Monday, August 22, 2005

Extremist Cleric Calls For Political Assassination

Surprise! It's not who you think - Pat Robertson recently called for the murder of Hugo Chavez, who you may recall the US not-so-recently attempted to remove as an obstacle to unrestricted US exploitation of Venezuelan oil.
So clearly he's a threat to global security and must be destroyed. Killing for God, killing for oil; it's all the same insanity, and it's often connected. Abroad and here at home.

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Blogger Management said...

Pat Robertson calls for assassination of Hugo Chavez
VIRGINIA BEACH (AP) — Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson called on Monday for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, calling him a "terrific danger" to the United States.

Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former presidential candidate, said on "The 700 Club" it was the United States' duty to stop Chavez from making Venezuela a "launching pad for communist infiltration and Muslim extremism."

Chavez has emerged as one of the most outspoken critics of President Bush, accusing the United States of conspiring to topple his government and possibly backing plots to assassinate him. U.S. officials have called the accusations ridiculous.

"You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it," Robertson said. "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."

Electronic pages and a message to a Robertson spokeswoman were not immediately returned Monday evening.

Venezuela is the fifth largest oil exporter and a major supplier of oil to the United States. The CIA estimates that U.S. markets absorb almost 59% of Venezuela's total exports.

Venezuela's government has demanded in the past that the United States crack down on Cuban and Venezuelan "terrorists" in Florida who they say are conspiring against Chavez.

Robertson accused the United States of failing to act when Chavez was briefly overthrown in 2002.

"We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said.

"We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

9:08 PM  
Blogger Management said...

Venezuela



Project: History of US Interventions
Open-Content project managed by Michael Bevin, Derek Mitchell

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1948
President Romulo Gallegos, Venezuela's first democratically elected leader, is overthrown within eight months of his election in a military coup led by Marcos Perez Jimenez, who forms a government with backing from the armed forces and the US. [BBC, 8/14/2004;; Keen, 1992]
People and organizations involved: Marcos Perez Jimenez, Romulo Gallegos

1998
Hugo Chavez is elected president. He promises to try to raise Venezuela's minimum wage, which stands at $175 a month despite Venezuela's substantial oil wealth (the largest outside the middle east. It is the US' second largest supplier of oil). [CNN, 12/97/1998; Foreign Policy in Focus, 4/17/2002; Air Force Magazine, 6/2002]
People and organizations involved: Hugo Chavez Frias

1998-2002
Chavez challenges the oligarchs' control over land and petroleum and introduces reforms aimed at improving the social welfare of the population.
He attempts to renegotiate a 60-year old royalty agreement which pays as little as one percent to Venezuela, but which generates huge profits for oil companies such as Philips Petroleum and ExxonMobil. He also confirms the nationalization of the oil industry [Vheadlines, 12/6/2002; Foreign Policy in Focus, 4/17/2002; The Guardian, 1/17/2003; The New Statesman, 3/11/2002; BBC, 4/16/2002]
He pushes significant land reforms. At this time, roughly two percent of the population controls sixty percent of the land while eighty percent lives in poverty. [Vheadlines, 12/6/2002; Foreign Policy in Focus, 4/17/2002; The Guardian, 1/17/2003; The New Statesman, 3/11/2002; BBC, 4/16/2002]
Under his leadership, Venezuela establishes a new progressive constitution. [BBC, 11/20/1999]
Chavez succeeds in lowering infant mortality rates. [Commondreams, 4/12/2002; Foreign Policy in Focus, 4/17/2002]
Under his leadership, the government passes 49 laws which not only bring forward land reform, but also improve both the fairness and efficiency of the tax system, guarantee women's and indigenous people's rights, and introduce free healthcare and education up to university level. [The News Statesman, 4/29/2002]
People and organizations involved: ExxonMobil, Philips Petroleum, Hugo Chavez Frias

