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pescao Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:12 PM
Original message
Venezuela threatens to expel US embassy official as referendum nears
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 09:16 PM by pescao
Source: AP

CARACAS, Venezuela: Venezuela threatened Wednesday to expel a U.S. Embassy official for allegedly conspiring to defeat a referendum championed by President Hugo Chavez, accusing the diplomat of plotting to sway public opinion.

The allegation comes ahead of a fiercely contested referendum on reforms that would allow Chavez indefinite re-election and help him establish a socialist state in Venezuela. Sunday's vote has generated large pro- and anti-Chavez rallies and on Wednesday Chavez kept the rhetoric high by repeating his claim that Washington is plotting to kill him.

In Caracas, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro showed state television a document that he claimed was written by the unnamed embassy official and was to have been sent to the CIA as part of a plan to help ensure that Venezuelans vote against the proposed constitutional overhaul.

"It's a script from the CIA to try to generate a block of opinion among Venezuelans that would give a sure victory to the 'No' vote," said Maduro. "We will investigate and if it's that way, we'll remove this person from here as a persona non grata."

...

Read more: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/29/america/LA-GE...



"document that he claimed was written by the unnamed embassy official"? do they mean this:

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/2914

CIA Operation "Pliers" Uncovered in Venezuela

...

The plan, titled "OPERATION PLIERS" was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steere and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington. Steere is stationed at the US Embassy in Caracas under the guise of a Regional Affairs Officer. The internal memorandum, dated November 20, 2007, references the "Advances of the Final Stage of Operation Pliers", and confirms that the operation is coordinated by the team of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) in Venezuela. The memo summarizes the different scenarios that the CIA has been working on in Venezuela for the upcoming referendum vote on December 2nd.

...

Officer Steere emphasizes the importance and success of the public relations and propaganda campaign that the CIA has been funding with more than $8 million during the past month - funds that the CIA confirms are transfered through the USAID contracted company, Development Alternatives, Inc., which set up operations in June 2002 to run the USAID Office for Transition Initiatives that funds and advises opposition NGOs and political parties in Venezuela.

...

CIA Officer Michael Steere recommends to General Michael Hayden two different strategies to work simultaneously: Impede the referendum and refuse to recognize the results once the SI vote wins. Though these strategies appear contradictory, Steere claims that they must be implemented together precisely to encourage activities that aim toward impeding the referendum and at the same time prepare the conditions for a rejection of the results.

...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. Venezuela may expel U.S. envoy over vote suspicions
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 09:17 PM by bemildred
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela could expel a U.S. diplomat it suspects of interfering in its internal affairs by working against President Hugo Chavez's plan to run for reelection indefinitely, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro told state television he had a document that appeared to be from an American at the embassy in Caracas referring to a plan to impede the anti-U.S. president winning a referendum on Sunday.

"If it's true, we are going to declare this official from the U.S. Embassy persona non grata and eject him from the country because he would have been interfering in the internal matters of Venezuela," he said.

In the last days of a campaign with the "Yes" and "No" camps neck-and-neck, Chavez's government has become embroiled in diplomatic spats, accused the CNN network of instigating an assassination bid and created news by setting a date for Venezuela to adopt its own unique time zone.

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsMaps/idUSN2864894220...
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. And check it out. You know he never said this:
"Venezuela could expel a U.S. diplomat it suspects of interfering in its internal affairs by working against President Hugo Chavez's plan to run for reelection indefinitely, a senior official said on Wednesday."
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. The Mighty Wurlitzer is very busy, see post #4. nt
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. So this is what full tilt boogey looks like.
It's amazing and frightening at the same time. :wow:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. I think this is the first time I've seen this happen while
understanding what was going on. I'm keeping notes on the outlets that are participating so down the line, in the run up to our election, I can compare and contrast.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Lots of stuff on Google, or NewsNow.uk. nt
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LakeSamish706 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:18 PM
Response to Original message
2. If I were Chavez I would expel any and all foreigners instantly that the Govt.....
suspects of meddling in their affairs. Do you think for one minute that Bush would accept this kind of BS? I don't think so... And if I were Chavez, I would contact Russia, China and any other allies that would send observers for this referendum, thus keeping the bad guys at bay.
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davidinalameda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #2
32. so the Russians and the Chinese are now the good guys?
bizarro
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
43. Why would it matter if Bush would accept this kind of BS?
Is he the standard now?
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 05:52 AM
Response to Reply #2
51. Bush Would Make Them Disappear
on a black flight to a secret prison as extraordinary rendition. Of course, the only foreigners interfering in American politics seem to land either in the GOP camp, or a Clinton fundraiser....which is beginning to look like the same thing.
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Throd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
65. Send people from a one party state (China) as observers?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:19 PM
Response to Original message
4. Chavez takes ties to 20-year low
The Mighty Wurlitzer is working furiously in the run-up to the referendum.

Hugo Chavez's declaration that he will have nothing more to do with Alvaro Uribe as long as he is in power takes relations between Venezuela and Colombia to probably their worst point in the past 20 years.

Not since a Colombian military vessel entered disputed waters in 1987 has the relationship deteriorated this badly.

The relationship between Mr Chavez and Mr Uribe has always been strained - the former is an outspoken socialist president who relishes in criticising the US and its policies, while the latter is Washington's closest ally in Latin America.

Domestic woes

This specific problem came about after Mr Uribe granted Mr Chavez permission to get involved with the complex process of negotiating with the left-wing rebel group, the Farc.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7118237.stm
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Again, notice the frame: Chavez did this, not Uribe for
colluding with the US. :eyes:
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nvme Donating Member (486 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #4
41. Chavez /Uribe spat
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 12:58 AM by nvme
Chavez offered to help work out talks between FARC and the Colombian Gov. Uribe agreed. Chavez was getting a lil frisky and chatting with Uribes top General. The agreement was that Chavez would only speak with Uribe (prevent any possible coups that a foreign power might plot with ones own generals). When chavez broke the agreement Uribe broke off talks.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 03:25 AM
Response to Reply #41
47. If that's the way it happened, who is Senator Piedad Cordoba, and why have news sources
pointed out that she is the one who called the general, time after time? If you read only the Miami Herald, you probably weren't informed. The standard corporate media also were very light in any credible facts, so only DU'ers who are very SERIOUS about finding the truth really bothered ourselves to continue thinking about it, and looking for more information than a tv show might share.
Colombian senator assumes responsibility for contacting head of FARC

www.chinaview.cn 2007-11-23 10:20:09

 BOGOTA, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba said Thursday that she, not Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, called Mario Montoya, head of Colombia's Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC), which led to the rupture of the government's negotiations with the nation's largest rebel group.

"That must remain very clear, I was the one who called general Mario Montoya," Cordoba said, referring to the telephone conversation upon which Colombian President Alvaro Uribe based his reasons for suspending talks with the FARC.

Cordoba, Uribe's special envoy to the FARC, explained that Wednesday she talked many times with Montoya to inform him of the advances gained in the peace negotiations and Chavez's opportunity to greet Montoya to ask him how many soldiers are being held as prisoners by the FARC.

"The Colombian government has all the rights. I cannot leave Venezuela without thanking Chavez for what he did, general Montoyacan testify I called him many times during that day, it must remain clear that I have to be polite and respect the decisions," Cordoba said.

More:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2007-11/23/content_71...
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
7. I am so worried for the people of Venezuela right now.
:(
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
9. Chavez in close Venezuela vote to expand powers
CARACAS (Reuters) - President Hugo Chavez needs to rely on a vast get-out-the-vote machine to avoid an unprecedented defeat when Venezuelans cast ballots on Sunday in a referendum on letting him run for re-election indefinitely.

Used to winning votes easily, the self-styled revolutionary trailed by a few points in most surveys over the past few days.

But pollsters say the narrow gap puts him in a statistical tie with the "No" camp and that his disciplined, state-backed political machinery could give him an advantage on vote day.

One survey on Wednesday by Consultores 30.11, which has worked for the government and accurately predicted a result last year, showed Chavez moving ahead -- by at least 7 points.

http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSN285514792...
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rAVES Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. "that would allow Chavez indefinite re-election"
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 10:17 PM by rAVES
They frame it like this all the time. The country is a democracy and if he takes the piss he be given the boot.. like any real Democracy.. ahem.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I'm so disappointed in Reuters. n/t
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 05:50 AM
Response to Reply #10
50. China, Soviet Union and Cuba had elections
elections don't automatically equal democracy.
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clixtox Donating Member (941 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #50
93. Hear! Hear! That Is For Sure!!!

Why just look around you right here in the good ol' USA! Only the ignorant believe that our political system is democratic. It is, in fact, so undemocratic that about half the eligible voters don't even bother to register to participate/vote. Of those who do take the time and make the effort to register, a very sizable proportion (difficult to quantify since the "voter's rolls" are poorly maintained and updated, perhaps another 50%) don't bother to vote either in person or by absentee ballot.

Many knowledgeable observers believe that the current utilization of computerized devices with opaque, secret and proprietary software has allowed many elections, at all levels, supposed results to be manipulated, tainted and changed.

Voter suppression and other dirty tricks are widespread and put true democracy further and further out of the picture.
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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #50
102. And just before we invaded Iraq...
...even THEY had "elections". Remember, only 1 person voted against Saddam. Venezuela is quickly becoming a near-communist country, and Chavez is driving the bus.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 06:00 AM
Response to Reply #10
53. Chavez frames it like that, too.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/venezuela/story/0,,2218599,00...

The president, a formidable and charismatic campaigner, has cast the referendum as a verdict on his rule and said anyone who supported him but voted against would be a traitor. "It's black and white. A vote against the reform is a vote against Chvez," he told state television.

I'd say he's done a pretty good job of making this a referendum about himself.
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Onlooker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
14. Chavez is a nut
He may be doing some good things, but his approach belongs to another era. He's a throwback.
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rAVES Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. You're correct.. looking out for the poor is so 19....wait.. what?
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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
104. Explain something to me...
Edited on Sat Dec-01-07 04:22 PM by ALiberalSailor
...how does enforcing state control over just about every important industry in Venezuela, appointing almost all of your family members to high political positions, and proposing referendums that pretty much guarantee you will be re-elected for the rest of your life, equate to helping the poor. Oh, unless of course by Poor you mean Chavez and his family.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Chavez is the future. US foreign policy is nuts. nt
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:03 AM
Response to Reply #16
44. The left wing version of Bush is the future?
Couldn't we have a future with an adult in it?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:27 AM
Response to Reply #44
57. Chavez can read. nt
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #44
62. This "child" has led Venezuela into an economic boom since 2003.
He's reorganizing Latin America to be more self-reliant while he builds his country's infrastructure.

We should be so lucky as to have one of these "children".
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Tyrone Slothrop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #62
66. "Economic boom"?
Where exactly does that come from?

(I was in Caracas on business recently (May), and the firm that *was* going to pay the expense for my trip now can't afford to as inflation and the plummeting bolivar (vs. the plummeting dollar) have increased the cost of said trip approximately two-fold.)

And here's an article on the poor health of the Venezuelan economy.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/09/02/bloomberg/bxbux....

"While Venezuela earns record proceeds from oil exports, consumers face shortages of meat, flour and cooking oil. Annual inflation has risen to 16 percent, the highest in Latin America, as Chvez tripled government spending in four years."

"The bolivar has tumbled 30 percent this year to 4,850 per dollar on the black market, the only place it trades freely because of government controls on foreign exchange. That compares with the official rate of 2,150 per dollar set in 2005. Chvez may have to devalue the bolivar to reduce the gap and increase oil proceeds, which make up half the government's revenue.

"This has been the worst-managed oil boom in Venezuela's history," said Ricardo Hausmann, a former government planning minister who now teaches economics at Harvard University. "A devaluation is a foregone conclusion. The only question is when.""
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #66
67. Comes from the UN. But what do they know? nt
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:40 PM
Original message
Oh, no. Please don't make me chase this down.
lol

:)

Here is a link to a CERP pdf. And, caution: I know next to nothing about economics.

http://www.rethinkvenezuela.com/downloads/ceprecon2007....
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
70. Oh, and it turns out Professor Hausman is
- - wait for it -- a member of the opposition who tried to show (and failed) that Chavez's election was rigged.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
71. Wasn't there a UN report?
Or did I get confused?

Social spending is good for the economy, who could have predicted that?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. And if I have this right, the shortages are a form of political protest
as that production chain is still in private hands. That's an interesting problem -- unless you're a mom trying to find milk and eggs.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #73
107. The problem is
that the government set prices so low that it would cost producers to sell their products. Can't change economic fundamentals.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #107
116. Especially when those "fundamentals" pay for the white middle class
to maintain their lifestyle. Can't change that.
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hack89 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 06:05 PM
Response to Reply #116
119. Prices below production cost
are not the basis of a sound economy. We are not talking excess profit - for that matter we are not talking any profit at all. Chavez needs to gain a basic understanding of economics if he still intends to maintain a capitalistic economy.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:44 PM
Response to Reply #62
69. Found an article which will seem all too familiar:
(You might enjoy looking this over when you have time later on. It's really very worthwhile.)

Venezuelan Media
by Cleto Sojo
April 24, 2005

~snip~
Negative media coverage of Venezuela increases

Articles criticizing the Venezuelan government have become more numerous in recent months. Negative media coverage, along with almost daily negative comments about Venezuela by U.S. officials, have prompted Venezuelan officials, as well as several journalists and activists, to alert about a "media campaign" similar to those used in the past against governments opposed by the U.S., as preamble for bigger attacks or an armed U.S. invasion.

Two of Diehl's first seven columns published in The Washington Post in 2005, have criticized the Venezuelan government. The Washington Post has also published several editorials in recent months, criticizing the Venezuelan leader, and urging the U.S. government to act against him.

The Wall Street Journal also frequently features negative news and opinions of Venezuela, while ignoring the country's unprecedented economic growth that reached 17% in 2004, the highest in the world.
(snip)

A few weeks ago, a group of almost 400 Venezuelan journalists issued a statement denouncing a "campaign" from the United States against Venezuela. The journalists argued that negative and frequent media coverage of Venezuela in the U.S., as well as the frequent comments by high ranking officials at the State Department, the CIA, and The White House, amount to a "campaign" similar to those applied against countries which were later invaded by the U.S.

