My Dear Mr. Ocando:

Really - we had a jolly good laugh here in Canada over your article which describes our Bolivarian Circles as engaging in '"intelligence gathering". We were left puzzling over where we would find "intelligence" data and then how or to whom we would be giving it to!

Now, let us be completely honest. You are against Hugo Chávez and we are for him. That is fine in any democratic country, to freely support or not political positions. I do not quarrel with you on that account, you have every right as so do we. That is not the reason I am writing to you. I am writing on the issue of ethical and quality standards in journalism. You are out of your league when writing about Canada and the Bolivarian Circles that operate here and by engaging in "armchair" journalism you have misled your reader and spread an ugly untruth about us.

I will not talk about the Bolivarian Circles in the USA, because they can assuredly defend themselves from your innuendos. But I do think I must speak up for Canadian Bolivarian Circles.

It may be hard for you, as an American, to understand that in Canada we have a very free and dynamic political system that includes ironclad guarantees of our civil, political, and social rights. At election time, you can see political parties of all stripes competing for votes: Liberal, Conservative, New Democratic, Green, Communists, Marxists, Anarchists, and we even have a Marijuana party.

 The Canadian government and the RCMP have the greatest respect for the peaceful non-governmental organizations that operate here, of which the Bolivarian Circles form part. Bolivarian Circles here have never, never had any kind of a quarrel or run-in with any authority in this country.
Canada has the most cordial relationship with Venezuela. Canada has never broken relationships with Cuba or China for that matter and there are many organizations here in this multicultural country that have been created to foster the friendship between Canada and other countries, such as Cuba, China, Italy, France, Russia, Germany, Jamaica, etc, etc.

At the Bolivarian Circles, we are all proud Canadian citizens who believe that the government of Hugo Chávez is trying its best to give to the Venezuelan people some of the rights that we hold dear: the rule of law, a public health system, quality public education and public housing. You may not quite share these values, but none the less, I assure you that groups such as ours do not give our government any cause at all for concern or worry, nor are we under any kind of surveillance.

So, I would like to invite you, quite seriously, to come to Toronto, where you could do some real investigative journalism for a change, and inspect our Bolivarian Circle. I can assure you that you will be treated with respect and courtesy. You may come to our meetings, see our plan of action, and meet all the members whom you can interview. Furthermore, I will undertake to put in a good word for you at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa so you may speak with them and be assured personally by them that we are in no way in their bad books.
This is a serious invitation. We demand a retraction from you over an unfair and untruthful article and we feel that by coming to meet us you will be able to write an ethical and quality piece that would meet journalistic standards.
Of course, you may decline, this invitation, which would clearly indicate, sadly, that you are not up to the challenge.

Most sincerely,
Dr. Maria Páez Victor
Member of the Canadian Bolivarian Circle Louis Riel
Toronto, Canada

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Felix Rodriguez
Former CIA agent Felix Rodriguez talked about Venezuela on the talk show "Maria Elvira Confronta."
Credit: Channel 22, Miami

In an interview on Miami’s Spanish-language channel 22, the former CIA agent Felix Rodriguez said that the U.S. government has plans to “bring about a change in Venezuela.” When pressed as to what type of plans these might be, Rodriguez responded that the Bush administration “could do it with a military strike, with a plane.”

The former CIA agent’s comments were made last week, on Thursday, during the talk show of a well-known supporter of the anti-Castro movement, Maria Elvira Salazar. Rodriguez affirmed during the program, “According to information I have about what is happening in Venezuela, it is possible that at some moment they [the Bush administration] will see itself obliged, for national security reasons and because of problems they have in Colombia, to implement a series of measures that will bring about a change in Venezuela.”

The moderator, not satisfied with his vague answer, asked Rodriguez what kind of measures these might be and he responded, “They could be economic measures and at some point they could be military measures.” He then added, “If at some point they are going to do it, they will do it openly.” As an example, Rodriguez gave the Reagan administration’s strike against Khadafi, whose residence was bombed and whose adoptive daughter was killed in the process.

Felix Rodriguez is presumed to have been one of the CIA agents who captured Ernesto “Ché” Guevara in Bolivia and who was involved in his assassination in 1962.

For the past several weeks, President Chavez has been saying that he has evidence that the Bush administration is planning his assassination. Bush spokespersons, such as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, have dismissed the charge, calling it “absurd.” Chavez and officials from his government, however, have insisted that they have intelligence information about a possible assassination, but that they cannot reveal their sources, as this would ruin their investigations.

