www.nettime.org
Nettime mailing list archives

[Nettime-bold] Venezuela coup linked to Bush team.....
anastasios.kozaitis on Fri, 26 Apr 2002 21:18:01 +0200 (CEST)


[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-bold] Venezuela coup linked to Bush team.....



Maybe it wasn't grey at all...


Venezuela coup linked to Bush team

Specialists in the 'dirty wars' of the Eighties encouraged the plotters who tried to topple President Chavez

Observer Worldview

Ed Vulliamy in New York
Sunday April 21, 2002
The Observer


The failed coup in Venezuela was closely tied to senior officials in the US government, The Observer has established. They have long histories in the 'dirty wars' of the 1980s, and links to death squads working in Central America at that time. Washington's involvement in the turbulent events that briefly removed left-wing leader Hugo Chavez from power last weekend resurrects fears about US ambitions in the hemisphere. It also also deepens doubts about policy in the region being made by appointees to the Bush administration, all of whom owe their careers to serving in the dirty wars under President Reagan. One of them, Elliot Abrams, who gave a nod to the attempted Venezuelan coup, has a conviction for misleading Congress over the infamous Iran-Contra affair. The Bush administration has tried to distance itself from the coup. It immediately endorsed the new government under businessman Pedro Carmona. But the coup was sent dramatically into reverse after 48 hours. Now official! s at t he Organisation of American States and other diplomatic sources, talking to The Observer, assert that the US administration was not only aware the coup was about to take place, but had sanctioned it, presuming it to be destined for success. The visits by Venezuelans plotting a coup, including Carmona himself, began, say sources, 'several months ago', and continued until weeks before the putsch last weekend. The visitors were received at the White House by the man President George Bush tasked to be his key policy-maker for Latin America, Otto Reich. Reich is a right-wing Cuban-American who, under Reagan, ran the Office for Public Diplomacy. It reported in theory to the State Department, but Reich was shown by congressional investigations to report directly to Reagan's National Security Aide, Colonel Oliver North, in the White House. North was convicted and shamed for his role in Iran-Contra, whereby arms bought by busting US sanctions on Iran were sold to the Contra guerrilla! s and death squads, in revolt against the Marxist government in Nicaragua. Reich also has close ties to Venezuela, having been made ambassador to Caracas in 1986. His appointment was contested both by Democrats in Washington and political leaders in the Latin American country. The objections were overridden as Venezuela sought access to the US oil market. Reich is said by OAS sources to have had 'a number of meetings with Carmona and other leaders of the coup' over several months. The coup was discussed in some detail, right down to its timing and chances of success, which were deemed to be excellent. On the day Carmona claimed power, Reich summoned ambassadors from Latin America and the Caribbean to his office. He said the removal of Chavez was not a rupture of democra tic rule, as he had resigned and was 'responsible for his fate'. He said the US would support the Carmona government. But the crucial figure around the coup was Abrams, who operates in the White House as senior dir! ector of the National Security Council for 'democracy, human rights and international opera