At a meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) held in February, Venezuela's Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez, alerted the governments of the Americas that U.S. "interventionism" in Venezuela is a "prelude to aggression."
(snip/...)

http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?ItemID=7718
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #69
72. Boy, are you good, Judi Lynn!
Thank you!
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 10:14 AM
Response to Reply #69
95. Correlate that to the rise of crude
and then back out dino juice, which requires little innovation and you have nothing. Venezuela is at best a developing market, fragile.

If they manage not to end up with a dictator in power until he is 95 they may step up like brazil.

I heard a great story on Morning Edition about how much good fortune has befallen mr chavez's family.

Brothers sisters, mom, all have great state jobs.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #44
74. "we"
didn't know you were involved
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. Yes, he's a throwback to a time when we could recognize a populist
without the bullshit media trying to make him look nuts.
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Onlooker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. His election plans are nuts
He's obviously trying to become a dictator, and I think he'll corrupt the process to do so. We'll see.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Nuts? It's been posted ad nauseum that many countries
have the same arrangements. Like most of the UK, for example. I wonder why it's so easy to discount this man out of hand and in such a careless manner.
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galileo3000 Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:34 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Chavez is nuts.
He reminds me of Peter Griffin and his country of Petoria. Its like Michael Jackson became a world leader.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Sure. So was Howard Dean. And John Kerry. And so will HRC be
when they're done with her.
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galileo3000 Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
19. I do not like Chavez
I do not trust him at all and think he is dangerous. If he kicks out the US diplomat, that is good cause we need to keep our distance from this nut ball.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Is that you, Mr. Dulles?
lol
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boricua79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
23. CIA money through USAID?
sounds VERY familiar...standard procedure in almost every other subversion of Latin American leftist governments.

Chavez has the goods on this guy, and I believe him

Kick that meddling gringo the HELL out of Venezuela.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Have you seen this? Link:
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Yeah. One trick ponies. Always the same methods. nt
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
27. Venezuela veers toward dictatorship
President Hugo Chavez is trying to steer voters into granting him Castro-like power -- and he may succeed.

Pity the biographers of Hugo Chavez, who will have to figure out the answer to the baffling question of whether the Venezuelan president is a genius or a fool.

Chavez's rise to power has demonstrated his brilliant instinct for rallying the country's disaffected poor, an instinct reflected in the constitutional referendum taking place Sunday. Venezuelans will be asked to approve 69 amendments that would change the government from a democracy into something that looks a lot more like a Cuban-style dictatorship, yet Chavez has numbed the sting with populist gifts such as a shorter workweek and healthcare services for workers in the informal economy. At the same time, the image of Chavez as a political mastermind has taken a beating over the last month, as he got into pointless fights with the leaders of Spain and Colombia that left him looking like a buffoon incapable of keeping his mouth shut. The result is that although earlier polls showed the amendments would easily pass, now the vote is too close to call.

If Chavez's power grab succeeds, it will be largely because of a stunningly self-defeating philosophy by the opposition. Polls show that the overwhelming majority of Venezuelans oppose the constitutional changes, but opponents are far less likely to vote than the armies of enthusiastic Chavistas. For some, this reflects a fear of retaliation, but for many others it's a mindless form of protest -- the idea being that by voting, opponents add legitimacy to a referendum that Chavez has already fixed. The obvious futility of this notion was demonstrated in the 2005 parliamentary elections, which the opposition protested by boycotting. Chavez now controls all 167 seats in the National Assembly, in addition to the judiciary and most of the media. Here's hoping that Venezuelans who believe in personal liberty and rational economic policies have learned from their mistakes.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-venezuela28no...
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. OMFG. They're not going to stop. n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Not until Dec. 7th anyway. nt
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. The vote is on 12/2 and if the thing passes, I think this will get worse. n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. My mistake.
Whether it gets worse depends, IMHO, on whether they manage to get the destabilization ball rolling. I am skeptical that they have the means. Do you know what provisions are being made for monitoring the voting?

* -- They means the various parties that would like to see Mr Chavez removed from power.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. The invalidating claim will not be made on the vote
as their voting process is transparent and usually monitored. The claim will be made that the vote is invalid because the process went through a referendum and not a constitutional convention. In other words, a legal point will be used to try to over turn the election.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. That won't go anywhere by itself, it's just a pretext. nt
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:57 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. Of course. But, in itself, the legal challenge is not a bad thing.
Let the system be made to work. Similarly, the challenge from the ex Minister of Defense isn't in itself a bad thing.

The real challenge is to channel these questions into democratic, not violent or dirty, venues.

I have everything crossed for Venezuela.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. I have a great deal of faith in the Bushite pattern of stepping on their dicks
while trying to vault over the moon. That is what you get with half-bright yes men who believe their own bullshit.

Mr Chavez has cleaned their clocks with some regularity. There is always the danger he could get fat dumb and happy, but I don't think we are there yet.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #39
40. LOL! Yes, there is always that potential.
:)
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 05:56 AM
Response to Reply #34
52. BushCo and Its Subsidiaries and Holding Companies Have a Little Destablization
problem of their own. It's called the US and the World Economy. I think they are going to be too busy, and in too much pain, to bother Chavez much any longer.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:25 AM
Response to Reply #52
56. True. The threats to invade seem likely to be empty too. nt
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #52
76. I don't think the Bushites are going to feel any pain. They've likely got their
stolen billions converted to foreign currencies already.

I'm beginning to think that my original hit on the Bush Junta--that they are more thieves than nazis--may be correct. The idea was to loot us blind, in every way imaginable, stash billions and maybe trillions away (Swiss banks? Cayman Islands?), and, after we're drained dry, and even our military has been trashed for their corporate resource war, create a sort of free-floating, unattached global entity, with its own mercenary army (built up at our expense), to bully its way into becoming "masters of the universe"--with no national boundaries, no troublesome constitutions, no laws, no rules, no loyalties to any people or country--and to move in and take over resources and slave labor, where countries are weak, to manipulate financial markets and instigate destabilizations in stronger countries that still have powers to defy global corporate predators, and probably to take over and consolidate the global drugs/weapons trade as well. I noticed, for instance, that Halliburton got out--moved its headquarters to the UAE. Blackwater was recruiting in Colombia (for Iraq). Recent scandals have revealed that rightwing paramilitaries with close ties to the Colombian government (and thus to the Bush Junta) are into drug/weapons traffic, as well as slaughtering union organizers, peasant farmers and political leftists. Anyway, lots of little hints that this might be the case--a global plan is in progress. (I've long suspected Donald Rumsfeld of masterminding the Plame/Brewster-Jennings outings, to remove one big obstacle to weapons trafficking--and I wonder what he's up to now. South America could well be mapped out as Theater of War II, in the oil wars.)

So why did they bother trashing our Constitution, and putting all these dreadful, nazi-like laws and precedents in place? I think it's for their allies, the Corporate Democrats, to utilize, to crush us, as the shit hits the fan, and prevent the great, peace-minded, justice-minded, progressive American majority from ever rising again, as a force capable of regulating corporations, on labor and environmental protections, and the all-important matter of global warming, and on other curtailments of corporate power. In the 60s and 70s, we showed what a strong middle class, with strong democratic traditions, could do--passage of the EPA and numerous other environmental laws, upward mobility measures for the poor, fair taxation, equal justice movements of every kind, and, finally, revolting against a senseless war. We are a dangerous force in the world, as to corporate power and bad, corrupt, fascist government. That's why they rigged our election system. We had to be broken. We, the American people. And now that we are broken, pretty much--bankrupt for generations to come, our reputation destroyed, our self-confidence severely damaged if not shattered, all our political, government and legal systems trashed--the Corporate Rulers and their Bush cabal will move on, leaving the Democrats to tidy up the mess, and insure that there are no criminal charges against the perps, nor any leftist (majorityist, populist) political recovery, to put things right in any way. You wonder at the outrageous conduct of this so-called 'Democratic" Congress? Stop wondering. They are the cleanup crew.