Venezuela’s Foreign Minister Ali Rodriguez has also pointed out that the U.S. denied for a long time its involvement in the overthrow of the governments of Chile in 1973 or of Guatemala in 1954, but that their involvement was eventually proven.

Yesterday, the British newspaper Financial Times reported that, "Senior US administration officials are working on a policy to 'contain' President Hugo Chavez." the report went on to say, "A strategy aimed at fencing in the Chávez government is being prepared at the behest of President George W. Bush and Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, senior US officials say."

The Financial Times quoted Roger Pardo-Maurer, deputy assistant secretary for western hemisphere affairs, as saying that, "Chavez is a problem because he is clearly using his oil money and influence to introduce his conflictive style into the politics of other countries."

Roger Pardo-Mauro became known during the Reagan administration's Iran-Contra scandal, when he was a spokesperson for the Nicaraguan Contras. He is also said to have met with Venezuela's top general, Lucas Rincon Romero, in the weeks prior to the April 2002 coup.

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(Available as a single-sided leaflet or a double-sided leaflet)

Most people know that the corporate newspapers, radio, and television exist to serve the interests of the big businesses that own them. In recent weeks, they have opened an all-out assault on the Venezuelan revolution. The U.S. media is flooded with negative appraisals of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian revolutionary process. Right-wing pundit Robert Novak recently referred to “Latin America’s infection.” At her confirmation hearing, Bush’s secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Chavez a “negative force” in the region. Chavez is often described as “anti-American”, and is accused of “meddling” in neighboring states, harboring “terrorists” and “starting an arms race”. The Financial Times recently reported that a “containment policy” is being formulated by the Bush Administration, aimed at “fencing in” the world’s 5th largest oil exporter. Roger Pardo-Maurer, current deputy assistant secretary for western hemisphere affairs at the U.S. Department of Defense, and former political officer for the right-wing Nicaraguan Contras is at the heart of this renewed attention on Latin America.       

The reason for these attacks is clear: the Venezuelan Revolution is incompatible with U.S. corporate interests in the region and with the capitalist system as a whole. The fact is, the constant slanders and distortions of the truth reflect the growing fear of the U.S. ruling class in relation to the international repercussions of the developing Venezuelan revolution. What is at stake is the very existence of the capitalist system in Venezuela, Latin America, and ultimately, the world. Due to the quagmire in Iraq and their reliance on Venezuelan oil (providing 15 percent to the U.S.), Bush’s hands are tied for the moment. But they are moving might and main to mobilize public opinion in the U.S. as well as in Latin America in order to strangle the Bolivarian revolution as soon as the opportunity arises.

Venezuela has some of the world’s largest known oil reserves and is rich in other natural resources. Yet despite this wealth, 80 percent of Venezuela’s population has lived in abject misery for decades. The Venezuelan oligarchy and their multi-national corporate pals used the country’s wealth to line their own pockets with profits, instead of improving the conditions of life of ordinary Venezuelans - the ones who actually produce all the wealth. This continued for decades, until the International Monetary Fund and the Venezuelan millionaires went too far: in February of 1989 they imposed intolerably harsh economic conditions on the already destitute population. The resulting “Caracazo” popular uprising was finally put down in blood by the state security forces, resulting in hundreds if not thousands of people killed. This was the beginning of a chain of events that continues today.

As a result of this brutality, left-wing paratrooper Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chavez led a failed military coup in 1992 against the right-wing government. Despite being sent to prison, he instantly became a popular hero. After mass support led to his early release from prison, he formed a new political movement and wiped the floor with the long-standing corporate political duopoly in the presidential elections of 1998. A new, far more democratic constitution was adopted by popular referendum, and Chavez was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2000.

His initial goal was simply to improve the conditions of life of the long-suffering Venezuelan people. But even the most modest measures on land reform, taxing the profits of the multi-nationals, and increasing spending on health care, education, food programs and housing brought him into a direct confrontation with the Venezuelan oligarchy and their allies in the U.S. In April of 2002, the Venezuelan media, the country's business organization, the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and a handful of reactionary generals helped orchestrate a coup d'etat against Chavez. This new "democratic" government, proceeded to abolish the Bolivarian Constitution and dissolve the National Assembly, Supreme Court, and the National Electoral Board. Not surprisingly, it was immediately recognized as legitimate by Washington. There is now clear proof that the U.S.  administration knew about the preparations for the coup and collaborated
with the plotters. But in an unprecedented uprising, the Venezuelan masses rose up against this illegitimate government and reinstated Chavez.

