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Coup-making in Venezuela: the Bush and oil factors

by Karen Talbot


Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG),  globalresearch.ca ,   14 June 2002

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The power elite in the United States has never been happy with democratically-elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, but it took the Bush administration to turn up the heat against him. Matters reached a boiling point in April with the coup d'etat against Chávez which surprisingly lasted only two days as millions of Venezuelan poor came to his defense. Many of the details about the ousting of Chávez and his replacement by corporate mogul Pedro Carmona Estanga, during those 48 hours, have yet to be sleuthed out, but key evidence implicating Bush and his cohorts has already accumulated.

The primary clues are revealed in the repeated criticisms of Chávez by Washington--echoed in the commercial media--and its immediate virtual endorsement of the Carmona regime by its failure to condemn the coup. In this stance, the U.S. stood alone. The unmistakable backdrop behind the U.S. position is Venezuela's status as the fourth largest oil-exporting country in the world, and currently the third largest source of U.S. oil imports.(1) "Venezuela is a major cash cow for Phillips Petroleum and ExxonMobil. Chevron Texaco and Occidental Petroleum are two other major oil companies with interests in Venezuela and Colombia."(2)

The mantra of complaints against Chávez who had been elected in record landslide votes in 1998 and 2000, included his Bolivarian reforms to "take from the rich and give to the poor;" his refusal to allow U.S. planes to fly over Venezuelan territory for its war in Colombia; his opposition to the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas (FTAA); and his leadership in OPEC where he works for a fairer deal for Venezuela and other oil-producing countries by pushing up oil prices. (In the process, Venezuela dropped below Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico in supplying oil to the U.S.) Also particularly rankling to the Bush Administration with its abundance of right-wing Cubans, is Chávez's sale of oil to Cuba in exchange for medical care.

Venezuela has been receiving about half of its revenues from the state owned Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA).(3) So providing more for the country's poor multitudes necessarily meant maximizing the gains from Venezuela's rich national resource, oil. This entailed altering the 60-year-old agreement with foreign oil companies "that charges them as little as one percent in royalties," plus handing them huge tax breaks, according to the London Guardian (4) The giant transnational oil corporations and business interests, coveting all that black gold, had far different plans. Not surprisingly, the PDVSA figured heavily in all the intrigue and machinations leading to the coup. "Opposition business leaders have said openly that they want to depose Chávez "so they can boost oil production or even privatize the country's cash cow [PDVSA]....they have been enraged ...over Chávez's efforts to take resources from the rich to aid the poor, who represent 80 percent of the population," says Newsday writer, Letta Tayler.(5)

As he donned his presidential sash(ordered months before from Spain (6)) and dined sumptuously with his co-conspirators, the 48 hour usurper, Carmona, moved almost instantaneously to turn around Chávez's Bolivarian policies and consolidate what amounts to an "oiligarchy." Within 48 hours, he dissolved the parliament and the supreme court, dismissed all mayors and governors, stopped the shipment of oil to Cuba, and started a massive wave of repression across the country. But there is more.

The goal: privatization of Venezuela's oil

According to an article in Proceso by Aram Ruben Aharonian (7), private investigations revealed that one of the moves of the 48-hour coup leaders was "the privatization of PDVSA, turning it over to a U.S. company linked to President George Bush and the Spanish company Repsol; plus the sale of CITGO, the U.S. subsidiary of PDVSA, to Gustavo Cisneros and his partners in the north: as well as an end to the Venezuelan government's exclusive subsoil rights."

