Palast reports a US Energy Department expert believes Venezuela holds 90% of the world's super-heavy tar oil reserves - an estimated total of 1,360,000,000,000 (1.36 trillion) barrels. Let me repeat that - 1.36 trillion barrels. That alone is more oil than Hubbert believed 50 years ago lay under the entire planet. . . . So with a report like this coming from an apparent credible source (according to Palast) in the US Energy Department, it takes little imagination for VHeadline readers to understand more than ever that Venezuela is likely viewed by any US administration as the world's most important source of future oil supply. And to readers who understand US imperial intentions, it takes even less insight to realize the Bush administration intends to go all out to get its hands on it even if it takes a war to do it. The US goal isn't access to the oil. It's control of the supply and its price, what countries get it and how much and which ones don't, what companies profit from it, and overall how this ocean of oil can be used as a strategic resource and weapon. Beyond question, the stakes are enormous, and the battle lines are now drawn more clearly than ever. . . . I've reported before on VHeadline that the US is now planning a fourth attempt to oust Hugo Chavez . . . With the information now available and published here, I feel more certain than ever that US instigated serious trouble is heading toward Venezuela and maybe harsher than we might expect. Venezuela's likely total oil reserves are potentially so great that the country has to be the grandest of grand prizes for the US. It's a virtual certainty the US will do anything it takes to try to seize and control it.



posted by Lorenzo 7:26 PM

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Chavez Proposes Nation of Republics
(Prensa Latina, April 22, 2006)
After its withdrawal from the Andean Community of Nations (CAN), Venezuela steps up its role in the Common Market of the South (MERCOSUR) as a step towards a South American Union. . . . While ratifying his country´s leaving of CAN for being ineffective after the signing of free trade agreements with the US by some of its members, President Hugo Chavez reiterated the pro-integration projection of his next steps. . . . An aspect clearly established in the concept of Venezuela´s foreign policy is that withdrawal from CAN is not an isolationist attempt, but rather reflects the criterion that the bloc has departed from the principle of cooperation. . . . In Chavez´ opinion, instead of looking for asymmetrical relations with the US, what the current situation demands is increased awareness on the importance of "a nation of republics" assumed by indigenous ancestors. . . . In this regard, Venezuela is proposing an alternative integration project that goes beyond trade towards a complementary relation of solidarity expressed in its Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA). . . . ALBA, as presented by Chavez, is an option to the US proposal of Free Trade Area for the Americas (FTAA), a project that takes the form of the failed bilateral free trade agreements.


posted by Lorenzo 8:30 AM

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Why Bush is Afraid of Chavez
(Ted Rall, The Japan Times, April 18, 2006)
In their desperate frenzy to destroy Chavez, U.S. state-controlled media is resorting to some of the most transparently and hilariously hypocritical talking points ever. In the April 4 New York Times Juan Forero repeated the trope that Chavez's use of oil revenues is unfair--even cheating somehow: "With Venezuela's oil revenues rising 32 percent last year," the paper exclaimed, "Mr. Chavez has been subsidizing samba parades in Brazil, eye surgery for poor Mexicans and even heating fuel for poor families from Maine to the Bronx to Philadelphia. By some estimates, the spending now surpasses the nearly $ 2 billion Washington allocates to pay for development programs and the drug war in western South America." . . . Chavez, the story continued, is poised to become "the next Fidel Castro, a hero to the masses who is intent on opposing every move the United States makes, but with an important advantage." . . . Heavens be! A rich country using its wealth to spread influence abroad! What God would permit such an abomination? Notice, by the way, that the U.S. funds "development programs." Oh, and it's a "drug war" -- not a bombing campaign against leftist insurgents who oppose South America's few remaining pro-U.S. rightwing regimes. . . . John Negroponte, whose day job happens to be as Bush's director of National Intelligence. Negroponte complained that Chavez is "spending considerable sums involving himself in the political and economic life of other countries in Latin America and elsewhere, this despite the very real economic development and social needs of his own country." . . . Pot, kettle, please discuss the $ 1 billion a week we're wasting on Iraq while people die for lack of medical care and schools fall apart right here in America. Maybe Chavez should have found a better use for the money he spent on Rio's Carnival parade. On the other hand, at least it didn't go to bombs and torture camps. . . . Eighty-two percent of Venezuelans think Chavez is doing a good job. That's more than twice the approval rating by Americans of Bush. He roundly defeated an attempt to recall him. So why is Washington lecturing Caracas? . . . "The [Venezuelan] government is making billions of dollars [from its state oil company] and spending them on houses, education, medical care," notes CNN. And--gasp--people's lives are improving. . . . What if the rest of us noticed? No wonder Chavez has to go.


