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One week after the crash outside Caracas, Venezuela of a twin-engine Piper Navajo (N6463L), an air of intrigue surrounds almost everything about the flight, including the plane's ownership, passengers, and pilot.
Woven into one small story about a plane crash in Venezuela that killed seven people are visible threads from two perennial American cover-ups: one surrounding vote fraud, and one covering-up the CIA's role in drug trafficking.
The downed plane's relevance to the ongoing story of vote fraud in America involves the identity of it's passenger,,
Jose Alfredo Anzola, a 34-year old founder of Smartmatic, www.smartmatic.com... a Venezuela-based election company whose American subsidiary counted one in every three votes in the 2004 Presidential election
...while engaged the whole time in heated controversy over allegations the firm counting America's votes had hidden ties to—of all people— Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
The connection between last week's plane crash and the ongoing saga of CIA Drug trafficking begins 43-year old Mario Donadi Gafaro, the veteran drug pilot at the controls of the twin engine plane.
connections to whom? voting machines from
where's the need for Chavez to play into it?
yeah, sure it's a global network, what i don't get is why they would risk being associated with Venezuela and Chavez?
why not use Canada instead? much less suspicious and just as easily controlled. that's why i wondered if these hints are built into the system in order to maintain partial disclosure as Plan B.
The company, Smartmatic Corp., and its subsidiary, Sequoia Voting Systems Inc., are being investigated by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States.
---all that exquisite hiding sounds exactly like the Bormann group to me.
Smartmatic was a little-known firm with no experience in voting technology before it was chosen by Venezuelan authorities to replace the country's elections machinery ahead of a contentious 2004 referendum that confirmed Chavez as president.
With a windfall of some $120 million from contracts with Venezuela, Smartmatic bought the much larger and more established Sequoia Voting Systems from a British-owned company. Sequoia now has voting equipment installed in 17 states.
Since its takeover by Smartmatic in March 2005, Sequoia has aggressively marketed its machines in Latin America and other developing countries, but
the role of the Venezuelans who founded Smartmatic has become less visible in public documents as the company has been restructured into an elaborate web of offshore companies and foreign trusts.
Bizta provides software for Smartmatic's voting system and joined Smartmatic in selling that system to the Chávez government for the 2004 recall election.
Caracas 08.01.07 | It seems that Hugo Chavez's e-voting company has decided to dispose off of its US subsidiary after the "Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) began a national-security investigation last fall" reports the Miami Herald today (see article below). Smartmatic, which was first formed with capital lent in unknown terms by the Venezuelan regime, refused to reveal its true ownership, deciding instead to sell Sequoia Voting Systems, a fully owned US subsidiary.
London 14.08.05 | The Florida register of companies contains details of the board of directors of Smartmatic Corporation, which is formed by Antonio Mugica, Alfredo Anzola, Antonio Mugica Rivero, Roger Piñate, Antonio Mugica Sesma and Luis Feliu . Its principal place of business is 1001 Broken Sound Parkway, NW, STE D, Boca Raton, FL 33487. The company's history in Venezuela dates back to seven years ago when the venture was "the Research and Development Unit of Panagroup in Venezuela" (sic) and in "2000 we realized the true impact of our technology in the growing device-networking market, and we emerged as an independent company" (sic) . The Miami Herald reported on Friday May 28, 2004 [ F2 EDITION]:
"A large and powerful investor in the software company that will design electronic ballots and record votes for Venezuela's new and much criticized election system is the Venezuelan government itself... Venezuela's investment in Bizta Corp., the ballot software firm, gives the government 28 percent ownership of the company it will use to help deliver voting results in future elections, including the possible recall referendum against President Hugo Chavez, according to records obtained by The Herald... Until a year ago, the Bizta Corp. was a struggling Venezuelan software company with barely a sales deal to its name, records show. Then, the Venezuelan government -- through a venture capital fund -- invested about $200,000 and bought 28 percent of it" (sic).
Further the Herald also shed light upon shareholders and registered addresses of both Smartmatic and Bizta thusly: Three companies will build and execute Venezuela's new touch-screen voting system. Two are incorporated in Florida, though neither does most of its business here.
* Smartmatic Corp., which will build the machines, incorporated in Florida in 2000 and lists its world headquarters at 6400 Congress Ave. in Boca Raton. Its president is Antonio Mugica Rivero, 30, and its vice president is Alfredo Anzola, 30.
* Bizta Corp.,which will provide software for the new machines, incorporated in Florida in 2001, and lists its address as 19591 Dinner Key Dr., Boca Raton, a residential property owned by Mugica's father. Mugica is listed as president, and Anzola is vice president, according to Florida records. Venezuelan records, however, indicate Anzola is president. In Caracas, Bizta shares its office with Smartmatic.
* CANTV, Venezuela's publicly held phone company, will provide phone lines to connect the system and election day technical support. It would have been part of any voting system selected for the elections contract.
Venezuelan journalist Orlando Ochoa Teran investigated the claims published by the Miami Herald and discovered that Venezuelan officials were behind the incorporation of Smartmatic. Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel and Venezuelan Ambassador to the USA Bernardo Alvarez Herrera are intimately related, either through long time friendship or consanguinity relationship, to the directors of Smartmatic.
