FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Hugo Chavez on the CIA in Venezuela

by GREGORY WILPERT

In a three-hour lunch meeting with foreign journalists yesterday, Venezuela’s president Hugo Chavez roamed over a wide variety of topics, from the cancellation of his trip to the U.S., to the recall referendum, to the WTO meeting in Cancun, and to Venezuela-Colombia relations, among other issues.

One of the first and perhaps more puzzling topics that was broached was the relatively sudden cancellation of the president’s trip to the U.S., scheduled for late September. President Chavez was supposed to give a speech at the opening of the UN in New York, to visit Houston, Texas, the city where the state-owned oil company Citgo will have its new headquarters, and to give a speech in Harlem.

While the President said he regretted not being able to give the speech in Harlem and to visit Houston, he said he cancelled the trip for two main reasons. First, he said that the main reason was that there were security concerns, the details of which he could not disclose. Second, he said that he does not like UN summits. “I go there and I don’t feel like speaking because practically no one listens. It’s a dialogue of the deaf; it’s silly. You go there to listen to one discourse after another, one day after the other and for what? What is the purpose? I prefer to denounce, to say that this system is not working. I have a natural rejection of these summits.” He then went on to elaborate how fundamentally undemocratic the UN is and that it needs to be democratized.

With regard to the letter of protest that representatives of the opposition coalition Democratic Coordinator sent to the Organization of American States, the UNDP, and the Carter Center, Chavez said that it does not surprise him, since the opposition wants “a referendum according to their preferences.” He elaborated that in the past the National Electoral Council was an arm of the two main governing parties, Copei and AD, which helped them organize fraud and which funded their election observers. The other, mostly leftist, parties never had enough resources to post witnesses at all polling places. Now, however, there is a National Electoral Council that is independent and the opposition complains, since they are not used to that, said Chavez.

Doubts on recall referendum

Asked if he thought that there would be a recall referendum before his term ends, Chavez responded that “it is going to be extremely difficult for the opposition to comply with the requirements for a recall referendum.” He added that several representatives of opposition parties have told him in private that they actually are not interested in a recall referendum because they would rather concentrate on the upcoming elections for state governors, which are supposed to take place in June or July of 2004. He thus doubts that there is a real will on the part of the opposition to even organize a proper recall referendum. But, nonetheless, “there is a possibility” that there will be a referendum, but only if the opposition “takes its opposition role seriously” and leaves aside all illegal efforts to oust him.

International issues

On the international front, Chavez revealed that his government is in the possession of a video, which his security forces secretly recorded, of a CIA officer giving a class to Venezuelans on surveillance. Joking he said, “The technique could not have been very good, since we did manage to film him.” He argues that this is evidence that the CIA is involved in clandestine activity in Venezuela, after the coup attempt, in addition to the evidence he has of U.S. involvement before and during the coup; but his government has so far not issued a formal complaint to the U.S. government. Some day, he said, these pieces of evidence will be released, but he does not know when.

With respect to the unclear stand Venezuela recently took with regard to international property rights at the WTO meeting in Cancun, the president promised to clarify Venezuela’s position, saying that “it’s not the first time that there are contradictions” within the government on an issue.

While Venezuela’s Minister of Commerce and Production took a strong position on the issue of eliminating agricultural subsidies for first world countries, along with other third world countries, organized in the “Group of 21”, Venezuela almost signed an agreement which would have limited the use of generic medications to only three diseases, AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. This would have gone directly against the policy of Venezuela’s office on intellectual property rights (SAPI), which maintains that public health must take precedence over the profits of transnational pharmaceutical companies.

Venezuela would not recognize the Iraqi representative to OPEC

Referring to the upcoming OPEC meeting, Chavez announced that his government would not recognize the Iraqi representative as an official representative because “unfortunately there is no government in Baghdad, it is anarchy, with constant destabilization.” “They have not been able to restart their production anyway,” added the president. Rather, there would be informal talks at the next OPEC meeting on September 24 with an observer from the occupation forces in Iraq.

