The CIA Is More Active Than Ever
by Jean-Guy Allard, Granma International
Her name and her accent are from the movies.
Her manner of an incorrigible young girl, her humorous regard
and ironic smile touch everyone. The daughter of a U.S. father
and Venezuelan mother, Eva Golinger is a most unusual woman.
A lawyer trained in New York, she specialized
in international human rights and left that U.S. metropolis to
live in Venezuela, a country that she passionately defends.
Her book, The Chávez Code, which
reveals U.S. intervention in this South American nation, was described
by José Vicente Rangel, then vice president, as an "incredible
record of Venezuelan experiences from 2001-2003."
Her most recent work, Bush vs. Chávez:
Washington's War on Venezuela, documents the constant escalation
of imperial attacks on the Bolivarian Revolution.
She attacks without blinking, without
distinction, the CIA, the Pentagon, the NED, the RSF, USAID, the
Venezuelan mafia in Miami or Colombian paramilitarism, with the
ardor of an attorney confronting the court with irrefutable evidence
in her portfolio.
From Caracas, the Venezuelan-U.S. lawyer
and researcher Eva Golinger responds to some questions from Granma
It has been affirmed that the coup against
Chávez was CIA-made. You have studied this case closely:
how has this become more evident to you?
There are distinct factors that I have
been able to detect and expose through an investigation that I
began more than five years ago, utilizing the Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA) to demonstrate the involvement of the CIA and other
U.S. government agencies in the coup against Chávez. The
most conclusive facts and evidence include a series of documents
classified Top Secret by the CIA, dating from March 5, 2002 to
April 17, 2002, which clearly refer to plans for a coup against
Chávez: who, how, where and when, everything clear. One
in particular, dated April 6, 2002; in other words, five days
before the coup, emphasizes how the opposition sectors, the CTV,
Fedecámaras (the country's main business federation), dissenting
soldiers, the private media and even the Catholic Church were
going to march through the streets in those first weeks of April
and how the coup conspirators would provoke violence with snipers
in the street, causing deaths, and then the intention to arrest
President Chávez and other important members of his cabinet.
After that, they would install a civic-military transition government.
Anyone who knows what happened that April 11-12, 2002, knows that
that's how it was, and after taking President Chávez prisoner,
it was only U.S. government spokespersons who came out and recognized
the coup government of Pedro Carmona, and moreover tried to put
pressure on other countries to do the same.
So, those documents that clearly show
knowledge of the detailed plans for the coup against Chávez,
written by the CIA, are the most damning evidence confirming the
role of the CIA in the coup. However, the fact that financial
and advisory agencies like the National Endowment for Democracy
(NED), the International republican Institute (IRI), the National
Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Center for International Private
Enterprise (CIPE) financed all the groups, NGOs, trade unions,
businesspeople, political parties and the media involved in the
coup, also demonstrates overwhelming evidence of the role of the
CIA and the other U.S. agencies in the coup against Chávez.
After the coup, those agencies even increased their funding for
the coup organizers themselves, something that re-confirms their
commitment and their intention to continue with efforts to overthrow
We could also talk of the role of the
Pentagon and U.S. military, which trained the coup members, equipped
them with weapons and promoted their actions.
In what way is the U.S. embassy in Caracas
keeping up its interference?
The U.S. embassy in Venezuela is very
active. These days, its main strategy is subversion. This is manifested
by USAID, NED, IRI, Freedom House, CIPE, etc. funding of opposition
groups, but there is also an attempt to penetrate the pro-Chávez
sectors and communities. This last tactic is one of the most dangerous
and effective. In 2005, William Brownfield, then U.S. ambassador
in Caracas (he is now the ambassador to Colombia), began to open
what they call "American Corners" in different Venezuelan
cities. Currently, they are operating in Maracay, Margarita, Barquisimeto,
Maturín, Lecherías and Puerto Ordaz. They are little
propaganda and conspiracy centers that function as nuclei to recruit
and bring together an opposition. To date the Venezuelan government
has not taken any concrete steps to eradicate this illegal initiative
(in violation of the Vienna Convention given that they are consular
bases established without the permission of the Ministry of Foreign
The CIA and the State Department maintain
various fronts in the country, as they always do. We have Development
Alternatives Inc. (DAI), a U.S. corporation based in the El Rosal
de Caracas sector, which functions as a money filter from USAID
to the opposition sectors. Then there is the Press and Society
Institute, part of the Reporters sans frontiers (RSF) network,
which receives funds from the NED, USAID, the CIA etc. to execute
its neoliberal, pro-U.S. policy and to attempt to accuse the Venezuelan
government of being repressive and violating the rights of free
expression and a free press.