Aharonian continues: "For this to happen, it was necessary to suspend the 1999 constitution and take advantage of the conflict at the state oil company, where top management was following orders sent from the north through its former president Luis Giusti. And support came from businessman Isaac Pérez Recao, for whom Carmona had worked in the Venoco oil company, and who actively participated in the coup and provided financing." (8) Giusti has ties with the White House as an energy advisor. (9)

Cisneros, a longtime friend of former President George Bush, who had hosted Bush on a fishing trip a few months ago, heads up a corporate empire stretching from the U.S. to Patagonia. Cisneros' huge dominion is made up of DIRACTV, Venevisión, Coca Cola, and Televisa. (10)

"On the afternoon of the coup [April 12]. The plotters, including Carmona, met at the Venevisión television station. 'This government was put together at Gustavo Cisneros' office,' said opposition legislator Pedro Pablo Alcántara (Democratic Action Party). The person who read Carmona's decree and who Carmona named as attorney-general, was Daniel Romero, who had been a private secretary to former President Carlos Andres Perez and a functionary in the Cisneros organization." reported Aharonian.(11)

Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA is Latin America's largest company. (12)-a lucrative prize awaiting the eager fingers of the privatizers.

Let's be clear: privatization, often touted as making government firms and other entities more efficient, does so by eliminating unions, greatly reducing wages, cutting benefits, laying off workers, increasing the work load for the remaining employees, and by wiping out revenues that formerly went for social programs such as health care, education and aid to the poor, in a given country. Often these firms are sold and closed down, with the profits going to mega corporations and banks in the north. These are the only ways to reap private profit from what were once publicly-owned enterprises. Thus, privatization vastly increases the gap between the rich and poor.

The maneuvers to achieve privatization of PDVSA clearly began in earnest after Chávez became president. Though we are being told that it was the PDVSA workers who reacted against Chávez's changes, the Wall Street Journal article, inadvertently disclosed quite a different picture. It speaks of "top management and white-collar workers" at PDVSA being "in open revolt against the government of President Hugo Chávez. "[T]hey have participated in...noisy demonstrations and work stoppages to protest the recent appointment of three Chávez loyalists to PDVSA's board. The insurgent managers are supported by the leaders of the 40,000 strong Fedpetrol oil workers' union...Leaders of a newly organized PDVSA 'management union' aren't saying when or if they would strike. However, after holding a companywide meeting last weekend, they announced plans to carry out a series of gradual escalations of the conflict that could culminate in an indefinite strike...The controversy quickly exploded when thousands of PDVSA executives, signed full-page newspaper ads denouncing the new appointees as 'incompetent.'" (KT's emphases) (13)

In a subsequent Wall Street Journal article, Marc Lifsher said that on April 4, "the PDVSA executives declared a work stoppage."(KT's emphasis) (14)

In the lexicon of U.S. labor, the strike actions essentially appear to be, "lockouts" by management. The leadership of the oil workers union operating in close alliance with the two political parties that ran Venezuela for 40 years before Chávez became involved, as well. More on that later.

Now comes the information unmasking the entire situation. The WSJ article stated: "Trouble between elite PDVSA administrators and the president has been building....since Mr. Chávez pushed through a controversial hydrocarbons law that increases most production royalties on both PDVSA and international oil companies to 30% from 16.7%. The law also requires PDVSA to own a majority stake in all joint ventures with foreign companies. (KT's emphases) (15)

The article points out that Chávez made the changes because, as he stated, PDVSA has become a "state within a state." That this may, in fact, have been the case is also revealed by the WSJ article which said that "the former president of PDVSA, Brig. General Guaicaipuro Lameda was dismissed on February 23, 2001, and he was replaced by economist Gastón Parra. Mr. Parra, critics charged, is a 1960s-era big-government leftist, dispatched to PDVSA on a mission to tie the company more closely to the state." The article points out that Lameda says the PDVSA "has a 27-year history of being efficiently run as a profit-making company that pays dividends to its shareholder, the state. It shouldn't be delegated to the inferior status of being a mere appendage of the oil ministry, subject to the president's interference."(KT's emphases) (16)

The giant PDVSA is owned by Venezuela, not a fiefdom of PDVSA board members put in place by the previous corrupt Venezuelan oligarchy. The state is not merely a "shareholder" of PDVSA. It owns PDVSA. Allegations about PDVSA being a "mere appendage of the oil ministry" seem ludicrous since clearly the oil ministry would have jurisdiction over the government-owned enterprise. Similarly, it would seem that the government clearly has every right to decide on the board members and to "tie the company more closely to the state."