Finally, Chavez said that relations between Venezuela and Colombia are very complicated because there are people who are interested in sabotaging this relationship. He reiterated that his government is not providing any kind of support to the Colombian guerilla movements, despite what the opposition claims. Rather, Venezuela’s position with regard to the conflict in Colombia is one of neutrality, of neither opposing nor supporting the guerilla movement. “We don’t want to support the path of war in Colombia, we want to support the path of peace,” added Chavez.

GREGORY WILPERT specializes in writing about Venezuela. He can be reached at: Venezuelanayisis.com

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 29, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Obama Said Hillary will Continue His Legacy and Indeed She Will!
Jeffrey St. Clair
She Stoops to Conquer: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Rob Urie
Long Live the Queen of Chaos
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Evolution of Capitalism, Escalation of Imperialism
Margot Kidder
My Fellow Americans: We Are Fools
Lewis Evans
Executing Children Won’t Save the Tiger or the Rhino
Vijay Prashad
The Iraq War: a Story of Deceit
Chris Odinet
It Wasn’t Just the Baton Rouge Police Who Killed Alton Sterling
Brian Cloughley
Could Trump be Good for Peace?
Patrick Timmons
Racism, Freedom of Expression and the Prohibition of Guns at Universities in Texas
Gary Leupp
The Coming Crisis in U.S.-Turkey Relations
Pepe Escobar
Is War Inevitable in the South China Sea?
Norman Pollack
Clinton Incorruptible: An Ideological Contrivance
Robert Fantina
The Time for Third Parties is Now!
Andre Vltchek
Like Trump, Hitler Also Liked His “Small People”
Serge Halimi
Provoking Russia
David Rovics
The Republicans and Democrats Have Now Switched Places
Andrew Stewart
Countering The Nader Baiter Mythology
Rev. William Alberts
“Law and Order:” Code words for White Lives Matter Most
Ron Jacobs
Something Besides Politics for Summer’s End
David Swanson
It’s Not the Economy, Stupid
Erwan Castel
A Faith that Lifts Barricades: The Ukraine Government Bows and the Ultra-Nationalists are Furious
Steve Horn
Did Industry Ties Lead Democratic Party Platform Committee to Nix Fracking Ban?
Robert Fisk
How to Understand the Beheading of a French Priest
Colin Todhunter
Sugar-Coated Lies: How The Food Lobby Destroys Health In The EU
Franklin Lamb
“Don’t Cry For Us Syria … The Truth is We Shall Never Leave You!”
Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin
The Artistic Representation of War and Peace, Politics and the Global Crisis
Frederick B. Hudson
Well Fed, Bill?
Harvey Wasserman
NY Times Pushes Nukes While Claiming Renewables Fail to Fight Climate Change
Elliot Sperber
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy
Uri Avnery
The Orange Man: Trump and the Middle East
Marjorie Cohn
The Content of Trump’s Character
Missy Comley Beattie
Pick Your Poison
Kathleen Wallace
Feel the About Turn
Joseph Grosso
Serving The Grid: Urban Planning in New York
John Repp
Real Cooperation with Nations Is the Best Survival Tactic
Binoy Kampmark
The Scourge of Youth Detention: The Northern Territory, Torture, and Australia’s Detention Disease
Kim Nicolini
Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red In It
Phillip Kim et al.
Open Letter to Bernie Sanders from Former Campaign Staffers
Cesar Chelala
Gang Violence Rages Across Central America
Tom H. Hastings
Africa/America
Robert Koehler
Slavery, War and Presidential Politics
Charles R. Larson
Review: B. George’s “The Death of Rex Ndongo”
July 28, 2016
Paul Street
Politician Speak at the DNC
Jeffrey St. Clair
Night of the Hollow Men: Notes From the Democratic Convention
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail