This is one of a series of U.S. backed efforts to remove Chavez from power (and now kill him outright). There was last years coup attempt, backed by Washington, the CIA and the U.S. corporate media. On April 12th 2001, Venezuelan President Chavez was kidnapped and Dictator Pedro Carmona claimed power. The U.S., supposed defender of democracy, was the only Western Hemisphere nation to support the dictatorial overthrow of a popular and democratically elected leader. Enormous public outcry foiled the coup attempt and Chavez was reinstated. |
In December, Washington supported a "national strike". The so called general strike, which was really a lockout led by wealthy corporate executives, was designed to break the popular support for Chavez by the shutdown of Venezuela's oil industry. It was highlighted by sleazy tactics, lies and sabotage. It too failed though it did cause serious harm to the economy.
Washington tried to impose new presidential elections through the Organisation of American States (OAS) This turned into an embarrassing blunder, however, when the proposal became the first major US initiative to be rejected by the OAS as they voted 32-0 to support the democratically elected government of Chavez.
This july, Washington cut off credit to Venezuela from the U.S. Export-Import Bank. According to foreign diplomats in Washington, the head of the bank privately admitted that this was done for political reasons. Now Chavez has had to cancel a trip to the U.S. because of intelligence information that the CIA might bring down his plane.
Why is the U.S. so determined to overthrow Chavez?
Chavez has twice been democratically elected by landslide vote. The first time in 1998, and the second time in 2000, along with a revolutionary new Constitution which gives historic rights to women, and indigenous peoples.
This August, Chavez handed over land deeds to campesino representatives from across Venezuela. Through the initial phase of a revolutionary Agrarian Reform process, more than a million hectares (2.5 million acres) were transferred to campesinos, benefiting more than 40,000 families. The government handed over 31,437 land deeds, 121 farm machines and 30 billion bol?vars (US$20 million). The second phase of the plan will be to distribute two million hectares by the end of this year.
Quoting Chavez "In Venezuela, we are developing a model of struggle against neoliberalism and imperialism. For this reason, we find we have millions of friends in this world, although we also have many enemies." The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and Latin America may well be the strongest democratically based opposition to the neoliberal agenda happening in the world today.
[ Informative Chavez interview from Jan 2003 | Indigenous Rights Attorney Joe Castillo Assassinated in Venezuela | The Venezuela Papers | Farmers and Indigenous United - Historic Gathering Set for October 12 in Venezuela | Women protest moves to topple Ch?vez | Declaration To Support Land Reform And Farmers' Movement In Venezuela ]