Bush Administration's role

Last fall, "a stream of prominent Venezuelans opposed to Chávez's populism...began visiting U.S. officials...to float ideas about his ouster," wrote Letta Tayler. In some meetings, including one this year at the U.S. Embassy that was attended by Pedro Carmona [head of the big business alliance Fedecamaras]....a coup was specifically proposed, participants in those talks said... Some Chávez opponents left the meetings believing that 'all the United States really cared about was that it was done neatly, with a resignation letter or something to show for it,' said a Venezuelan source familiar with some of the discussions," Tayler reported. (17) (Early in the coup attempt the word went out that Chávez had indeed "resigned." Chávez's wife and others among his advisors adamantly denied those reports which helped galvanize the huge mass turnout in support of Chávez, despite massive media misinformation.)

Further, the article points out that "pro-Chávez Venezuelan officials have said two members of the U.S. Embassy's military attachés were briefly inside the coup-makers' military headquarters at Fort Tiuna on April 13...One of the U.S. officers held an hourlong closed-door meeting with Gen. Efrain Vasquez Velasco, the army commander, one Venezuelan official said." Embassy spokesman John Law denied these reports. (18)

Bush appointees dealing with this region got their start in the dirty wars under President Reagan. According to an article in the Observer: "One of them, Elliot Abrams, has a conviction for misleading Congress over the infamous Iran-Contra affair." Abrams is based in the White House as senior director of the National Security Council for 'democracy, human rights and international operations,' and has a long history as a leading theoretician of the school known as "Hemispherism" which focuses on countering Marxism in the Americas and which spawned the coup in Chile in 1973, and backed the regimes and death squads in Argentina, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and elsewhere. He "gave the nod for the coup," in Venezuela, said the Observer. (19)

Otto J. Reich, a right-wing Cuban exile and former lobbyist for Mobil Oil, who is now U.S. assistant secretary of state for Latin America, received at the White House Venezuelans plotting a coup, including Carmona himself. These visits began "several months ago" and continued until a short time before the aborted coup, according to OAS sources cited in the Observer article. In these meetings, "the coup was discussed...right down to its timing and chances of success," the sources said. (20)

Reich has extensive ties with Venezuela. He had been appointed ambassador to Venezuela in 1986, even though his appointment had been heavily opposed by leaders in that country and by democrats in Congress. (21)

The congressional investigation into the Iran-contra scandal revealed that Reich reported directly to Reagan's National Security Aide, Colonel Oliver North, in the White House. North was convicted for his role in Iran-contra scandal. (22) Reich subsequently was removed from Reagan's staff.

The London Guardian reported that last June, American military attaches had been in touch with members of the Venezuelan military to examine the possibility of a coup," It quoted journalist, Wayne Madsen, a former Naval and National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence officer as saying that U.S. Navy ships "provided signals intelligence and communications jamming support" to the Venezuelan military during the coup attempt. (23)

The Guardian article details many other aspects of the logistics support provided by the U.S. for leading members of the coup. These and other particulars about the forces behind the coup in which 17 people were killed and more than 100 injured--many apparently from snipers on rooftops--are now being investigated.

Remembering the disturbing similarities to the U.S.-instigated Chilean coup including the killing of democratically-elected President Allende in 1973--which succeeded after one failed coup attempt--the great majority of Venezuelan people are remaining vigilant to any further moves to oust Chávez.

Democracy hypocrisy

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) provided funds for opposition groups in Venezuela, as revealed in a New York Times article. It said "In the past year, the United States channeled hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to U.S. and Venezuelan groups opposed to President Hugo Chavez." (24)

The NED was founded in 1983 by Congress, and began openly financing many activities that once had been exclusively carried out as covert operations by the CIA. Often their operations are supplemented by funds from the Agency for International Development (AID) and, of course, the CIA and other intelligence agencies continue their own parallel ventures.