April 6, 2002
The CIA files a Senior Executive Security Briefs stating: “[D]issident military factions, including some disgruntled senior officers and a group of radical junior officers, are stepping up efforts to organize a coup against President Chavez, possibly as early as this month.... To provoke military action, the plotters may try to exploit unrest stemming from opposition demonstrations slated for later this month or ongoing strikes at the state-owned oil company PSVSa.” The brief also notes, “The level of detail in the reported plans [censored] targets Chavez and 10 other senior officials for arrest—lends credence to the information, but military and civilian contacts note that neither group appears ready to lead a successful coup and may bungle the attempt by moving too quickly.” But is also says that “repeated warnings that the US will not support any extraconstitutional moves to oust Chavez probably have given pause to the plotters.” [Newsday, 11/24/2004; Associated Press, 12/3/2004 Sources: Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, April 6, 2002] Senior Executive Security Briefs are one level below the highest-level Presidential Daily Briefs and are distributed to roughly 200 top-level US officials. [Newsday, 11/24/2004]

(april 7, 2002)
The CIA files a Senior Executive Security Briefs noting that “repeated warnings that the US will not support any extraconstitutional moves to oust Ch�vez probably have given pause to the plotters.” Senior Executive Security Briefs are one level below the highest-level Presidential Daily Briefs and are distributed to roughly 200 top-level US officials. [Newsday, 11/24/2004]

April 8, 2002
The CIA states in its daily Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, “Disgruntled officers are planning a coup, although the military and the opposition as a whole appear to prefer that Chavez be removed by constitutional means.” The document adds, “an attempted coup would risk considerable violence and a severe crackdown by Chavez on any domestic opposition.” [Sources: Senior Executive Intelligence Brief, April 8, 2002]

April 11, 2002
Chavez is overthrown in a military coup reminiscent of previous CIA-coups in Guatemala, Chile, Brazil etc. The US welcomes the coup and congratulates the military, while denying involvement. The coup collapses after two days, however, and Chavez returns to power. The BBC notes: “Since his election, President Chavez has been a thorn in the side of the United States—which gets much of its oil from Venezuela. In particular, US officials were angered because Mr Chavez was selling cheap oil to Fidel Castro in Cuba. Mr. Chavez had also condemned US bombing of civilians in Afghanistan.” [BBC, 4/14/2002] Otto J. Reich, the US' assistant secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, is in contact with Mr. Chavez's successor on the very day he takes over. The Bush administration claims Reich was pleading with him not to dissolve the National Assembly. [New York Times, 4/17/02] The Pentagon also admits that Rogelio Pardo-Maurer, the Defense Department official responsible for Latin America, discussed the proposed coup in Washington with Gen. Lucas Romero Rincon, chief of the Venezuelan military command. Maurer spent the 1980s working in Washington as the chief spokesman for the Nicaraguan Contras. [World Policy Institute, 4/9/2001; The Guardian, 11/28/2001; Columbian Journal, 6/10/2002; National Catholic Reporter, 8/10/2001; Yellow Times, 5/7/2002] It is revealed that senior Bush administration aides, including assistant Secretary of State Otto Reich and White House advisor Elliott Abrams (both key players in the Reagan administrations covert network for supporting the contra terrorist war on Nicaragua in the 1980s), had met repeatedly in Washington with the coup's organizers. [The Observer, 4/21/2002] Elliott Abrams is also known for his role in the 1973 coup in Chile, as well as his sponsorship of death squads in Argentina, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. [Yellow Times, 5/7/2002] The Washington Post reports: “Members of the country's diverse opposition had been visiting the U.S. Embassy here in recent weeks, hoping to enlist U.S. help in toppling Chavez. The visitors included active and retired members of the military, media leaders and opposition politicians.” Administration spokesmen insist however that these officials repeatedly urged the coup plotters not to take extra-constitutional action. [The Washington Post, 4/13/2002; Monthly Review, 9/2002; CounterPunch, 4/14/2002] A Defense Department official claims the administration's message was less categorical.“We were not discouraging people,” the official said. “We were sending informal, subtle signals that we don't like this guy. We didn't say, ‘No, don't you dare,’ and we weren't advocates saying, ‘Here's some arms; we'll help you overthrow this guy.’ We were not doing that.” [BBC, 4/16/2002; Foreign Policy in Focus, 6/2002]
People and organizations involved: Hugo Chavez Frias, Otto Juan Reich, Rogelio Pardo-Maurer, Fidel Castro, Lucas Romero Rinconh, Elliott Abrams