posted by Lorenzo 3:32 PM

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Chavez prepares his people's army to confront US
(Sophie Arie, Telegraph, 04/03/2006)
Venezuela begins training a vast army of civilian reserves today to fight off the attack its Left-wing president, Hugo Chavez, says the United States is plotting against it. . . . The oil-rich state aims to teach up to two million volunteers, from the unemployed to office workers, shop assistants and housewives, basic military skills such as marching in step or shooting to kill. . . . If it reaches that size, the force will be the largest civilian reserve army in the Americas, double the size of Washington's reserves. Its creation will further inflame relations between Venezuela and the US, already characterised by insults and tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats. . . . Mr Chavez, a former paratrooper, has warned repeatedly that the "imperialist enemy" will attempt to crush his socialist revolution in this enormous South American country, which supplies the US with 15 per cent of its oil. . . . At one military parade Mr Chavez, first elected in 1998, called on his countrymen to prepare for an "assymetric war" against the world's most powerful nation. . . . "If somebody meddles with Venezuela, they'll repent for 100 centuries," he said. "If we have to fight a war to defend this country, we'll make blood flow." . . . Mr Chavez claims Venezuela, along with Brazil and Cuba form an "axis of good", united against President George W Bush, the "world's only terrorist". He has even threatened to stop oil supplies to the US. . . . "I will sting those who rattle me, so don't mess with me, Condoleezza," he said recently, blowing a mock kiss to the US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice. Such strident defiance of the world superpower, seen by many as a bully which has economically raped and pillaged the region for decades, has made Mr Chavez hugely popular. . . . "Venezuela is changing, Latin America is changing and America does not like it," said Alfredo Carquez, who signed up as a reservist in January. . . . "We are not aggressive but we have to be ready to defend ourselves. If I have to, I'm ready to use a gun to defend the people." . . . Another recent recruit who combines his new role with a day job at a state-owned oil firm, said: "Until very recently, the military anywhere in Latin America was associated with oppression, dictatorship and murder. . . . "But now we are learning that military can be on the side of the people."