Since then, the revolutionary process has accelerated - but so have U.S. efforts to put a halt to it. The key to the Venezuelan revolution is the truly mass, democratic, grass roots participation of the Venezuelan workers, peasants, and urban poor. Time and again, they have mobilized and organized to defend the revolution, and it is on their continued participation that the fate of the revolution depends. Hugo Chavez himself has become increasingly radicalized in recent months. He has said that capitalism must be transcended, he nationalized an important paper mill under workers’ control, and called for the “socialism of the 21st century”. This reflects the pressure of the masses from below. The hopes and dreams of millions of Venezuelans are really quite simple and are very similar to the hopes and dreams of working people in the U.S. and around the world. They are fighting for quality jobs, housing, education, transportation, health care, safe working conditions, a decent pension, and a bright future for their families and loved ones. Is it too much to ask that the vast wealth created by working people around the world be used to improve their lives?        

Despite the repeated provocations by the U.S. government, Chavez and the Venezuelan people are far from being “anti-American”. Chavez always distinguishes carefully between the American people and their rulers. As he declared recently in a speech: “One day the decay inside U.S. imperialism will end up toppling it, and the great people of Martin Luther King will be set free. The great people of the United States are our brothers, my salute to them ... The U.S. people, with whom we share dreams and ideals, must free themselves... A country of heroes, dreamers, and fighters, the people of Martin Luther King, and Cesar Chavez.”

It is vital that we counteract the lies and distortions of the corporate media. They are not interested in the truth about Venezuela - they will stop at nothing to demonize the struggle of the Venezuelan people in order to justify the crushing of the revolutionary process. Having been defeated during the coup, during the oil sabotage and repeatedly at the polls, the Venezuelan oligarchy and their friends in Washington are now threatening to resort to terrorism and even the assassination of Chavez himself. It is therefore urgent to mobilize and demand U.S. Hands Off Venezuela!

The heroic efforts of millions of Venezuelan men and women to improve their lives proves in practice that it is possible to build a better world. Their struggle is our struggle! This summer, the World Festival of Students and Youth will be held in Caracas, Venezuela. This will be a perfect opportunity for thousands of young people around the world to visit Venezuela and see the revolution up close. This isn’t ancient history, this is a living, vibrant, developing revolution in our own hemisphere in the 21st century. We must defend and spread the Venezuelan revolution internationally!   

(Available as a single-sided leaflet or a double-sided leaflet)

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English Translation by Sue Ashdown

"What message do you have for my country?" General Rafael Oropeza had no answer for the military official from the United States standing before him on April 11, 2002 in the military barracks of Fort Tiuna in Caracas. Colonel James Rodgers, military attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, repeated the question. In the moment of the coup d'etat against President Hugo Chávez Frías, General Oropeza was charged with registering everyone who entered and exited Fort Tiuna, the base for the Venezuelan Defense Ministry and the premier military installation in the country. Photographs of Rodgers driving a vehicle around the perimeter of the Fort during the coup were published afterwards in the Venezuelan daily Ultima Noticias.

The State Department denied the existence of any James Rodgers, even though he was registered as a military attaché of the Embassy in Caracas. But the most compromising moment for the U.S. military in Venezuela during the period surrounding the April 2002 coup against President Chávez happened April 8, at a goodbye party for a Chinese military attaché, held in the luxury Hotel Melía in Caracas. It was that night, exactly, that an official of the U.S. Marine Corps, David Cazares, confused General Roberto González Cárdenas with General Néstor González Gonzáles. It was an understandable error. Both men were bald, approximately the same height and both dressed in Venezuelan Army uniforms, complete with medals and an i.d. tag that said simply, "González".

Cazares sidled up to General González and, accusingly, asked, "Why haven't you contacted the ships we have off the coast or our submarine submerged in La Guaira? What's going on? Why hasn't anyone called me? What are you waiting for?"

General González hadn't the remotest idea what the U.S. Marine officer was talking about, but before he could respond, a military attaché from Brazil approached to say goodbye. Cazares took advantage of the distraction to ask the Marine captain, Moreno Leal, standing nearby, if this was indeed General González, "the one who was stationed on the border". Moreno answered: "That is General González, but I don't know if he was stationed at the border." Cazares continued interrogating General González Cardenas, demanding to know why no-one had yet made contact with him or with the three boats and the submarine located off the Venezuelan coast. Prudently, González Cárdenas limited his responses to a simple "We'll inquire." On leaving the party, the two met again in the elevator. "This has an operative cost. I'm waiting for your answer," said Cazares firmly.