I heard Ed Schultz yesterday touting Pat Buchanan's line--blame it all on the "illegal immigrants." Stoke up hatred of the brown. Yup. That's our real enemy all right--the poor and the brown from the south, where our corporate monsters have been exploiting and brutalizing them with "free trade" (global corporate piracy), on top of centuries of U.S. domination. Expect more of this talk. The Mexicans are your enemy!

Christ, it makes me want to vomit.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #76
77. I think you're right. They are genetically kleptos.
Think about every time they've risked their power or sabotaged their own projects to make a buck when turning that buck down would have been better in the longer haul. Iraq. Iraq. Iraq. :shrug:
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #76
85. I Hope You Are Wrong, But My Stomach Is Queasy, Too
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:59 PM
Response to Original message
28. VIOLENCE IN VENEZUELA
Tensions escalated Wednesday in Venezuela as Sunday's vote draws nearer. Students continued to protest, despite tear gas and rubber bullets, against constitutional reforms proposed by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez. Venezuelans will vote Dec. 2, 2007, on the changes to their nation's constitution, which would expand Chavez's powers.

At left, protesting university students run from the Venezuelan National Guard, outside the Metropolitan University in Caracas, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007. .
(Rodrigo Abd/ AP Photo )

http://www.abcnews.go.com/International/popup?id=392714...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:13 PM
Response to Original message
31. Venezuelan leader's power play has echoes of Castro
Edited on Wed Nov-28-07 11:14 PM by bemildred
CARACAS, Venezuela If Hugo Chvez gets his way, he'll be calling U.S. presidents "donkeys" and "drunkards" for another 20 years at least.

A nationwide referendum set for Sunday could allow the colorful Venezuelan president to stay in office indefinitely. That would let Chvez, 53, continue reshaping Venezuela's economy in the mold of Cuba, and follow Fidel Castro as the self-anointed lifetime leader of an increasingly combative global alliance against the United States.

---

"Venezuela is going to be a big, big headache" for Washington if Chvez wins the referendum, says Javier Corrales, a political science professor and Chvez watcher at Amherst College.

Corrales says an emboldened Chvez could drive up energy prices through his control of Venezuela's oil industry, refuse to cooperate with U.S. anti-drug efforts and undermine the fight against Islamist militants through his economic partnership with Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-11-28-Chavez_N....
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
35. Chvez's Vision in the Hills
This one is kind of funny, Chavez is like Mao, Stalin, Ceausescu and Nyerere.

Soaring high above northern Venezuela's verdant Mount Avila one day, President Hugo Chvez looked down from his helicopter and saw a city: a new, "socialist" metropolis that he would bulldoze out of the tropical forest and populate with the denizens of Caracas's overcrowded slums. It would be a beautiful place, with shopping malls, parks, schools and enough neat four-story apartment blocks to house 100,000 people. Chvez even dreamed up a name for this utopia, Caribia. He gave the order, and construction began. Crews broke ground just over a year ago, reports The Post's Juan Forero.

In launching this extraordinary project, which he hopes will be the first of many around Venezuela, Chvez joins a long list of rulers who have dreamed of converting nature into orderly living space for the masses. Among them are Stalin, Mao and Romania's Nicolae Ceausescu -- but also the more benign Julius Nyerere, the Tanzanian president who, back in the 1970s, thought it would be a good idea to move 5 million of his countrymen into cookie-cutter villages partly financed by the World Bank.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #35
42. NYT's also has a hit piece out: Chavez is Franco, Castro and Putin.
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dantyrant Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:20 AM
Response to Reply #42
45. Check this out....
Copied from dKos:



Hugo Chavez is a pro-Communist thug. Democratic and Republican leaders think so. he is forming an alliance with Iran and other anti-American regimes.

This Kossack does not want to be part of supporting a pro-terror government that wants to turn the entire continent of South America into a model of Castro's Communist Cuba.

I like how the author keeps referring to Venezuela's "democratically-elected" government.

I wish I could have used your analysis of a certin government in the 1930s that was also democratically-elected.


I felt like I'd seen an albino tiger in the wild...

The comment mentions communists, Iran, terrorism, Cuba, Castro, and the Nazis. It also rejects democracy for Venezuelans while tolerating it for Germans. This is what happens when you watch network news.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 01:32 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. I'm keeping my helmet on.
It's unreal already.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 08:28 AM
Response to Reply #42
58. And who can forget Pol Pot and Idi Amin? nt
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #42
68. Can we please make a distinction...
...between bogus news stories and op-ed pieces. They're not the same thing at all.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:53 PM
Response to Reply #68
75. No, that's right and either can be hit pieces if they misrepresent fact. n/t
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 03:35 AM
Response to Original message
48. Pescao, just found this one from the Guardian:Coup dtat rumblings in Venezuela
The Guardian 28 November, 2007
Coup dtat rumblings in Venezuela
Stephen Lendman*

The Bush administration tried and failed on three previous occasions to oust Hugo Chvez since its first aborted two-day coup in April, 2002. Since he took office in February, 1999, and especially after George Bushs election, Chvez has been a US target. Credible sources now point to a new plot to assassinate him. The CIA and other foreign secret service operatives (including anti-Castro terrorists) aim to destabilise the Chvez government by using "at least three concrete plans" to destroy the countrys social democracy and kill Chvez.

It involves infiltrating subversive elements into the country, inciting opposition within the military, ordering region-based US forces to shoot down any aircraft used by Chvez, employing trained snipers with shoot to kill orders, and having the dominant US and Venezuelan media act as supportive attack dogs.

Chvez is targeted because he represents the greatest of all threats to US hegemony in the region a good example thats spreading. Venezuela also has Latin Americas largest proven oil reserves at a time when supplies are tight and prices are at all-time highs.

Venezuelans go to the polls in a referendum on December 2 to vote for or against Constitutional changes.

The Venezuelan newspaper, Diario VEA, also weighed in, saying "anonymous students planned to commit acts of destabilisation" as the December 2 vote approaches. Venezuelan Radio Trans Mundial provided proof with a recorded video of a youth dumping gasoline into an armoured vehicle, ramming metal barricades into police.

More:
http://www.cpa.org.au/garchve07/1347venez.html

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks for starting this thread.

Hoping for the right outcome.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 05:45 AM
Response to Original message
49. A CIA plan to destabilize Venezuela...
A CIA plan to destabilize Venezuela...
by Stan G
Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 03:04:05 PM PST
...is in progress right now.

Stan G's diary :: ::
...is in progress right now.

A memo from CIA officer Michael Middleton Steere, addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington DC, has been intercepted by Venezuelan counter-intelligence; and it shows that the US plans to attempt another coup d'etat against the democratically elected government of Venezuela on the eve of a historic constitutional referendum that will democratize political power to the grassroots of the majority more thoroughly than anything we have seen in this hemisphere... ever. This outcome by a major oil producing nation that has confronted the US government is intolerable to the American political class, not merely the Bush administration. It is part of a continental drift of Latin America away from US domination; and it has world historic significance.