posted by Lorenzo 3:43 PM

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U.S. threats to Venezuela's revolution escalate
(W. T. Whitney Jr., People's Weekly World, 02-07-06)
Aggressive maneuvers against Venezuela from the Bush government have reached new heights. Here are some indicators. . . . On Jan. 27, the Venezuelan government expelled naval attache John Correa, stationed at the U.S. Embassy. Security personnel had infiltrated the group of Venezuelan junior officers recruited by Correa. The Bush government retaliated by sending a Venezuelan diplomat back to Caracas. . . . Another item: the Bush administration is blocking Spain's $1.7 billion sale of military aircraft and boats to Venezuela. It claims that U.S. technology was used in the planes' manufacture. According to Chavez, Venezuela may end up buying planes from China or Russia. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has berated Venezuela for spending on military hardware rather than provide for people's needs. [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Of course, the hypocritical U.S. has again significantly increased its military budget for 2006 while making deep cuts in social programs.] . . . Rumsfeld on Feb. 2 compared Hugo Chavez to Hitler, declaring, We've got Chavez in Venezuela. He's a person who was elected legally, just as Adolf Hitler was elected legally. ... He is working closely with Fidel Castro and Mr. Morales and others. It concerns me. . . . Intelligence director John Negroponte is worried too. In recent Senate testimony, he warned that if Chavez wins re-election this year, he will "use his control of the legislature and other institutions to continue to stifle the opposition, reduce press freedom, and entrench himself through measures that are technically legal, but which nonetheless constrict democracy." . . . Lawyer Eva Golinger, writing in venezuelanalysis.com, sees "a scary escalation of aggression ... Rumsfeld and Negroponte represent the two entities in the United States that wage war: Defense and Intelligence." . . . She reports that the U.S. government will be sending $9 million this year to opposition groups in Venezuela. She refers to an October 2005 U.S. Army publication, "Doctrine for Asymmetric War Against Venezuela," in which Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution were labeled as the largest threat since the Soviet Union and communism. . . . The Bush administration has found one overseas ally. Former Spanish president and right-winger Jose Mara Aznar now heads up the Foundation for Social Studies and analysis. That well-financed group recently announced that it is concentrating this year on "a region caught up in populism and indigenous stirrings in the dark shadow of an alliance between Fidel Castro and the Venezuelan Hugo Chavez, "something it called an 'explosive situation'." That would be Latin America.


posted by Lorenzo 9:05 AM

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Catholic Church Spreads Lies About Chavez
(BBC NEWS, 16 January, 2006)
Venezuela's leader has demanded an explanation after a Roman Catholic cardinal said that the country was becoming a dictatorship. . . . President Hugo Chavez described the Church's behaviour as "undoubtedly a provocation" and demanded a full apology for the "insults" and "hate". . . . He said there was a conspiracy in Rome and at home to damage his government. . . . Cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara, the most senior Catholic clergyman in Venezuela, told thousands of worshippers at a pilgrimage in honour of the Virgin Mary that the country had "lost its democratic course and presents the semblance of a dictatorship". . . . Venezuela's socialist leader has now hit back by saying this was "shameful for the Catholic Church". . . . The Venezuelan head of state said the Church should stick to spiritual work and stay out of politics altogether. . . . In the past, Mr Chavez and several Venezuelan church representatives have clashed over they way the government is carrying out far-reaching social and economy reforms in the country. [COMMENT by Lorenzo: What the Roman Church is upset about is the fact that Chavez is helping the poor and taxing the rich.]


posted by Lorenzo 11:48 AM

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Bravo Belafonte! ... calls Bush 'terrorist' praises Chavez
American singer and activist Harry Belafonte called U.S. President George W. Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world" Sunday and said millions of Americans support the socialist revolution of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. . . . Belafonte led a delegation of Americans including actor Danny Glover, Princeton University scholar Cornel West and farmworker advocate Dolores Huerta that met with the Venezuelan president for more than six hours late Saturday. Some in the group attended Chavez's television and radio broadcast Sunday. . . . "No matter what the greatest tyrant in the world, the greatest terrorist in the world, George W. Bush says, we're here to tell you: Not hundreds, not thousands, but millions of the American people . . . support your revolution," Belafonte told Chavez during the broadcast. . . . "We respect you, admire you, and we are expressing our full solidarity with the Venezuelan people and your revolution," he added. . . . Belafonte said he had come to learn about Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution, which includes a wide range of social programs for the poor and is named after South American independence hero Simon Bolivar. . . . He accused U.S. news media of falsely painting Chavez as a "dictator," when in fact, he said, there is democracy and citizens are "optimistic about their future." . . . Chavez called Belafonte "my brother" and noted he championed civil rights for black Americans alongside King. . . . The president said he believes deeply in the struggle for justice by blacks, both in the United States and Venezuela. . . . "Although we may not believe it, there continues to be great discrimination here against black people," Chavez said, urging his government to redouble its efforts to prevent it. . . . Chavez accuses Bush of trying to overthrow him, pointing to intelligence documents released by the U.S. indicating that the CIA knew beforehand that dissident officers planned a short-lived 2002 coup.