The NED has operated in tandem with all major interventionist undertakings in the 1980s and 1990s. (25)

Wrapping itself in the rhetoric of "democracy" the NED continues to take millions of tax dollars from U.S. workers and give them to so-called non-governmental and "civil society" groups to build opposition, and to ultimately unseat elected governments, or otherwise bring about "regime change." The targeted countries have usually been "guilty" of some level of rejection of "free market reforms," domination by transnational corporations, privatization, and various austerity measures imposed by international financial institutions. Other countries whose basic economic systems are socialist and therefore essentially counter to the "free market" and corporate rule, are subject to especially intense NED intrigues.

Prior to the days of the NED, the Central Intelligence Agency and other U.S. intelligence bodies, covertly carried out all of these operations, toppling many democratically elected governments. In fact the very first venture by the CIA in 1948, was to successfully swing the elections in Italy to bring about victory for the right-wing Christian Democratic Party which was swarming with former collaborators with the fascist Mussolini regime.

It is common knowledge that the CIA was instrumental in the overthrow of Prime Minister Mossedeq of Iran (because he had nationalized the oil industry), Salvador Allende of Chile (assassinated), Cheddhi Jagan of Guyana, Prime Minister Michael Manley of Jamaica, Jacobo Arbenz of Guatemala, Juan Bosch of Dominican Republic, Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo (assassinated) and Indonesia's President Sukarno, among others. There were also countless other CIA covert actions aimed at propping up brutal right-wing death squad leaders in El Salvador, contras in Nicaragua, Suharto in Indonesia, apartheid South Africa, ad infinitum. These operations were often carried out in tandem with U.S. military might. Add to this the training of thousands from Latin America in what was formerly called the "School of the Americas" in Ft. Benning, Georgia.(renamed Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation) Alumni of this infamous "school" move on to become torturers, murderers, death squad leaders, and coup makers throughout the southern part of the hemisphere.

In the process, billions of tax dollars from the pockets of U.S. workers have been dished out through the super secret budgets of intelligence agencies and to the military-industrial corporations.

Brazil fascist coup

The story of coup-making in Brazil is almost identical to what was done in numerous countries including Chile, Iran, and now, Venezuela. In March 1964, Brazil's elected president, Joao Goulart, ordered the nationalization of all private oil refineries. By April 1, a military junta brought down his government ushering in an era of an exceedingly brutal tyranny which introduced the use of death squads.

The CIA was involved in a major way in bringing about the coup d'etat in Brazil. One aspect of the CIA intervention, pertaining to propaganda, involved techniques used in country after country. According to Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman, "In 1962, the CIA mounted a 'saturation campaign' with 80 weekly radio programs, 300 additional hours of radio-TV advertising, a flooding of the press with canned editorials and 'information,' large quantities of billboard ads and pamphlets, etc. It kept 'dozens' of journalists on its payroll and edited a monthly magazine, using top quality paper and free distribution. It even rented the editorial page of Rio's evening paper, A Noite. And it subsidized the publication of numerous conservative books, distributed free and without attribution." (26)

Labor's role

Creating splits in the labor movement in Brazil and Chile through the activities of the CIA- backed American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) contributed significantly to the success of coup against Goulart in Brazil, Bosch in Dominican Republic, and Allende in Chile. The effort in Venezuela to oust Chávez also involved "labor actions,"with many of the labor leaders closely allied with the former officials of pre-Chávez right-wing governments. Coupled with the constant bombardment of anti-Chávez propaganda by the corporate-owned media and the NED destabilization efforts, this tie-in with labor was aimed at creating confusion among workers.

The role of the CIA, AIFLD and U.S. corporations in the bloody overthrow of President Salvador Allende in Chile is widely known. Allende had been elected president in November 1970, and began land reform, and nationalized the banks, the mines and large industrial firms. This stirred the ire of the U.S. government. After all, U.S. and foreign corporations controlled almost all of the key sectors of the economy--machinery and equipment, 50 percent; iron, steel and metal products, 60 percent; automotive assembly, 100 percent; tobacco, 100 percent; advertising, 90 percent, according to James Petras, testifying before a Congressional Committee in 1975.