It is very important that this CIA plot get maximum exposure immediately across the net, because the US media, the Republican and Democratic Parties, and the US dominant class, will do everything in their power to assist the desired outcome of this illegal and immoral interference by the United States government in the democratic self-determination of Venezuela.

Widespread, rapid distribution via alternative media has the potential to expose and disrupt this CIA plot. You can do something right now. Get the word out.

More:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/11/28/18227/641
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 06:32 AM
Response to Original message
54. Sounds so familiar.
The violent overthrow part is so like Pinochet's Chile. The rigging of artificial opposition to the referendums is so much like the 2000 elections in the US.

Hopefully, Chavez is strong enough to fight off this CIA boughten destabilization of Venezuela. Doesn't the US have more important things to spend their money on then to use $8 billion of our tax dollars to fund this fake opposition. I mean the US has its own election coming and they need the money to rig the US 2008 election.
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galileo3000 Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 07:07 AM
Response to Original message
55. Chavez smells of burning brimstone.
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 07:09 AM by galileo3000
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
59. pescao, seems like yesterday, you were in Caracas, and we DU'ers were glue to our monitors, waiting
for your next reports during April, 2004.

It just struck me a few minutes ago, that the tension now seems very similar to the way things seemed then.

Same people involved, it's "deja vu all over again."

Really so strange, isn't it?
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pescao Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #59
60. very similar scenario
though i doubt that team bush will chicken out this time if push comes to shove - i'm sure that getting rid of chvez is bush's number one priority before leaving office.

thanks for your kind words about my reports during the 2002 coup, it really meant a lot to me that i wasn't alone out there and that people actually cared about what was happening. to be honest, after that whole experience i vowed that, if there was ever another coup, there'd be people on the streets, at least in london where i live. to that end, we're organising a rally on sunday: http://www.handsoffvenezuela.org/london_rally_cia_coup_... - please spread the word to any british-based people that you know.

i'm going back to venezuela on holiday in a couple of weeks, hopefully things will have died down a bit by then. otherwise, expect more freaked-out rantings from me on DU! keep up the good work judi, you're a star x
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #60
61. Good for you! That's fantastic.
I hope you get a good turn out.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #60
64. Hope you'll get a good turnout, too.
Really horrified to realize I was a couple of years off, that it's been FIVE YEARS since that coup.

Having your own demonstration where you are could really be theraputic!

If anything developes, please let us know. We'd be very, VERY interested in anything about the gathering, and other news.

Looks as if there are some very serious people who come here to exchange notes, learn what's going on, who really care about Venezuela's getting its chance to move out of the ugly, brutal past as safely as possible.

I recall from the first looks I've had of the Operation Pliers material that they had originally planned to keep up the hostilities AFTER the referendum. Guess that could be a problem, if they don't become ashamed enough to back off! That's probably doubtful.These guys just don't take "no" for an answer, as you've seen. They have to win at ALL COSTS. A-holes.

Have a safe trip. People here who've seen your post will be wondering if you made it there and back. Good luck.
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classysassy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
63. Racist BS
from our racist media.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:31 PM
Response to Original message
78. Has anyone produced a picture of the alleged memo yet?
All I have seen are supposed translations and analysis by people who don't even claim to have seen the original.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #78
79. I haven't yet. n/t
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #79
80. Maybe they're holding it for an Election Day surprise
:shrug:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:38 PM
Response to Reply #80
81. There is so much going on, I'm not discarding anything. n/t
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killbotfactory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
82. The US is fanning the flames of political violence
And then reporting when violence occurs against the opposition, and completely silent when it's initiated by them.

But one thing is known. The anti-Chavez protesters shot one of the young workers in the back three times killing him instantly. That is right, the supposedly peaceful anti-Chavez protesters, you know the ones the international press tell us go around with their hands peacefully held up in the air, had guns and were willing to use them to shoot people. Here you can see some of the video of the young man's relatives and co-workers discussing this outrageous and murderous event.

Of course, those not in Venezuela can be forgiven if they haven't heard about these events - they barely rate an article in the international press.

So the international press largely ignores it. The opposition controlled press in Venezuela slanders the man saying he was a criminal trying to rob the protesters.

But the bottom line is one more person is dead from political violence in Venezuela. People on both sides of the divide have lost their lives. But unfortunately most people will only ever hear about one set of victims. It seems dark skinned workers from poor backgrounds apparently don't count as much as affluent university students in some peoples minds.


http://oilwars.blogspot.com/2007/11/who-are-thugs.html

You'll find a common theme of denigrating the poor (insulting their intelligence, etc...), or completely ignoring them, in anti-Chavez hit pieces. On top of this, the wealthy landowners in Venezuela have been hiring thugs and police to go around murdering activist peasants who want land to farm. None of this makes it into our news cycle, of course, it wouldn't portray the opposition as innocent victims of a power-mad tyrant.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
83. Poll suggests Venezuela's Chavez in 7-point referendum lead
This is really precious, see the bolded parts.

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has at least a seven-point lead for a referendum on Sunday on reforms that would allow him to run for re-election indefinitely, according to a poll distributed on Wednesday.

The poll by Consultores 30.11, which has worked for the government and accurately predicted a vote result last year, showed Chavez moving ahead compared to most surveys in recent days that put him at best in a statistical tie.

The survey of 1,600 voters taken November 21-27 said 56 percent of likely voters appeared set to vote for Chavez's constitutional overhaul and 40 percent set to vote against.

But when the survey measured how undecided voters would cast their ballots and also took into account that others, who do not yet plan to vote, could decide to participate, the difference narrowed to as little as seven points.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKN2862974520...
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
84. In Venezuela, petrodollars breed opacity
CARACAS, Venezuela: As petrodollars stream into oil-producing countries, Western officials have begun to demand greater accountability for the way they are spent. Some corruption-plagued states, like Nigeria and Azerbaijan, have heeded the call, increasing financial transparency, or at least paying lip service to it. Hugo Chvez's Venezuela, however, appears headed in the opposite direction.

"We see Venezuela on the other side of the road," said Mercedes de Freitas, executive director here of Transparency International. The global anticorruption group ranks Venezuela the least transparent country in Latin America and 162 out of 179 nations globally. Soon it could fall lower.

On Sunday, Venezuelans will vote on a referendum that would grant Chvez the power to run his country's finances as he sees fit. If the proposal passes, government accounting will become even more opaque and foreign businesses, some already besieged and fleeing, will find Venezuela even more forbidding.

Already, Chvez's government is putting large amounts of oil revenues into development funds and state-owned companies that operate off the country's books, not subject to audits or lawmakers' approval.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/29/business/chavez....
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-07 01:13 AM
Response to Reply #84
87. It has been a real lesson to me to see news sources that I once had some respect for
fall, one by one--Reuters, the BBC, the International Herald Tribune (the source of this corporate tripe about "transparency")--on issues concerning Chavez and Venezuela. It is shocking. We have NO corporate news sources that we can rely on, even for just basic facts. None. Zero. Zilch. They are all war profiteering corporate news monopolies, vile with lies, distortions, and disinformation, in support of the profits of the most non-transparent entities on earth, corporations themselves--global corporate predators--and the U.S. government.

