[News] US Intelligence Report Classifies Venezuela as Anti-US Leader
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 years
target of US aggression. Yesterday, it was the
intelligence communitys 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
Qaida 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 USs 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 USs
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. Chavezs
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, Chavezs 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, Chavezs 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 detat. This statement in
the intelligence report evidences the USs 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.
Chavezs relationship with Colombias President
Uribe is particularly troubled. His outspoken
opposition to Colombias 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
USs 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 Chavezs
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
the agreements Moscow has signed with Chavez
relate to arms sales and investments in the
Venezuelan energy sector
On paper, Venezuelas
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
Venezuelas 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 Qaida and Hizballah.
Apparently, now the US formally views Venezuela
as a threat in the same class as Al Qaida.
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
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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