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The U.S. State Department has expressed its concern that Venezuela is using its wealth gained from oil production to destabilize the country's democratic neighbors in the Americas by funding anti-democratic groups in Bolivia, Ecuador, and elsewhere.
In a July 27 letter to U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Republican of Florida), State Department official Matthew Reynolds said the Bush administration is working to bolster democracy in the Western Hemisphere and to deter Venezuelan and Cuban "meddling in the internal affairs of regional democracies."
Reynolds, who is the State Department's acting assistant secretary for legislative affairs, said support for democracy in Venezuela, as elsewhere, is a "cornerstone" of President Bush's foreign policy. The Bush administration, said Reynolds, is "gravely concerned" about increasing threats to democracy in Venezuela. These threats, added Reynolds, include what he described as the "concentration of power in the executive, a politicized judiciary, a flawed and distrusted electoral authority, and the deterioration of basic civil rights."
Originally posted by Regenmacher
Little Castro is on a anti-US campaign again. If anything comes of this, Chavez will likely pull the plug on US oil exports. Perhaps he's just shoring up support before he does just that. Then we may see some naval fireworks.
Originally posted by soficrow
I was wrong. I predicted Brazil - but it's Venezuela. Who'da thunk it?
Originally posted by pfcret
I can not beleive what I have just read.
The Bay of Pigs Invasion (also known in Cuba as La Playa Girón after a beach in the Bay of Pigs where the landing took place) was a United States-planned and funded landing by armed Cuban exiles in Central Cuba in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban communist government of Fidel Castro in 1961. US-Cuban tensions had grown since Castro had overthrown the US-backed regime of General Fulgencio Batista on New Year's Day, 1959. The Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations had made the judgment that Castro's shift toward the Soviet Union could not be tolerated, and moved to overthrow him. However, the invasion failed miserably and proved to be a major international embarrassment for the Kennedy administration. The resulting fiasco of the invasion attempt has been studied as an ideal case of 'groupthink' and poor decision making.
After Kennedy's election, the President's close advisers set up their own covert structure to eliminate Castro. Launched in November 1961, it was code named Operation Mongoose.
According to James Bamford in Body of Secrets:
Operation Northwoods, which had the written approval of the Chairman and every member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called for innocent people to be shot on American streets; for boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba to be sunk on the high seas; for a wave of violent terrorism to be launched in Washington, D.C., Miami, and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did not commit; planes would be hijacked. Using phony evidence, all of it would be blamed on Castro, thus giving Lemnitzer and his cabal the excuse, as well as the public and international backing, they needed to launch their war.
In 2000, four Cuban exiles with ties to the Cuban-American National Foundation were convicted in a Panamanian court of plotting to assassinate Castro during a regional summit. The four were pardoned in 2004 and all but Luis Posada Carriles entered the United States. Posada appeared in the U.S in May 2005, but was arrested and faces extradition to Venezuela. All four men have been accused of working for the CIA at one time or another.
The recall vote was held on August 15, 2004. Record numbers of voters turned out, and polling hours were extended by at least eight hours. 59.25% of the vote was against the recall, for Chávez remaining in office. Election observers Jimmy Carter of the Carter Center and Organization of American States Secretary General César Gaviria endorsed the results of Venezuela's recall referendum. In the following weeks, opposition supporters made numerous claims regarding irregularities. Among the many irregularities and maneuvers they allege were carried out by the Chávez government to sabotage the referendum the decisive moves were to increase the electoral roll by two million newly minted citizens and to manipulate the Smartmatic automated voting system ensuring that regardless of a massive turnout of voters against Chávez the totals would favor a continuation of his presidency.
Originally posted by nikelbee
Please tell me you aren't buying this whole 'US spreads democracy to the world' nonsense again are you?