So on September 11, 1973, Allende was overthrown and assassinated. At least thirty thousand people were killed by General Pinochet's military junta within a very short time.

Enter the NED

One of the very first operations heavily financed by NED resulted in the electoral defeat of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua in 1989. More recently, NED involvement in the former Yugoslavia helped fragment that country and bring down its leadership.

The NED web site reveals many details of NED's "projects."(Sometimes information about the grantees has been removed from the site following various exposés. Nevertheless, researchers have retained printouts of this material.) What emerges is a picture of the countries and issues of NED concentration during a given year. For example, there continues to be heavy emphasis on Eastern European countries and former Soviet republics, as well as Cuba and China. During recent years, a large number of grants went to opposition groups in the former Yugoslavia. (27)

NED and labor

The largest NED grants, by far, consistently go to so-called "labor solidarity" groups--usually in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. These are funneled to groups in various countries through the American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS) or its regional counterparts, which are connected with the AFL-CIO. In fact ACILS is described as one of the four core NED institutes. The others are: The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, and the Center of International Private Enterprise.(28)

In the case of Venezuela, the New York Times pointed out in a candid article entitled "U.S. Bankrolling Is Under Scrutiny for Ties to Chávez Ouster," that the NED quadrupled its budget to $877,000 for that country just prior to the coup attempt. ACILS' share of the new budget was $154,377. (29)

But ACILS also had been receiving grants for activities in Venezuela in the prior couple of years. For example in 2000, ACILS received $60,084 "[t]o support the Confederation of Venezuelan Workers (CTV) to effect reforms intended to increase rank and file control over decision making. ACILS will conduct courses for regional federations of the CTV, focusing on problems and challenges for unions in a changing world, restructuring of labor organizations, and establishing internal elections for union leadership.(30)

This sounds innocuous, even laudable. However, clearly such "internal elections" had not been carried out up to that time, during the many years prior to Chávez's presidency. Even the statement issued by the AFL-CIO about the events in Venezuela said that in October and November 2001, CTV members voted in the "first one-member-one vote, secret ballot union election in Venezuelan history." (31) The obvious question is: if the CTV was in need of democratization throughout its history, why did this involvement of ACILS/NED start just at the time Chávez was instituting major reforms in the country including taking more direct hold of the oil industry for the benefit of the people of Venezuela, including by appointing new members to the management board of the PDVSA?

Ironically, the Venezuelan unions' operations are more transparent than at any time in history partly because of a number of reforms that were launched by Chávez who had pushed through a referendum calling for Mr. Ortega and all other labor leaders to stand for direct elections before the rank and file last October, according to Wall Street Journal. (32) After elections were held, there followed accusations of fraud when Ortega and the old guard declared themselves the winners and refused to submit the official results and ballots to the government. The International Confederation of Trade Unions (ICFTU) and the AFL-CIO, of course, had denounced this referendum as interference in the internal affairs of unions.

The AFL-CIO and NED proudly stated in the invitation to a closed forum on February 12, which they sponsored, that the CTV played "a key role in the national strike on December 10"--an action called by business owners which resulted in sending millions of workers home. The invitation also said the CTV had joined with business and other groups in " a massive demonstration against the government on January 23."(33) It remains unanswered whether or not the union members ever participated in a vote to support the "strike."