Lesson learned. A difficult and bitter one. It began, for me, with their black-holing of the most important American news story perhaps ever--the fast-tracked conversion, during the 2002 to2004 period, of our voting system to electronic voting machines run on 'TRADE SECRET,' PROPRIETARY programming code, owned and controlled by rightwing Bushite corporations, with virtually no audit/recount controls.* This coup occurred in the same month as the Iraq War Resolution, October 2002, and is closely related to it. The IWR guaranteed unjust war; the "Help America Vote Act"--a $3.9 billion e-voting boondoggle that privatized our elections--provided the means to shove the unjust war down the throats of the American people.

An incredible story. A mind-boggling story. A fascist coup. Nothing. Not a word. Most U.S.-based global corporate predator news organizations fell with that one. They permitted their news consortium exit pollster to DOCTOR their exit polls (Kerry won), late on election day, 2004, to force them to FIT the results of Diebold/ES&S's "trade secret" vote counting formulae (Bush won). For some people, it was the lies about the war--with the NYT at the forefront of the Bush propaganda machine. For me, that was a blow--but it was their collusion in destroying our democracy that really confirmed for me that these news organizations are beneath contempt--they are major scumbags. AP has since then proven itself to be a major scumbag on Venezuela as well--its scumbagism is very blatant and noticeable, especially to a professional writer like me. And now they've all joined in on this, too.

Prior to the Chavez/Venezuela story, I looked to Reuters, the BBC and the IHT to provide at least some better facts, and some objectivity, on foreign news stories. But now they have become as bad as AP and all the rest of them. I have never seen such intellectual prostitution. It is obscene.

So, IHT, fuck you. Really. Kiss the filthy asses of the powerful and the rich, if you want to. You have lost me. I will never believe another "factoid" that you print, nor another whore "expert" or whore organization ("Transparency International") that you drag out of the gutter to quote, nor your craftily designed headlines, nor your twisted framings, nor your "his critics say..." editorializing, nor your bloody color ("the self-styled leftist president of Venezuela"), nor your utterly corrupt choices of what news to cover and how.

You have lost an educated reader. You have lost someone who wanted to believe that there was still some integrity somewhere in the journalism profession--even if I had to go outside the U.S. to find it--that you weren't all corrupt. All. Every one of you. And I will do everything I can, with whatever power I may have, to expose and discredit you and your war profiteering corporate news monopoly puppetmasters. Dirty rotten thieves of democracy! Dirty rotten liars!

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dantyrant Donating Member (278 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-07 02:25 AM
Response to Reply #87
88. IHT... Isn't that just the NYT repackaged?
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-07 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #87
89. Newspapers, wire services have been used for publishing CIA designed propaganda for decades, which
was revealed in a Church Committee meeting in 1975, So it's been known in some places for over 30 years. The American people didn't know this! We didn't know the information bubbled up in Senator Frank Church's investigation. Who was going to tell us, the NEWSPAPERS? TV news?

I heard last week that Reuters has someone in Venezuela who has been taking his stories from Venezuela's rabid right-wing TV channel, Globovisin! That really keeps the expenses down, when you don't send the journalist out any longer talking to people, travelling around the country.

Here's the information which the public SHOULD HAVE KNOWN back in 1975, concerning the credibility of the news we've been getting all this time:
MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIAs testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who's Who of journalism:
  • Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
  • William Paley (President, CBS)
  • Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
  • Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
  • Jerry O'Leary (Washington Star)
  • Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
  • Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
  • James Copley (Copley News Services)
  • Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
  • C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
  • Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • Associated Press
  • United Press International
  • Reuters
  • Hearst Newspapers
  • Scripps-Howard
  • Newsweek magazine
  • Mutual Broadcasting System
    vMiami Herald
  • Old Saturday Evening Post
  • New York Herald-Tribune
Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nations most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nations capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.

After Philips suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced by her husbands world of government and espionage, she expanded her newspapers relationship with the CIA. In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia, she stated:
We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldnt. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.
This quote has since become a classic among CIA critics for its belittlement of democracy and its admission that there is a political agenda behind the Posts headlines.
(snip)
http://www.aliveness.com/kangaroo/L-overclass.html



(D.) Senator Frank Church
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-30-07 05:06 AM
Response to Reply #89
90. Still, the corporate news occasionally put up some battles--or at least
provided enough information so that you could form your own opinion. I remember having pretty good info in the 60s and 70s on the Vietnam War--which was a CIA operation, basically (they set up the phony U.S. ally, "South Vietnam")--and the news reports on that war were raw, real, full coverage--also on the civil rights movement here at home, and I also remember having pretty good information on Chile, and on Nicaragua and El Salvador. I was living in L.A. at the time, and the Los Angeles Times, for all the Republicanism of its owners, used to write in considerable depth, and with considerable objectivity, on many important subjects and events (as they have done until very recently--I understand they may be changing now, like they all are, into shit-rags). I notice that the L.A. Times is not on the above list of CIA news outlets and CIA journalists from the Church Committee! But the NYT and others--and also TV news--were all much better then, on SOME subjects. I don't remember reading anything about the slaughter in Guatemala, though. I heard something bad was going down there from leftist Catholic friends, or maybe read something about it in leftist publications, but I had no idea of the magnitude of it. In general, journalism got much worse during the Reagan era--and today it is the worst I have ever seen. The Iran/Contra scandal and the Reagan war on Nicaragua was really the last time I remember feeling informed by our corporate media, and their worship of Reagan (they were all getting rich!) effectively prevented any real accountability for those horrors--which were both utterly in violation of the law, and treasonous.

I think there are some important differences between the CIA influence on news/opinion during the 60s to the mid-80s, and what is happening today. For one thing, what we're mostly getting today is "infotainment"--even from the better written publications, and certainly in all broadcast news. It is a delusional. They create a sick illusion of legitimate government, and they ooze bias toward the rich and the powerful. The CIA in prior decades lied, and put out disinformation, and were involved in truly nefarious deeds in Latin America and other places (Southeast Asia, Africa), but the news wasn't just shit like we have today. I think that prior era editors, publishers and journalists were not so inherently corrupt--I mean filthy money corruption, war profiteering, etc.--and exhibited more native intelligence. Today, the whole lot of them just seem like whipped cream--I was thinking Starbuck's mocha latte. No food value. The pampered bloody rich. That's what journalism has become. The corruption is profound. And it's not based on patriotism--as one could argue with regard to some of the 60s-70s publishers, eds and writers, even if badly misguided. Today it is based on GREED--on shilling for GLOBAL CORPORATE PREDATORS.

You could at least respect somebody if they thought it was their patriotic duty to keep some government secrets, or to feed lies to the public in some screwy notion of the public good. But what they are doing now is serving Halliburton, and Exxon-Mobile, and Bechtel, and Gap, and all these multi-national corporations, who are raping and ruining the world, and are dismantling our democracy, and looting us blind, as well as destroying the sovereignty and economies of other nations--not to mention slaughtering a million innocent people to get their oil. And that cannot be called patriotism. It is WHOREDOM. I don't want to slander whores, but you know what I mean. Whores just sell their bodies. The NYT, and the Washington Post, and AP, and the whole lot of them--all of them--are selling their bodies, their minds and their souls. They have no integrity left at all. They are empty bags. Lapdogs, mewling at the feet of fatcat, billionaire CEOs, and psychotic murderers like Cheney and Rumsfeld.

And having realized that--oh, I think it was spring 2000 and the Gary Condit affair, when it first hit me just how hopelessly slavish the DC corporate media had become (they failed even to ask Cheney about his meeting with Condit during Chandra Levy's disappearance hours), and I soon had confirmation in the leadup to the Iraq War--I had turned to the BBC, Reuters and on occasion to the IHT--for more objective reporting on the Bushites and U.S. foreign relations. I mean, besides Democracy Now and AAR (when it started broadcasting). And DU. And Counterpunch. I also discovered Asia Times (fab news/opinion site! --still good, very good). But Venezuela and Chavez, as an issue, have torn the scales from my eyes, as to the BBC, Reuters and the IHT. They are just as rotten as U.S.-based corporate media. Very corrupt. And it's not the CIA, exactly. It's the CORPORATE RULERS! We've gone way beyond nationalism and that kind of establishment paranoia. We're into PURE GREED.

You could get mad and get outraged at the CIA, and try to fight them democratically--through our democratic institutions. You could fight for the truth--as many people did, on Vietnam, on some Latin American events. You felt that there was hope--and there was, in fact, some reform of the CIA, as the result of activism. But what is happening now...you don't know how to fight it. It's like a poison permeating our national soul. This is why I don't--and will never--call these bastards the "mainstream media." They are NOT the "mainstream." They do NOT represent the majority of Americans. They are, instead, a form of pollution, sickening and killing our people--mostly with the sickness of demoralization and disempowerment. We are a depressed, angry, bewildered people because of them. And, perhaps because I am a writer and have a love for words, language, and ideas and the truth they can reveal, I hate them for it. I hate their lies, and their clever little word tricks, and twisted headlines, and selective "experts" quotes, in service to their corporate masters.
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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #87
106. Yea, I feel your pain...
Edited on Sat Dec-01-07 04:18 PM by ALiberalSailor
Even the Christian Science Monitor, with this "hit job" http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0830/p99s01-duts.html and National Public Radio with yet another "hit job" here http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16... have even been blinded to the inevitability that is Chavezuela. What ever will we do? :sarcasm:
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 04:59 PM
Response to Reply #87
109. NPR too. Must be a GLOBAL
conspriacy..Or maybe when you hear the same thing from many sources the information may be true.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
86. Yeah Chavez is batshit crazy..... uh huh.... right..... sure....
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 03:46 AM
Response to Original message
91. Greens, Citing Revealed Memo, Urge Bush to Cancel CIA Plans to Interfere in Venezuelan Referendum an
Greens, Citing Revealed Memo, Urge Bush to Cancel CIA Plans to Interfere in Venezuelan Referendum and Destabilize the Chavez Government

WASHINGTON, DC - November 30 - Green Party leaders called on President Bush to cancel an order directing the CIA to interfere with a December 2 voters' referendum in Venezuela and to cease actions intended to stabilize the Chavez government.

"President Chavez and the people of Venezuela are not America's enemy. We demand that the White House respect the sovereignty of other countries and the democratic will of the Venezuelan people, who have repeatedly affirmed their support for President Chavez and his policies," said Jill Bussiere, Wisconsin representative to the Green Party's International Committee.

"The memo describes secret US-supported actions against the Chavez government that constitute acts of war against a nation at peace with the US. These operations are consistent with other US acts of aggression against Venezuela, including the failed 2002 coup attempt, to which the Bush Administration lent active support," Ms. Bussiere added.

The Venezuelan government uncovered an alleged confidential memo on November 26 from US embassy official Michael Middleton Steere to the CIA director Michael Hayden which reveals clandestine operations to influence the referendum and to coordinate a military overthrow of the elected Chavez government. The referendum will measure public approval for constitutional amendments proposed by Chavez and the National Assembly; polls show 60% support for the amendments.

Greens note that the Bush Administration has targeted President Chavez for numerous reasons: his nationalization of several industries, especially oil, which has angered US corporate interests; provision of financial security, jobs, and health care for Venezuela's severely impoverished multiracial majority; and expansion of democracy in a nation formerly ruled by a small white elite.

More:
http://www.commondreams.org/news2007/1130-10.htm
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:06 PM
Response to Reply #91
110. Do you HONESTLY believe Chavez
"uncovered" a memo? Really. Did they intercept and decrypt the strangely worded memo. Did a spy take it from a secured facility?

Or is this all BULLSHIT.

A simple copy if this memo would be very powerful, but that is mutually exclusive with the common sense position here, this is all fantasy.

Political scare tactics designed to swing a vote.

Commondreams is just that..People dreaming stuff up.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #110
111. Is that right? You don't seem to be familiar with the place. Save that for someone who hasn't read
it for years.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #111
112. I have read PLENTY of FISA
documents and yet to run across the text "sworn enemy". Did you read the language they made up for this thing. Their guys need to work harder, similar to the Iraqi GW1 garbage "bart simpson is sleeping with your wives"

It is unproven garbage because the memo has not been published. If they have it, say whose name is on it, why not publish it?

Because it does NOT exits.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:24 PM
Response to Reply #112
113. Oh! Ohhhhhhhh! Wow! Now I see it! Now I get it! Oh, my God!
Well, this changes everything! Hallelujah, I see the light! Oh, my GAWD!

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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #113
114. Two picture choice
Edited on Sat Dec-01-07 05:48 PM by Pavulon
The memo..The evil hugo chavez must be destroyed by the forces we have aligned to destroy his shining path to socialist nirvanna..

If the language was horribly dry, and read like it was revised 200 times, I would believe it.

They had copiers in caracas in 2005, they still have them now. They had fancy ones that had faxes and email built in. All they have to do is EMAIL a copy to CNN. And then we have reality. Until then, we have picture 2
Edit: Sp & comment

Credible:


or NOT.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #114
115. To CNN? What do they owe to a slimy corporation like CNN?
One of the coup plotters, Gustavo Cisneros, largest media owner in Venezuela, personal fishing buddy friend of George H. W. Bush, guy who worked actively on the overthrow of the democratically chosen government is also the owner of CNN en Espaol.

No one wonders if he shouldn't drop everything and contact CNN. We read the US CNN was a "sister network" to an opposition network back in 2002, when the local Venezuelan coup-plotting and endorsing network fed their "take" on the coup directly to the US station.

Compliments on the upgrade to your normal level of discourse, through your use of an unsuspecting animal. I suppose you don't expect diseased idiots with cameras to rush up and snap photos of you in your own demure, and elegant bathroom routines.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #115
117. Fax a copy to NPR, Pravda, or Janes Wire
does not matter. National Enquirer. Only need a scanned copy.

I feel sorry for you chavistas. What are you going to do when a Democrat (HC) holds the white house?

You know chavez will still be blathering in the press.

Continue to support el presidente for life or the Democratic party? Tough choices ahead for some..

Short term, still no memo. Must be with the Alien technology pile..
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 05:58 PM
Response to Reply #117
118. "You know chavez will still be blathering in the press." The way he did the two years Bill Clinton
was in the White House after Chavez took office in February, 1999? I see.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 06:07 PM
Response to Reply #118
120. Or when he went after Harry Reid
don't worry, I don't think his bellicose attitude will change. For a leader of a third world petro economy he gets lots of press.

He is all jacked up on unmitigated power and a big oil rush, not so much then. Gas was cheap in 99, he was irrelevant, the way he should be.

Tough choices ahead..