Freedom House and the USAID are also financing
right-wing student leaders and movements and sending them to Belgrade
to train with experts in the Orange Revolution (Ukraine) and other
so-called processes for "overthrowing dictators." Recently,
the neoliberal right-wing Cato Institute think tank, which advises
Bush and receives funding from Exxon Mobile and Philip Morris,
awarded a "prize" worth $500,000 to the opposition Venezuelan
student Yon Goicochea. The prize, which bears the name of Milton
Friedman, who was an advisor to Nixon, Reagan and Pinochet and
is the architect of the neoliberal policy and the "shock
doctrine," is to finance a new, "fresh-faced" political
party in Venezuela - a group of young people trained since 2005
by U.S. agencies that have had some influence over certain sectors
during the last year.
They were thinking that this group could
come to be a powerful political force being that it does not belong
to the old corrupt politics of the country. However, we have been
able to unmask the majority of them and demonstrate their relation
with Washington as well as the politicos and elite that governed
With the new CIA Special Mission for Venezuela
and Cuba (set up in 2006), we know that the Agency is more active
than ever in the country. The stronger and more popular Chávez
and the revolution become, the more resources they are dedicating
to neutralize it.
The residue of various Latin American
dictatorships is currently to be found in Miami. The pro-Batista
Cubans have dominated the city for years, but the number of so-called
anti-Chavists is growing. What are your observations on this subject?
Miami isn't an ugly city. Unfortunately,
the pro-Batista Cubans took control of the city decades ago and
now they have welcomed the anti-Chavist Venezuelans, many of them
coup organizers, with open arms. There is talk of "Westonzuela,"
an area on the outskirts of Miami where the self-exiled Venezuelans
live. I think that they are totally removed from reality, just
like those Cubans who are still living in the 50s. They are aggressive
at a distance and have conspiracy pretensions, but I don't believe
that they constitute a serious threat to our revolution.
They move about creating their ruckus
over there and working with Cuban-American congress members, just
like the disconnected Connie Mack, trying to demonize President
Chávez and the revolution. Their latest initiative was
to place Venezuela on the State Department list of terrorist countries.
Despite the pressure that they brought to bear and the stories
that they invented about a supposed link between the Venezuelan
government and terrorist groups, they failed in their final objective:
Venezuela was not classified as a state sponsoring terrorism.
On the contrary, many congresspersons and members of U.S. society
rejected that initiative and, to a certain extent, that coup community
was left discredited.
Of course, one must never discount the
possibility that they will continue conspiring and inventing new
ways of destabilizing Venezuela, just as they have done with Cuba
for almost 50 years. And they can count on financial support from
USAID, the NED and other imperial agencies, but I don't believe
that they will affect the advances of the revolution very much.
They are paper tigers.
Recently John McCain was boasting to a
group of Cuban Americans in Miami, trying to show that he has
always been sensitive to the situation in Cuba, that he was aboard
the USS Enterprise facing the Cuban coast during the hours of
the Missile Crisis. What is your perception of McCain's stance
in relation to Venezuela, Cuba and Latin America?
If he should be elected president of the
United States, McCain would engage in a much more hostile and
aggressive policy toward Venezuela and Cuba, and even the other
ALBA countries. His discourse is already more precise toward the
region and he is constantly mentioning how he would further tighten
policy on what he classifies as dictatorships and threats in Venezuela
and Cuba. That goes beyond simply wanting the Florida vote. McCain
is a military man and an imperialist in the sense that he wouldn't
accept the United States losing its influence over and domination
of its "backyard." He suffers from that same complex
that the other Republicans have about Cuba and Fidel Castro, for
example. They still cannot accept that Cuba has defeated imperial
aggression and the 50 years of blockade and attacks. They persist
in their spoilt and infantile attitudes that stop them from turning
the page and accepting reality: the most powerful empire in the
world could not defeat the Cuban Revolution. So, with a McCain,
we will be even worse off than with a Bush and, believe me, he
is a hard one to surpass.
The Democrats' position is not always
apparent. Will it be very different from McClain and his clan?
I don't think it will be that different,
perhaps in its manner, but not in its final action. The democrats
love to use the NED, the USAID and the other agencies with "pretty
faces" like Freedom House or the Institute for Peace to execute
their interventionist policies. I think that a Democrat in the
White House will not change the policy on Latin America to any
great extent. Maybe there would be more dialogue, but I don't
believe that the interference will end. Moreover, all the candidates
have said that President Chávez is a dictator and that
their administration, if elected, will focus more on the region's
Let's remember that it isn't about who
occupies the chair in the Oval Office, but those who are around
that person. And that doesn't change much whether the occupant
is a Democrat or a Republican. The military-industrial complex,
the big bankers and the transnationals are the ones that really
govern in the United States. And they are not leaving power in