The amount of money allotted to ACILS for work in Venezuela is relatively small and could be dismissed as insignificant. And the AFL-CIO statement about ACILS work in Venezuela states that all the funds were used only for "printing of election materials, the training of CTV election committees, and the sponsoring of forums which brought labor, business, human rights and religious leaders together in defense of freedom of association." Further, the statement "unequivocally condemned the coup attempt of April 12th." (34)

Yet, the ACILS Venezuelan operation should be seen in the context of the total amounts of money directed by NED to ACILS for work in other selected countries. The sums given for ACILS operations are nearly always considerably larger than for other grantees. ACILS also receives funds from the Agency for International Development (AID), acknowledged Barbara Shailor, head of ACILS, according to an article titled "Its time to come clean: Open the AFL-CIO Archives on International Labor Operations."(35)

Questions raised

Questions are being raised by concerned union members about any role ACILS may have had in the coup attempt in Venezuela. This is exemplified by the Monterey Bay Labor Council which passed a motion to send a letter on this matter to John Sweeney, AFL-CIO president. The letter expressed concern about the allegations contained in a San Joe Mercury News article (4/25/02) and asked "why the AFL-CIO would be involved in funneling State Department money to a labor federation in Venezuela that was actively involved in trying to overthrow that country's democratically-elected government"

It recalled that "for decades the AFL-CIO's American Institute for Free Labor Development (AIFLD) meddled in the internal affairs of our Latin American neighbors using State Department money...This set a terrible precedent and left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Latin American trade unionists. It gave the impression that the AFL-CIO is an instrument of the U.S. government for achieving our government's political goals, rather than an independent labor federation fighting for labor rights both at home and abroad.

The letter pointed out that they were heartened when the Sweeney administration abolished AIFLD and its sister institutes and replaced them with ACILS. "We hope the recent revelation regarding Solidarity Center activity in Venezuela involving State Department/NED money does not signal a resumption of AIFLD-style meddling in the affairs of other countries," the letter said.

It concluded by saying: "We wholeheartedly agree with AFL-CIO support for our sister labor movements around the world and all efforts to strengthen them in our common struggle against corporate-driven globalization. We believe, however, that these activities should be funded by our members and not by the U.S. government, whose agenda on labor issues is often antithetical to ours."

"Clear the Air"

There were earlier resolutions--initially unanimously passed by the South Bay Labor Council (San Jose)--and later joined by the King County Labor Council (Seattle), the Washington State Labor Council, and Pride at Work. The South Bay Labor Council resolution cited articles showing that the AFL-CIO played a role leading to the bloody Pinochet overthrow of the democratically- elected government of Chile, that its work was linked to corporate and CIA intervention ordered by Richard Nixon and led by Henry Kissinger, that the AFL-CIO engaged in similar activities in many countries on almost every continent and that such activities served corporate interests and were funded by the U.S. government. The resolutions called on president Sweeney to clear the air by revealing exactly what activities may still be engaged in abroad with funds paid by government agencies and to renounce any such ties arguing that these would compromise the AFL-CIO's credibility and trust of workers here and abroad and "would make us paid agents of the government or of the forces of corporate globalization."

These and other discussions within the U.S. labor movement are critical to clearing the way for true global labor solidarity so essential today in order to counter the corporate global reach.

Meanwhile, more details continue to surface about the role played by the CTV leadership, especially its president, Carlos Ortega, in the coup attempt in Venezuela. That Ortega was deeply involved is indicated by numerous accounts, including in the Newsday article by Tayler. The article points out that former Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez, wanted on corruption charges in Venezuela and currently living in Miami, and who has been accused of involvement in the plot, is a mentor of both Ortega and Carmona. Ortega is described as helping to organize the April 11 strike and march on Miraflores Palace. In fact, Carlos Ortega shouted "on to Miraflores" that day, helping to divert the march route to the palace. (36)

The Wall Street Journal also reported that "some Venezuela political analysts remain unconvinced of Mr. Ortega's reformist credentials. The union movement in Venezuela , which

operated in close alliance with the two political parties that shared power here for 40 years through the 1990s has a history of corruption. In fact, the unions contributed to the wave of public revulsion with the traditional political class and lifted Mr. Chávez to power in elections in 1998." (37)

"The perfect crime"

Since the aborted coup the campaign to topple Chavez has been redoubled. Le Monde diplomatique described the likely scenario for overthrowing Chavez:

"[T]here will be a coalition of the well-to-do, bringing together the Catholic Church (represented mainly by Opus Dei), the financial oligarchy, the employers' organizations, the bourgeoisie and corrupt trade union leaderships -- all repackaged as "civil society." The owners of major media will collude ... to support the campaigns that they will each launch against the president, in the name of defending that "civil society". The media will function as a factory of lies and will fire public opinion with facile slogans: "Chavez is a dictator" -- even though the country has not one single political prisoner... The media will yell the message that "Chavez must go...