posted by Lorenzo 11:08 AM

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Chavez offers subsidised heating oil for poor in US cities
(The Hindu, November 26, 2005)
Venezuelean President Hugo Chavez, has ordered a petroleum company owned by his country to supply more than 12 million gallons of heating oil to the poor in US cities of New York and Boston at 40 per cent below market prices. . . . The first delivery of Chavez's shipment has already reached a home in Boston and soon tens of thousands of families as well as hospitals and homeless shelters will be getting the discounted heating oil from Venezulean company Citgo, media reports here said. . . . Washington on its part said Citgo is incorporated in the United States and is therefore free to go about deciding how to distribute oil in this country, the Washington Times said. . . . "We understand that (Citgo) is incorporated in the United States and is free to decide...as it wishes how it distributed oil in the United States," State Department spokesperson Sean McCormick. said. . . . The United States receives about 10 per cent of its oil from Venezuela. . . . Chavez who has been at odds with President George W Bush came up with his discounted heating oil programme for New York and Boston this August when gas prices were at record highs. Since then the prices have come down but serious concerns remain on heating oil bills this winter. . . . "Our federal government has made billions of dollars just this year on the royalty payments the oil companies pay," said Joe Kennedy the Chair of Citizens Energy, one of the outfits that will be distributing the discounted Venezuelan oil.

[COMMENT by Lornezo: BRAVO VENEZUELA! Not only does Venezuela send the U.S. the world's greatest baseball manager in the person of Ozzie Guillen, these wonderful people are also helping America's poor stay warm this winter. . . . Thank you Venezuela. We greatly appreciate your kindness.]


posted by Lorenzo 11:16 AM

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CIA and FBI Plan to Assassinate Hugo Chavez Uncovered
(Kurt Nimmo, Alternative Press Review, November 11, 2005)
Now we have a bit more evidence the CIA and the FBI connived with reactionary elements to not only briefly overthrow Chávez, abolish the constitution and the National Assembly, but later assassinate the Venezuelan State Prosecutor, Danilo Anderson. He was killed by a car bomb in Caracas on November 18, 2004, while investigating those who were behind the coup. Giovani Jose Vasquez De Armas, a member of Colombia's right wing paramilitary group called the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, claims he was in charge of logistics for the plot to kill Danilo Anderson. Vasquez De Armas told the Attorney General’s office that those planning the killing, "all discussed the plan with the help of the FBI and CIA." . . . "According to the Attorney General, Vasquez De Armas said that during a meeting in Darien, Panama, on September 4 and 6, 2003, an FBI Officer called 'Pesquera' and a CIA agent called 'Morrinson,' attended a meeting along with two of the plot’s alleged organizers, Patricia Poleo and Salvador Romani, as well as two of those who actually did the killing, Rolando and Otoniel Guevera," writes Alessandro Parma. "An official from the Attorney General’s office, speaking on behalf of Vasquez De Armas, said that in Panama the FBI and the plotting Venezuelans agreed, 'to take out Chavez and the Government.' He said, 'the meeting's final objective was to kill President Chavez and the Attorney General.' " . . . CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular or democratically elected leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment. So, on behalf of American business, and often with their help, the CIA mobilizes the opposition. First it identifies right-wing groups within the country (usually the military), . . . The Agency then hires, trains and works with them to overthrow the existing government (usually a democracy). It uses every trick in the book: propaganda, stuffed ballot boxes, purchased elections, extortion, blackmail, sexual intrigue, false stories about opponents in the local media, infiltration and disruption of opposing political parties, kidnapping, beating, torture, intimidation, economic sabotage, death squads and even assassination. These efforts culminate in a military coup, which installs a right-wing dictator. The CIA trains the dictator’s security apparatus to crack down on the traditional enemies of big business, using interrogation, torture and murder. The victims are said to be "communists," but almost always they are just peasants, liberals, moderates, labor union leaders, political opponents and advocates of free speech and democracy. Widespread human rights abuses follow. . . . Examples include the coup to overthrow the democratically elected leader Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran, the ouster of democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in Guatemala, one coup per year (between 1957-1973) in Laos, the installation of the murderous “Papa Doc” Duvalier in Haiti, the assassination of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, the overthrow of Jose Velasco in Ecuador, the assassination of the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba in the Congo (later Zaire), the overthrow of the democratically elected Juan Bosch in the Dominican Republic, the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Joao Goulart in Brazil, the overthrow of the democratically elected Sukarno government in Indonesia, a military coup in Greece designed to install the "reign of the colonels" , the overthrow of the popular Prince Sahounek in Cambodia, the overthrow of Juan Torres in Bolivia, the overthrow and assassination of Salvador Allende in Chile, the assassination of archbishop Oscar Romero in El Salvador, and dozens of other incidents rarely if ever taught in American school history lessons.


posted by Lorenzo 11:48 AM

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Chavez and Fox dispute escalates
(BBC NEWS, 15 November 2005)
The Mexican President, Vicente Fox, has threatened to cut off all diplomatic ties with Venezuela. . . . He said he would take that action if Venezuela's leader, Hugo Chavez, kept on making comments about him or Mexico. . . . Earlier, both countries withdrew their ambassadors from each other's capitals after a row over free trade degenerated into bitter exchanges. . . . Mr Chavez had refused to apologise for calling the Mexican President a "puppy" of US imperialism. . . . On Sunday, Mr Chavez accused the Mexican leader of disrespecting him and warned: "Don't mess with me sir, because you'll come out pricked." . . . He also accused Mr Fox again for allegedly violating protocol in trying to press for an agreement on the FTAA when it was not on the summit's agenda. . . . Last Wednesday, Mr Chavez said that Mr Fox had, as he put it, been left bleeding from the Summit of the Americas. . . . "How sad that the president of a people like the Mexicans lets himself become the puppy dog of the empire", he told an audience of supporters and businessmen in the Venezuelan capital Caracas. . . . At the summit, the US and Mexico were unable to win backing for a resumption of talks on the FTAA. . . . They faced opposition from five of the 34 countries attending, among them Venezuela and the host, Argentina.


posted by Lorenzo 6:57 PM

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Venezuelans practice repelling U.S. invasion
(Associated Press, November 4, 2005)
Camouflaged soldiers jumped from boats into the surf and waded ashore in a mock assault Thursday, the latest in a series of Venezuelan military exercises preparing for a U.S. invasion that President Hugo Chavez warns could come. . . . Chavez, who accuses the Bush administration of trying to overthrow him, says close cooperation between the military and civilian defense groups is key to resisting any U.S. attack. . . . The beach assault was the culmination of a series of military exercises that began in this area in late August, including evacuations to simulate a natural disaster, officials said. . . . Navy commanders proclaimed the training, which included 2,500 military personnel and 100 civilians from reserve and territorial guards, a success. . . . After weeks of military exercises in the area, townspeople got their cue that the latest drill was beginning Thursday when two Venezuelan F-16 jet fighters roared overhead. People banged on pots and pans to organize, the school canceled classes, and much of the town massed on the beach as troops came ashore in boats from a landing ship several hundred yards offshore. . . . In the day's scenario, the country was supposedly already under the control of occupation forces. . . . Townspeople said that if a real landing occurred, they would hide and then attack invaders with whatever weapons they could find. Several residents said they feared the U.S. government might try to take control of Venezuela's oil fields given recent tensions between Chavez and President Bush.


posted by Lorenzo 8:38 AM

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Chavez ousts "Christian Colonialists"
(Aljazeera.Net, 13 October 2005)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered a US-based Christian missionary group working with indigenous tribes to leave the country, accusing the organisation of imperialist infiltration and links to the CIA. . . . Chavez said missionaries of the New Tribes Mission, based in Sanford, Florida, were no longer welcome. He spoke at a ceremony in a remote Indian village where he presented property titles to several indigenous groups. . . . "The New Tribes are leaving Venezuela. This is an irreversible decision that I have made," Chavez said on Wednesday. . . . "We don't want the New Tribes here. Enough colonialism!" . . . He accused the missionaries of building luxurious camps next to impoverished Indian villages and circumventing Venezuelan customs authorities as they freely flew in and out on private planes. . . . "These violations of our national sovereignty have to stop," Chavez said. . . . The group is involved in "true imperialist infiltration, the CIA, they take away sensitive, strategic information", Chavez said, without elaborating. . . . The New Tribes Mission specialises in evangelism among indigenous groups in the world's remotest places. . . . The organisation says it has 3200 workers and operations in 17 nations across Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa. . . . Indian homeland: During the ceremony, Chavez granted 15 property titles for more than 665,847 hectares (1.65 million acres) to the Cuiba, Yuaruro, Warao and Karina tribes. . . . The documents recognise collective ownership of ancestral lands by communities with some 3000 people. . . . "We are doing justice," Chavez said. . . . "We can now start to say that there is a homeland for the Indians." . . . Hundreds of people from various indigenous groups attended the ceremony in the southern state of Apure. Chavez also presented keys to tractors, pickup trucks and outboard motors. . . . "Previously, the indigenous people of Venezuela were removed from our lands. This is historic. It is a joyful day," said Librado Moraleda, a 52-year-old Warao from a remote village in the Orinoco River Delta. . . . Moraleda received a land title and government pledges of 57 million bolivars ($27,000; 22,000) to build homes and plant cassava and plantains. . . . Chavez held the ceremony on the holiday known as Columbus Day, marking the arrival of European explorers in the present-day Bahamas on 12 October 1492. . . . Chavez's government renamed the holiday Day of Indigenous Resistance three years ago. . . . Chavez says he is leading a "revolution" for the poor and that defending the rights of Venezuelan's 300,000 indigenous people is a priority.


posted by Lorenzo 7:36 AM

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Chavez says US meddling in UN visit
(Reuters, Sep 13, 2005)
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday accused the U.S. government of trying to interfere in his visit to the U.N. General Assembly in New York by denying visas to his personal security detail and his medical team. . . . Chavez, an ally of Communist Cuba who frequently accuses Washington of trying to assassinate him, said he was still considering whether to visit the United States this week to take part in the world body's 60th anniversary summit. . . . "They threaten to kill me from there and then deny visas to my closest security team who have been with me for years ... they deny my medical team their visas, I'm going to have to walk around the Big Apple by myself," Chavez said. . . . "Without a doubt they are interfering," he said during a ceremony to sign deals with a Chinese delegation. . . . Ties between oil producer Venezuela and the United States have been strained since Chavez came to office in 1998 vowing to combat poverty. U.S. officials say he has since eroded democracy at home and become a threat to regional stability. . . . Caracas and Washington often engage in diplomatic squabbling, most recently last month when Chavez suspended his government's cooperation agreements with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. . . . After Chavez froze accords with U.S. drug agents, Washington revoked the U.S. visas of three top Venezuelan military officers, including the head of a narcotics squad, on suspicion they were linked to drug trafficking.