The Venezuelan general Néstor González González was a secret participant in the coup d'etat of April 2002 against President Chávez. April 10, the general appeared on national television and demanded the resignation of the president, "or we shall see". On April 12, after the failed coup, a television program aired which revealed that González González made this statement with the simple goal of preventing Chávez from traveling to Costa Rica, where he was to participate in a meeting of the OAS General Assembly that same day. The plot worked. Chávez remained in Venezuela and the coup began to unfold according to plan.

However, the erroneous exchange between Cazares and González Cárdenas that April 8 was passed to a higher level and uncovered by Venezuelan investigators after Chávez's brief demotion, while the United States simply ignored it. Cazares's term in Venezuela was reduced afterwards, and he was re-posted to Chile when the amazing article appeared in Últimas Noticias.

Another Piece in Place

On March 5, 2002, something pleasant happened for the United States. A cable sent from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas to Washington, to the CIA, the DIA
(Defense Intelligence Agency) the NSC (National Security Council) and others, arrived with the following heading: THE UNIONS, THE BUSINESS SECTOR AND THE CHURCH ANNOUNCE A TRANSITION AGREEMENT.

The body of the cable said: "With great fanfare, Venezuela's best gathered on March 5 to listen to representatives of the Venezuelan Workers' Union, the Chamber of Commerce and the Catholic Church present their combined democratic agreement, with ten principles to guide a transitional government. This accord constitutes an important step for the opposition, which has never wavered in its condemnation of Chávez, but until this moment had not offered a comprehensive vision of its own."

The U.S. government appeared pleased with the agreement reached by the opposition on March 5, taking into account that it had brought an investment of nearly two million dollars in an effort to strengthen and unify the opposition parties. A comment in a cable from the Embassy revealed this satisfaction: "Another piece in place," wrote Cook, an embassy staffer, "this agreement could well constitute a reference point in the code of conduct for a transition government."

The remark "another piece in place" should have caught the attention of some, more than just a little. If the opposition accord for a post-Chávez transition government was another "piece" of the plan, then the overthrow of Chávez should have been the final piece in the conspiracy. The United States, continually complaining of the lack of opposition unity, reasoned that this called for an investment of some two million dollars through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in order to strengthen the political parties and help them unite around a strategy. The accord of March 5 confirmed that this investment had brought results: "another piece" had been placed correctly and the day of the final objective was approaching.

On March 11, 2002, the government of the United States was convinced that the coup had been organized.

The CIA in Venezuela sent another urgent notice to the five intelligence agencies in Washington, this time in the form of an alert. The alert was prepared for the Strategic Alert Committee of the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI), a strictly confidential and high level group governed by the National Intelligence Office to alert and integrate the director's representatives in the National Security Agency, the DIA, and the National Mapping Agency, as well as for the undersecretary of State for Intelligence and Investigation, and the vice-director of Intelligence for the CIA. The strictly confidential alert was more specific: "There are growing signals that the Venezuelan business leaders and officials are feeling dissatisfied with President Chávez.the military could try to overthrow him."

Absolutely not!

The American ambassador in Caracas, Charles Shapiro, visited (Pedro) Carmona several times during the coup. He claimed that his visits on April 12 were to try to convince him to reinstitute the Congress and other institutions he had dissolved, but Shapiro's answers to questions about his relationships with the leaders of the opposition and the participants in the resulting coup were prefabricated and well planned. Not by him, however.

April 16, 2002, Shapiro received a cable from the State Department in Washington, with a Press Guide for Western Hemispheric Affairs, prepared by an L.S. Hamilton in the State Department, and approved by Richard Boucher, State Department spokesperson.

If they ask "Did U.S. officials meet with Venezuelan opposition officials prior to the April 11 removal of President Chávez from power," he was to memorize the following response: "U.S. officials have met with a broad spectrum of Venezuelans over the past several months both in Caracas and in Washington. U.S. officials met with business community representatives, labor union officials, Catholic church leaders, opposition political leaders, and a wide array of Venezuelan government officials."