April 12, 2002
George A. Folsom, president of the International Republican Institute, applauds the ouster of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. “The Venezuelan people rose up to defend democracy in their country,” he says in a statement. “Venezuelans were provoked into action as a result of systematic repression by the government of Hugo Chavez.” [New York Times, 4/25/2002]
People and organizations involved: International Republican Institute

April 16, 2002
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez alleges that “a plane with US registration numbers was at an army airstrip on Venezuela's Orchila Island, one of five places he was held in captivity during his brief removal from power,” reports the BBC. [BBC, 4/16/2002]
People and organizations involved: Hugo Chavez Frias

April 17, 2002
An unnamed US senior administration official says, “The United States did not know that there was going to be an attempt of this kind to overthrow—or to get Ch�vez out of power.” [Newsday, 11/24/2004]

April 18, 2002
US President George W. Bush warns Chavez to draw a lesson from the unrest that his country has just experienced and insists that he commit himself to democracy. “If there's lessons to be learned, it's important that he learn them,” Bush says in a meeting with Colombian President Andres Pastrana. [BBC, 4/18/2002]
People and organizations involved: Hugo Chavez Frias, Andres Pastrana, George W. Bush

April 21, 2002
An official investigation by the Venezuelan government reveals that two high-ranking US officers joined the Venezuelan military commanders who backed the coup at Fort Tiuna, the largest military base in Caracas, where President Hugo Chavez was forcibly taken after being captured by soldiers supporting the overthrow of his government. [Agence France-Presse, 4/20/2002; The Guardian, 5/13/2002]
People and organizations involved: Hugo Chavez Frias

May 14, 2002
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez claims he has proof of US military involvement in the events that took place in April, claiming “he has radar images showing a foreign military vessel, a plane and a helicopter violating the country's waters and air space during the failed coup,” reports the BBC. [BBC, 5/14/2002; Foreign Policy in Focus, 6/2002]
People and organizations involved: Hugo Chavez Frias

October 6, 2002
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez claims to have foiled another coup plot to remove him from office. [BBC, 10/6/2002]
People and organizations involved: Hugo Chavez Frias

October 20, 2002
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez claims to have escaped an assassination attempt while returning from a trip to Europe. [BBC, 10/20/02]
People and organizations involved: Hugo Chavez Frias

December 2002
A “strike” (referred to by some as an employers' lockout) organized by Venezuela's employers begins. [St. Petersburg Times, 12/11/2002; Venezuelan Analysis, 12/3/2002]

February 3, 2003
A friend of John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, allegedly tells Perkins that a private contractor recently asked him if he would be interested in fomenting strikes in Caracas and bribing military officers to turn against Chavez. According to Perkins, his friend has “led clandestine operations in many countries,” but never under the direct emploment of any government. [Perkins, 2004]

February 3, 2003
The strike (see February 3, 2003) ends after 63 days. Although some oil workers continue striking, oil output slowly returns to a level about half of pre-strike production. [BBC, 2/3/2003]

December-January 2003
For the two-month duration of the strikes (see February 3, 2003), the only commercials on Venezuelan TV are pieces by the opposition attacking Chavez. [Adage, 2/10/2003]

February 3, 2004
VHeadline.com claims that the Bush administration is planning another coup in Venezuela. [Vheadlines, 2/3/2004]

9:11 PM  

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