"[T]he press and TV will brandish terms--"the people, democracy, liberty" etc. They will mobilize street demonstrations and any attempt by the government to criticize them will be immediately described as "a serious assault on freedom of expression," to be reported to relevant international organizations.... they will revive the insurrectional strike and encourage ideas of a coup and an assault on the presidential palace...

"[W]ith renewed ferocity and remarkable impunity the Venezuelan media currently uses lies and disinformation in the biggest ever destabilization campaign against a democratically elected government. Since the world hardly seems to care, the media hopes that this time it will succeed in committing the perfect crime.(38)

These U.S. covert operations, destabilizations, and military interventions are escalating under the Bush administration as it targets a long list of "evildoer" nations. Hundreds of millions of poor and working people around the world have no chance to better their conditions so long as such pro-corporate, globalization, and imperial policies continue. Workers and the great majority of people in the United States, working in unity and coalition, have the greatest responsibility and the greatest possibility to put an end to those anti-democratic, fascistic, warmaking and terrorist policies which also do great harm to multitudes in the U.S.


Notes

1. Marc Lifsher, "Oil Workers Threaten Strike in Venezuela," Wall Street Journal, March, 2001.

2. Guardian, London, ,Jan. 30, 2002.

3. Op.cit., Lifsher.

4. Op. Cit., Guardian.

5. Letta Tayler, "Peace Kept for Now," Newsday, Apr. 24, 2002.

6. Ibid.

7. Aram Ruben Aharonian,"Hamburgers, Cured Ham, and Oil," Proceso Mexico City, May 1, 2002.

8. Ibid.

9. "Tales from a failed coup: From Venezuela, disturbing evidence of American incompetence," Economist, London ,Apr. 29, 2002.

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.

12. Op.cit., WSJ.

13. Ibid.

14. Marc Lifsher, "Venezuelan Crisis Deepens, Cutting Oil Flow and Threatening Chávez," Wall Street Journal. Apr. 12, 2002.

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17. Op. cit., Tayler.

18. Ibid.

19. Ed Vulliamy, "Venezuela coup linked to Bush team," Observer, London, Apr. 21, 2002.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23.Guardian ,London, Apr. 29, 2002.

24. New York Times, "U.S. Bankrolling Is Under Scrutiny for Ties to Chavez Ouster," Apr. 25, 2002.

25. William Robinson, 'Promoting Polyarch: Globalization, U.S. Intervention, And Hegemony-Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp 86-89.

26.Noam Chomsky, and Edward S. Herman, "The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism," South End Press Boston, 1979.

27. http://www.ned.org

28. Ibid.

29."U.S. Bankrolling Is Under Scrutiny for Ties to Chávez Ouster," New York Times, Apr. 25, 2002.

30. See NED web site, year 2000 grants.

31. "The AFL-CIO and Worker Rights in Venezuela."

32. Op. cit.,Lifsher, WSJ, 14.

33. As reported by Kathryn Hoyt, Co-coordinator, Nicaragua Network.

34. Op. cit. AFL-CIO statement.

35. Kim Scipes, "Its time to come clean: Open the AFL-CIO Archives on International Labor Operations", Labor Studies Journal, Vol. 25, No. 2, Summer,2000, p. 151.

36. Op. cit., Tayler.

37. Op. cit. , Lifsher, WSJ, 14.

38. Ignacio Ramonet, "The perfect crime," Le Monde diplomatique, June 2002.


Copyright ©  Karen Talbot 2002. For fair use only


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