In reference to questions about the meetings with Carmona, the Press Guide said: "If asked" - that is, don't offer information if not asked - the proper response would be: "In the course of normal diplomatic contacts, U.S. officials met with Pedro Carmona, the President of the Venezuelan Federation of Chambers of Commerce (Fedecamaras). Our message to all Venezuelan contacts has been consistent. The political situation in Venezuela is one for Venezuelans to resolve peacefully, democratically and constitutionally. We explicitly told all of our Venezuelan interlocutors on numerous occasions and at many levels that under no circumstances would the United States support any unconstitutional, undemocratic effort, such as coup (sic), to remove President Chávez from power.

A message of "zero coups" was categorically sent, meanwhile the government of the United States was filling the pockets of coup conspirators with millions of dollars, and meeting with them from time to time to discuss their plans.

Hardly surprising then, that the response to the question "Was the United States involved in the effort to remove Venezuelan President Chávez from power?" should be "Absolutely not." 

[See also the Venezuela Freedom of Information Act web site (www.venezuelafoia.info) where all the documents regarding US meddling in Venezuela are published]

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A little later, it shifts once again, to an intrepid melodrama, intermixing looting, holdups, political blackmail, mercenaries, violence.

When you get to the last page, the reader might well ask if what he has read hasn't been, after all, a novel of impossible adventures, a game of imagination unattached to real life, says the Cuban youth newspaper.

However, not a single line is fiction.

A good part of this book is comprised of documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act of the United States, and plenty of time and doggedness was required of Eva to obtain this material for readers, and as confirmed in the first page, put her at enormous risk, including death threats.

Still, the reader shouldn't lose sight that this seminal testimony documents not only what perseverance is required of investigators, but the capricious behavior of those who control the secret American archives, who declassify what they feel like and hide whatever is most compromising.

Eva predicts scores of years will pass before the opening of these other archives.

And for sure, much more terrifying things remain censored and maybe we will never know the most secret evidence from the plans against Venezuela: as we know, we had to wait more than 30 years for the "mea culpa" of Robert McNamara, to know the evil plans to provoke an invasion of Cuba by the United States, contained in the plan named Operation Mongoose.

When will we know what really happened in Dallas, the day Kennedy was killed? When will we learn what is being hatched at this very moment against Cuba, Venezuela and the world? Ask Elizalde and Polanco.

Thanks to this sample, that Eva was able to dig up from the American government, it's possible to prove what the United States denied repeatedly: it was involved in bringing to fruition the details of the coup against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in April of 2002, which included plans to generate violence during demonstrations, the arrest of the leader, and its active participation in the coup.

For whoever sees it, The Chavez Code is an instructive book. Her testimony brings forth a series of documents that illuminate the truth behind these works, truth that has shocked Venezuelan public opinion over the last three years.

Details appear in this book about how the United States executed its Plan A for intervention and subversion in Latin America.

What failed this time doesn't necessarily mean that the aggressor intends to admit defeat. A little after Eva Golinger put her final touches on this book, evidence began to appear on the public scene that the government of George Bush is already applying Plan B: a barrage of dirty propaganda and actions in international organizations to isolate the Venezuelan government, without ruling out the assassination or kidnapping of the chief of state, the foreword to a military intervention.

The denunciations against Venezuela have begun: in the first weeks of 2005, more than 50 press articles appeared in U.S. newspapers and television programs, where more than 85% of the "experts" consulted were affiliated with opposition institutions and publications. So much for proverbial objectivity of the press.

The most slanderous allegations come from "unnamed sources" in the Bush administration, adding fuel to the fire of the latest definition, begun this year by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice: "Hugo Chávez is a negative force in the region."

From this cry for war, the United States has let loose the dogs of prey from the CIA and the media at its service, including the press and institutions like the Organization of American States, with which they heat up the scene, and scattered signs, but very perceptible ones, begin to appear of the new crusade.

As a result, it's likely that within one year, maybe sooner, we will see a new book from Eva or from other audacious investigators, where they weave this new chapter in the saga of this sinister soap opera that we Cubans have suffered for more than 40 years and that has recently begun for the Venezuelans.

The Chavez Code alludes to an experience that intimately concerns every society in the world. An experience that brings us to the simple question: can any government in this world elude the "liberating" desires of the CIA and the NED, if it takes a road different from that selected by Emperor Bush for everyone on the planet?

The English edition of The Chavez Code will be available shortly on Amazon.com or directly through the author, Eva Golinger: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Spanish edition is available from Fondo Editorial Question, Quinta Lilam, Av. La Estancia c/Calle Los Mangos, Caracas, Venezuela, 011-58-212-731-1631 or directly through the author, reachable through the following email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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