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 06:12 PM
Response to Reply #120
121. Gets lots of press? Or is it like they're hanging all over him like a flock of buzzards,
watching every move he makes, straining to hear every word he utters, in hopes they can stagger off to scribble their wildly spun gibberish to feed the U.S. gummint appetite to fuel the flames of hatred among the criminally insane American right-wingers?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 09:09 PM
Response to Reply #114
131. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
BornagainDUer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #110
130. What's so farfetched? Shit, Chavez nailed Uribe's boys for trying to kill him.
You people who disappear the history of these events and treat each one as if it happened a historical vaccum are really weird.
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 08:38 AM
Response to Original message
92. Chavez is going to cut off oil to the US if the vote doesn't go as planned
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez said on Friday he will cut oil sales to the United States if the American government interferes in Sunday's referendum aimed at allowing him to run for reelection indefinitely.


http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSN305980522...

don't tamper with his deibold voting machines!
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
94. OK, where is the fucking memo already?
The story smells like a hoax.
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pescao Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #94
96. then why hasn't the CIA denied it? n/t
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #96
103. They have denied it, so now we know it must be true.
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pescao Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #103
122. "never believe anything...
...until it's officially denied"

and the state department's whining about whether the poll will be "free and fair" is sure sticking to the script.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-02-07 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #122
124. Precisamente.
It sure is walking and quacking like a duck, isn't it?
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 08:47 AM
Response to Reply #96
128. That would make it look like there was something to the story
Not reacting at all is the best thing the CIA could possibly do, especially if there never was a memo.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #94
97. Larry Johnson's take on it : Mental Midget Bullshit
Mental Midget Bullshit
By Larry Johnson on November 29, 2007 at 10:59 PM in Current Affairs

Not to be a party pooper but there is some bizarrely stupid shit floating around the web pretending to take us into the inner working of the CIA and the black world. If you have been taken in by this nonsense please do not go all sensitive and defensive on me. But this crap, whatever grains of truth contained in both, is blatant propaganda/information warfare material. Please take each with a grain of salt.

The first up is Confessions of a Covert Agent. The author, who is a clever, creative son of a bitch, is completely full of shit. But he or she makes it sound good:

Everything Ive done has been highly classified, all black programs and black operations. Some people I know thought I worked for the CIA, but its much more complicated than that. Ive worked with people in the CIA, DIA, NSC, NSA, SAIC, Army Intel and many more lesser known agencies within the intelligence apparatus.

Before focusing on PsyOps I started out running covert combat missions, special operations. I was good at what I did and rose through the ranks fast. When the War on Terror started I was paid a lot of money to consult with private military contractors. When private paramilitary units needed to get the jobs done that paid the most money they would come to me with checkbooks filled with US taxpayer dough.

Sorry folks, but this does not pass the sniff test. He/she is/was a covert operative who worked with who? Cant tell you. Its a SECRET. No, wait. It is beyond SECRET. Trust me on this. It is ridiculous.

Next up is the bogus memo allegedly written to the Director of the CIA by some nimrod diplomat at our Embassy in Venezuela. Dubbed Operation Pliers (on some websites) and Pincers (on others), we are offered a peek behind the curtain of CIA efforts to topple Chavez. It starts off:

more:http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2007/11/29/mental-midget-b...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #97
98. It's good to remind oneself that although he was great in defending Valerie Plame, his loyalties
will ALWAYS be to the CIA, an agency which has wrought tragedy and hardship, torture, and death for vast numbers of helpless people in Latin America.

That much is clear.
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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #98
99. while I agree with your premise, there are propagandists on both sides
:D
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paulk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #98
100. OTOH, being former CIA, maybe he actually knows somehing
about how the CIA does things?

"As the official bubble burster let me state for the record, this is patent nonsense. State Department officers do not write memos to Hayden. Particularly mid-level Foreign Service Officers. A CIA officer under diplomatic cover sends his communications to headquarters via an encoded message. We call these messages cables, harkening back to the days of telegraphs and telegrams.

This, in my judgment, is the workvery clumsy work at thatof the Venezuelan intelligence service eager to build on the truth that the United States has sought to oust Chavez. All of this is quite convenient with Venezuelan elections on the horizon. It may be hamhanded, but for internal Venezuelan consumption, this is brilliant psyops and should help Chavez further demonize the equally clumsy Americans."

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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #97
105. The problem is that the author who broke the story is a rock solid
Edited on Sat Dec-01-07 04:03 PM by sfexpat2000
academic and long time Latin America / Venezuela guy. He's not really a partisan or a Hugo shill (as some of us are accused of being, lol), he's got a day job and I can't find a reason for him to go with this unless he's put it through all his own personal filters.

:shrug:
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #105
108. So has potentially risked his life, but can get a freaking xerox
of a piece of paper. Really this memo stuff is a pile of steaming crap. No copy, no memo, no story.

just people shooting the shit with no proof.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
101. Sending good thoughts to pescao for Sunday. Hope you'll have good weather, and a good crowd. n/t
This is really very big.
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pescao Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-01-07 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #101
123. thanks lots judi, will report back later
had this in today's Morning Star (reprinted in full with permission from author)

Campaigners pledge to defend Venezuela against CIA hostility
(Morning Star, Saturday December 1 2007)

HANDS Off Venezuela activists pledged on Friday to defend Venezuela's Bolivarian revolution.

"We are facing a massive destabilisation campaign, the likes of which we've not seen since the failed coup of 2002," warned a group spokesman.

Referring to a recently exposed CIA plot to use Sunday's constitutional reform referendum as a pretext to overthrow the Chavez government, he demanded that the "British government distances itself from the Bush administration in Washington and condemns any attempt to derail the democratic process."

An emergency solidarity rally has been called by the group for 5pm on Sunday while the vote is taking place to be ready to respond if the US goes ahead with its violent plan, code-named Operation Pliers.

A spokesman explained: "We are calling on all supporters to rally outside Bolivar Hall in London, from which we will be receiving real-time information from Venezuela.

"If it looks like a coup is being attempted, we will be ready to march to the US embassy to demand that they back off and respect international law. We must remain especially vigilant until this danger has passed."

The last few days have seen an unprecedented level of propaganda against the Venezuelan government.

Both the BBC and Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells have smeared Venezuela for alleged corruption, quoting the discredited organisation Transparency International to support claims that it is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

But campaigners hit back, telling Mr Howells that "the British government is in no position to point the finger about corruption," referring to the ongoing funding scandals in the Labour Party.

Campaigners will gather from 5pm on Sunday outside Bolivar Hall in London. The address is 56 Grafton Way, off Tottenham Court Road, W1 and the nearest Tube is Goodge Street. Supporters are asked to bring banners and musical instruments and to wear red clothes.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-02-07 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #123
125. Have a great time!
:hi:
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pescao Donating Member (716 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-02-07 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #125
127. thanks, it went great
50 or 60 people there, banners and balloons, not much aggro from the opposition, upbeat mood.

looks like the results are coming through now, too close to call!
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-02-07 03:22 AM
Response to Original message
126. Here's a time zone converter for DU'ers who want to know what time it is in Caracas,
and learn the difference in hours between their own time zone and Caracas. Might be helpful Sunday:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html
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ohio2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-03-07 05:57 PM
Response to Original message
129. Referendum failed, when do the evictions start ?
WIll Hugo run for re election anyway ?
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