Flew Over the Coup-Coup's Nest
April 18, 2002
By Bridget Gibson
It is always a pleasant surprise when the words that emanate
from the politicians corresponds with their policy, and it
should not be such a surprise when it does not. The latter
is the case at hand. On September 20, 2001, in one of the
most important speeches ever written for him, George W. Bush
clearly stated, for all to hear, that the cause of the worst
act to occur on American soil in decades lay in hate for American
On November 5-7, 2001, our National Security Agency, the
Pentagon and the U.S. State Department held a two-day meeting
on U.S. policy toward Venezuela. These meetings had been held
to discuss foreign policies in the past: 1953 for Guatemala
(overthrow government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman and replace
with Carlos Castillo Armas), 1963 for Brazil (organize campaign
of labor strike and propaganda to overthrow government of
Joao Goulart) and 1973 for Chile (campaign of assassinations,
propaganda, labor strikes and demonstrations to overthrow
government of Salvador Allende. Cost: $8,400,000).
The similarities do not end there. After each of these high
level meetings, the targeted countries underwent what is known
as a coup d'etat: that very undemocratic process in which
the military assists some shadowy unknown in the takeover
of the government. The shadowy figures in Venezuela were parts
of the military, business, unions, the Roman Catholic Church
and the news media. The coup installed Pedro Carmona and forced
the removal and imprisonment of President Chavez to an island.
Within hours of his illegal installation, Carmona dissolved
the National Assembly, the Supreme Court and the Venezuelan
Since that meeting in November, the American papers, television
and radio media have dutifully reported the proscribed verbiage
regarding the duly elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.
It may be the work of Richard Armitage or the Pentagon's Office
of Strategic Information, that secretive branch that we were
told by Donald Rumsfeld was dissolved - the one that was set
up to spread disinformation to the American and foreign public.
In this way, the good people of the United States can be sure
to never understand the actions that unfold before them, yet
behind their backs.
Though the American public would not know, it seems dreadful
that President Chavez has been working to represent the people
in his country that have the least voice: the poor, the jobless,
the hungry, the sick. Then President Chavez did the unthinkable.
He raised taxes on his country's biggest exporting asset:
oil. He decided that the taxes collected from the distribution
of his country's natural depleting resource should help pay
for health care, schools and other necessary infrastructure.
This act did not sit well with the free-marketers that believe
that their God-given right is to plunder any country and leave
its cupboards bare.
Meetings have been held in Washington with George W. Bush's
staff with the emissary's from Carmona's camp to garner support
from Washington. A Defense Department official gave the following
in response to questions of U.S. involvement: "We were not
discouraging people," the official said. "We were sending
informal, subtle signals that we don't like this guy (Chavez).
We didn't say, 'No, don't you dare,' and we weren't advocates
saying, 'Here's some arms; we'll help you overthrow this guy.'
We were not doing that."
Somehow I cannot see the above scenario without questioning
the governmental and personal ethics of an administration
that so strongly claims to have a charter membership in the
"ethics club." Would it not have been more appropriate for
our government to hold to the provisions that mandate the
Organization of American States to come to the defense of
The Bush Administration, by their words and actions, have
no such compunctions to the rest of the globe. The repeated
trouncing and negation of treaties, the ever-expanding "war
on drugs", "war on terra" and the propensity for hiding records
with one hand, and removing human and citizen rights with
the other, is showing America's citizenry why "they hate our
What we, the people, did not understand in George Bush's
September 20th speech, was that they do not hate us, the citizenry,
for our freedoms specified by the Constitution and Bill of
Rights. They hate us as an imperial country with the freedom
to destroy their fragile democracies, their resources and
their humanities. We need to be asking ourselves and our governmental
representatives many more questions and demanding answers.
We need to stop giving our rights as citizens away without
question. If we do not begin to look much deeper for resolutions
to very large and real problems, we shall end up as cornered
and caged as the Israelis, with hundreds of thousands of police
and military personnel patrolling every corner and living