[News] New WikiLeaks cable reveals US embassy strategy to destabilize Chavez government

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Apr 5 11:25:55 EDT 2013

  New WikiLeaks cable reveals US embassy strategy to destabilize Chavez

Published time: April 04, 2013 23:56

In a secret US cable published online by WikiLeaks, former ambassador to 
Venezuela, William Brownfield, outlines a comprehensive plan to 
infiltrate and destabilize former President Hugo Chavez' government.

Dispatched in November of 2006 by Brownfield -- now an Assistant 
Secretary of State -- the document outlined his embassy's five core 
objectives in Venezuela since 2004, which included: "/penetrating 
Chavez' political base,/" "/dividing Chavismo," "protecting vital US 
business"/ and "/isolating Chavez internationally./"

The memo 
which appears to be totally un-redacted, is plain in its language of 
involvement in these core objectives by the US embassy, as well as the 
US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Office of 
Transition Initiatives (OTI), two of the most prestigious agencies 
working abroad on behalf of the US.

According to Brownfield, who prepared the cable specifically for US 
Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), the "majority" of both USAID and OTI 
activities in Venezuela were concerned with assisting the embassy in 
accomplishing its core objectives of infiltrating and subduing Chavez' 
political party:

"/This strategic objective represents the majority of USAID/OTI work in 
Venezuela. Organized civil society is an increasingly important pillar 
of democracy, one where President Chavez has not yet been able to assert 
full control."
In total, USAID spent some one million dollars in organizing 3,000 
forums that sought to essentially reconcile Chavez supporters and the 
political opposition, in the hopes of slowly weaning them away from the 
Bolivarian side.

Brownfield at one point boasted of an OTI civic education program named 
"Democracy Among Us," which sought to work through NGOs in low income 
regions, and had allegedly reached over 600,000 Venezuelans.

In total, between 2004 and 2006, USAID donated some 15 million dollars 
to over 300 organizations, and offered technical support via OTI in 
achieving US objectives which it categorized as seeking to reinforce 
democratic institutions.

Much of the memo details efforts to highlight instances of human rights 
violations, and sponsoring activists and members of the political 
opposition to attend meetings abroad and voice their concerns against 
the Chavez administration:

"So far, OTI has sent Venezuelan NGO leaders to Turkey, Scotland, 
Mexico, Dominican Republic, Chile, Uruguay, Washington and Argentina 
(twice) to talk about the law. Upcoming visits are planned to Brazil, 
Mexico, and Colombia."

In his closing comments, Brownfield remarked that, should President 
Chavez win re-election during the December 2006 elections, OTI expected 
the /"atmosphere for our work in Venezuela/" to become more complicated.

Ultimately, it seems that the former ambassador's memo wisely predicted 
a change in conditions. Following his re-election, President Chavez 
threatened to eject the US ambassador from Venezuela in 2007, amid 
accusations of interfering in internal state affairs.
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