[News] US Intelligence Report Classifies Venezuela as “Anti-US Leader”

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 3 17:41:59 EST 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Intelligence Report Classifies Venezuela as “Anti-US Leader”

By Eva Golinger

3 February 2010 – As is custom at the beginning 
of each year, the different US agencies publish 
their famous annual reports on topics ranging 
from human rights, trafficking in persons, 
terrorism, threats, drug-trafficking, and other 
issues that indicate who will be this year’s 
target of US aggression. Yesterday, it was the 
intelligence community’s turn. Admiral Dennis 
Blair, National Director of Intelligence, 
presented the Annual Threat Assessment of the US 
Intelligence Community before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The report details the principle threats to the 
interests and security of the US worldwide. This 
year, in addition to mentioning the usual 
suspects – Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Al 
Qa’ida and Iraq – the report dedicates significant space to Venezuela.

In the section referring to threats in Latin 
America, which carries the title “Latin America 
Stable, but Challenged by Crime and Populism”, a 
large portion is dedicated to Venezuela. 
countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and 
Nicaragua, elected populist leaders are moving 
toward a more authoritarian and statist political 
and economic model, and they have banded together 
to oppose US influence and policies in the 
region. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has 
established himself as one of the US’s foremost 
international detractors, denouncing liberal 
democracy and market capitalism and opposing US 
policies and interests in the region.”

Classifying President Chavez as “one of the US’s 
foremost international detractors” already gives 
indication that the US intelligence community 
considers the Venezuelan president as an enemy. 
But following that paragraph, further down, a 
section titled “Venezuela: Leading Anti-US 
Regional Force”, further confirms the official US 
vision of Venezuela as a major adversary. 
“President Chavez continues to impose an 
authoritarian populist political model in 
Venezuela that undermines democratic 
institutions. Since winning a constitutional 
referendum in early 2009 that removed term limits 
and will permit his reelection, Chavez has taken 
further steps to consolidate his political power 
and weaken the opposition in the run up to the 2010 legislative elections.”

The mention of the congressional elections in 
Venezuela this year evidences how deeply involved 
US intelligence agencies are in internal 
Venezuelan affairs. The US is not always 
interested in legislative elections in a foreign 
nation. Such a focus only occurs when the US has 
some kind of investment in the outcome of the 
electoral process, as in this case. There is no 
question that the flow of US dollars will 
increase this year to fund campaigns of 
opposition candidates and aid in the execution of 
strategies to undermine the Chavez government.

In the following paragraph, the intelligence 
assessment utilizes every claim made by 
opposition groups and media in Venezuela against 
Chavez, “The National Assembly passed a law that 
shifted control of state infrastructure, goods, 
and services to Caracas in order to deprive 
opposition states and municipalities of funds. 
Chavez has curtailed free expression and 
opposition activities by shutting down 
independent news outlets, harassing and detaining 
protestors, and threatening opposition leaders 
with criminal charges for corruption. Chavez’s 
popularity has dropped significantly in recent 
polls as a result of his repressive measures, 
continued high crime, rising inflation, water and 
power shortages, and a major currency 
devaluation, raising questions about his longer term political future.”

Not only is the US intelligence community 
demonstrating poor intelligence collecting and 
analyses here, but also evidencing its clear 
dependency on opposition sources inside and 
outside Venezuela. No news outlets have been shut 
down in Venezuela. Some have been fined and 
sanctioned for not following legal regulations, 
but that happens frequently in the US as well. 
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 
imposes sanctions on hundreds of media outlets in 
the US each year. No one classifies those actions 
as violating freedom of expression, but rather merely enforcing the law.

Furthermore, not only has the Chavez 
administration not detained protestors that 
regularly violate all kinds of laws by blocking 
highways and vital roads throughout the nation, 
marching without permission from local 
authorities, calling publicly for the overthrow 
of the government, throwing molotov cocktails and 
other deadly objects at state security forces, 
but President Chavez himself has actually ordered 
police to refrain from carrying deadly weapons 
when dealing with public protests and to respect 
demonstrators’ human rights. In the US, 
protestors are regularly detained and violently 
repressed by police forces – almost at every 
demonstration – and constantly denied permission 
to march or protest near any government building.