posted by Lorenzo 7:20 AM

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Chavez: U.S., NATO planning an attack on Venezuela
(The Miami Herald, September 4, 2005)
Venezuela has uncovered plans for a NATO U.S.-led invasion and is preparing to defend the country against invading forces if necessary, President Hugo Chavez said . . . Chavez made the comments during an interview with CNN. It was not clear when the interview was to be aired. . . . "We discovered through intelligence work a military exercise that NATO has of an invasion against Venezuela, and we are preparing ourselves for that invasion," Chávez was quoted as saying late Friday night. [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Isn't it interesting that the top two U.S. generals in charge of training exercises have recently been forecably "retired".] . . . He said the military exercise is known as "Plan Balboa" and includes rehearsing simultaneous assaults by air, sea and land at a military base in Spain, involving troops from the United States and NATO countries. U.S. officials in the past have said such training is meant to prepare troops for general scenarios but not for a specific military action. . . . "If it occurs to the United States to invade our country -- Fidel Castro said it and I agree -- a war will start here to last 100 years," he added. "Not only this country would be burned up, but a good part of this continent; they shouldn't make any mistake about it; we are preparing to repel an invasion." . . . 'It's known they have everything planned out to capture the oil fields of the west and the east, the south,'' Chavez was quoted as saying. . . . Chavez repeated his threat that if the government of President Bush were to attempt an attack, his government would cut off oil shipments to the United States. . . . Tensions have grown in recent months between Chávez and the U.S. government. . . . On Saturday, more than 100 Chavez supporters marched through Caracas to demand justice against American religious broadcaster Pat Robertson for recently suggesting their president should be killed. Almost two weeks ago, Robertson drew condemnation from Venezuela's government and others for suggesting Chavez should be assassinated because he poses a threat to the United States.


posted by Lorenzo 10:44 AM

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Venezuela 'targets private banks'
(BBC NEWS, 2 September 2005)
The Venezuelan government is reported to be planning to insist that all private banks appoint two state representatives to their board. . . . Such a move is likely to be part of the country's forthcoming new banking law, according to the UK's Financial Times. . . . A continuation of left-wing President Hugo Chavez's aim to create "socialism of the 21st Century", a number of foreign banks would be affected. . . . Among them are Spanish institutions Banco Santander and BBVA. . . . Both own Venezuelan banks - Banco de Venezuela and Banco Provincial respectively. . . . Other large banks in the country that are likely to be hit include Banco Mercantil and Banesco. . . . The reported move to put government representatives on the boards of private banks comes as businesses across Venezuela are being asked to ensure 20% worker representation in their board rooms. . . . Analysts say that the government's chosen bank appointees would be there to ensure loans and other money flows are more determined by left-leaning political considerations rather than pure financial gain factors. . . . "The government has a revolutionary project and by necessity that has to go through controlling the flow of credit," Venezuelan banking expert Francisco Faraco told the FT. . . . Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter, and a key ally of Fidel Castro's Cuba. . . . Last month US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld accused both Venezuela and Cuba of fermenting unrest in Bolivia.


posted by Lorenzo 9:44 AM

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Americas Rev. Jackson defends Venezuelan head
(BBC NEWS, 28 August 2005)
US civil rights leader Jesse Jackson has offered his support to the Venezuelan president after a call by a US TV evangelist for his assassination. . . . Rev Jackson denounced Pat Robertson's suggestion that US agents should kill Hugo Chavez as "immoral" and "illegal". . . . The two countries should work out their differences through diplomacy, he said during a visit to Venezuela. . . . Last week's comments come amid tense relations between Caracas and Washington. . . . President Chavez is a regular critic of Washington, which regards the left-wing leader as a possible source of instability in the region. . . . The Venezuelan leader has said that US President George W Bush will be to blame if he is attacked. . . . Rev Jackson urged US authorities to take action against Mr Robertson's statements. . . . "We must choose a civilized policy of rational conversation," he told reporters during his three-day visit to speak at a ceremony. . . . Rev Jackson later met and shook hands with Mr Chavez during the Venezuelan leader's weekly radio and television programme, the Associated Press reports. . . . Senior members of Mr Chavez's government have said they take the threat from the US very seriously. . . . The two nations have recently broken off co-operation on combating illegal drugs, though America still buys Venezuelan oil. The nation is the world's fifth-largest producer.


posted by Lorenzo 3:21 PM


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