Also, Chavez’s popularity has not “dropped 
significantly”. It remains well above 60%, as it 
has been during the past several years.

But the report goes on to accuse Chavez of 
forming an “anti-US alliance” in Latin America. 
“On foreign policy, Chavez’s regional influence 
may have peaked, but he is likely to continue to 
support likeminded political allies and movements 
in neighboring countries and seek to undermine 
moderate, pro-US governments. He has formed an 
alliance of radical leaders in Cuba, Bolivia, 
Ecuador, Nicaragua, an until recently, Honduras.” 
(Note: Honduras was part of the Bolivarian 
Alliance of the Americas “ALBA”, until the recent 
Washington-backed coup d’etat. This statement in 
the intelligence report evidences the US’s clear 
satisfaction with Honduras’ withdrawal from the alliance).

In the following phrase, the US intelligence 
report also relates Chavez and ALBA nations to 
drug-trafficking and terrorism, “He and his 
allies are likely to oppose nearly every US 
policy initiative in the region, including the 
expansion of free trade, counter drug and 
counterterrorism cooperation, military training 
and security initiatives, and even US assistance programs.”

“Chavez’s relationship with Colombia’s President 
Uribe is particularly troubled. His outspoken 
opposition to Colombia’s Defense Cooperation 
Agreement with the US has led to an increase in 
border tensions. Chavez has called the agreement 
a declaration of war against Venezuela. He has 
restricted Colombian imports, warned of a 
potential military conflict and continued his 
covert support to the terrorist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).”

In the above statement, the US again accuses the 
Chavez government of supporting the FARC, yet has 
never presented any solid evidence to back this 
claim, which has been repeatedly denied by the 
Venezuelan government. Cynically, the US is also 
accusing Chavez of somehow “increasing tensions” 
with Colombia because he opposes the 
establishment of seven US military bases in 
Colombia right across the Venezuelan border. A 
May 2009 US Air Force official document detailed 
how one of the Colombian military bases in 
Palanquero would be used by US armed forces to 
“combat the constant threat of anti-US 
governments in the region” and would improve the 
US’s capacity to execute “Expedentiary Warfare”.

Clearly, as the report classifies Venezuela as 
the “anti-US leader” in the region, that would 
indicate, as outlined in the US Air Force 
document, that the increased US military presence 
in Colombia is precisely to threaten and/or attack Venezuela.

Finally, the US intelligence report discusses the 
perceived threat surrounding Chavez’s 
relationship with Iran, Russia and China. “Chavez 
will continue to cultivate closer political, 
economic and security ties with Iran, Russia and 
China. He has developed a close personal 
relationship with Iranian President Ahmadinejad 
and they have signed numerous agreements
Most of 
the agreements Moscow has signed with Chavez 
relate to arms sales and investments in the 
Venezuelan energy sector
On paper, Venezuela’s 
acquisitions are impressive, but their armed 
forces lack the training and logistics capacity 
to use these to their full capability. Yet, the 
scale of the purchases has caused concern in 
neighboring countries, particularly Colombia, and 
risks fueling a regional arms race.”

The report ends by mentioning Venezuela in the 
section on “Significant State and Non-State 
Intelligence Threats”, claiming that “North Korea 
and Venezuela posess more limited intelligence 
capabilities focused primarily on regional 
threats and supporting the ruling 
Venezuela’s services are working to 
counter US influence in Latin America by 
supporting leftist governments and insurgent 
groups.” The other countries mentioned in this 
section are China, Russia and Cuba, along with 
non-state actors Al Qa’ida and Hizballah.

Apparently, now the US formally views Venezuela 
as a threat in the same class as Al Qa’ida.

What this intelligence report really means is 
that operations against the Chavez government 
will substantially increase this year. The report 
will be used to justify a larger budget 
allocation to intelligence missions against 
Venezuela. But even more dangerously, the focus 
in the report on Hugo Chavez, the man, evidences 
that he has become the principal target of US 
aggression. Placing such an emphasis on one 
individual as the cause of major threats to US 
interests raises the possibilities of an 
assassination attempt or other tactic to rid 
Empire of an individual perceived as an “anti-US leader”.

See the original report 
Posted by Eva Golinger at 

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