Three companies will build and execute Venezuela's new touch-screen voting system. Two are incorporated in Florida, though neither does most of its business here.
The inquiry on the eve of the midterm elections is being conducted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or Cfius, the same panel of 12 government agencies that reviewed the abortive attempt by a company in Dubai to take over operations at six American ports earlier this year.
Several weeks back, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman warned that the Presidential election might be stolen in Florida. This year, he warned, unlike the Presidential race in 2000, the election might be stolen even without help from the Supreme Court. The fraud would be perpetrated through the use of new touch screen voting machines which do not leave a paper trail.
That, of course, is a 36% swing from an exit poll conducted the same day, or about six times the margin of error in terms of a vote shift.
But what is the likelihood that one side could lose in an exit poll by 18%, and win the election the same day by 18%? That, statisticians tell us, is virtually impossible. And that is what happened in Venezuela.
The most prominent defender of Chavez's election win, Jimmy Carter, responded in an op—ed that this meant nothing, since on over 300 polling machines, the vote to retain Chavez was also identical. One thing that Carter did not mention, however, was whether the vote for Chavez on the 300 machines, was higher than the vote recorded against Chavez in the other 400. Clearly, if the fix was in, one could record a maximum result for the anti—Chavez side on some polling machines (regardless of how many people voted against Chavez, in all likelihood a larger number) and also record a vote total for Chavez on other machines that was much higher than the actual vote total for Chavez.
On over 400 voting machines, the anti—Chavez vote was identical —— down to the single vote.
The two things that are suggested by these results are that a fraud may have occurred, and that if it did, the fixers were lazy.
Having identical vote totals on hundreds of different machines around the country is about as likely to occur as the results from the famous missing ballot box that was used to give 'Landslide Lyndon' Johnson his 87 vote victory in the Senate race in Texas in 1948. The votes in that mystery precinct when they finally turned up, were almost 100% for Johnson, and the voters who signed in to vote "that day" did so in alphabetical order, a first I am sure, even for Texas.
And two Venezuelan professors, including one from MIT, and another from Harvard have issued their own report,
concluding that there is at least a 99% chance that the election result was a fraud.
Caracas, Venezuela In May 2000, Venezuela’s highest court suspended elections because of problems with the tabulation for the national election. Venezuela sent an air force jet to Omaha to fetch experts from Election Systems and Software (ES&S) in a last-ditch effort to fix the problem. Dozens of protesters chanted, “Gringos get out!” at ES&S technicians. Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez accused ES&S of trying to destablize the country’s electoral process. Chávez asked for help from the U.S. government because, he said, the United States had recommended ES&S.
i expected the 'intelligence community' was capable of hiring crooks at home, where's the need for Chavez to play into it? maybe plan B: reveal large parts of the conspiracy to justify going after new oil fields, while eliminating a large amount of co-conspirators, thereby increasing the individual share of the surviving elites. i have a feeling that the West likes it predictable and preys only on pre-installed patsy-nations, usually former allies.
The Carabobo State Chamber of Industry (CIEC)
The CIEC is a 71 year-old organization, headquartered in the Carabobo state capital of Valencia, which groups together more than 250 businesses in the region.
Among those are dozens of subsidiaries which compose literally a who's who list of some of the largest and most powerful US corporations, including (among others): Ford, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, Bridgestone Firestone, Goodyear, Alcoa, Shell, Pfizer, Dupont, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Novartis, Unilever, Heinz, Johnson & Johnson, Citibank, Colgate Palmolive, DHL and Owens Illinois.
Thousands of Venezuelans, many of them Chavez supporters, have bought the exaggerations and lies about Venezuela's Constitutional Reform that have been circulating across the country for months. Just a few weeks ago, however, the disinformation campaign ratcheted up various notches as opposition groups and anti-reform coalitions placed large ads in major Venezuelan papers.
The plan, titled "OPERATION PLIERS" was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steere and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington.
On a scarier note, an internal CIA memorandum has been obtained by Venezuelan counterintelligence from the US Embassy in Caracas that reveals a very sinister - almost fantastical, were it not true - plan to destabilize Venezuela during the coming days.
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.that show the NO vote with an advantage over the SI vote, which is false. The CIA also confirms in the memo that it is working with international press agencies to distort the data and information about the referendum, and that it coordinates in Venezuela with a team of journalists and media organized and directed by the President of Globovision, Alberto Federico Ravell.
The CIA memo specifically refers to these propaganda initiatives as "psychological operations" (PSYOPS), that include contracting polling companies to create fraudulent polls
China National Petroleum Corporation and Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. will establish two joint ventures, one for heavy-oil development in Venezuela and the other for oil refining in China.
Al Rodrguez Araque has been the President of Venezuelan National Petroleum Co. since 2002 and was appointed as its Chief Executive Officer in April 2002. Mr. Araque is an attorney from Universidad Central de Venezuela since 1961. He majored in Petroleum Economy and has been a member of several mining and oil economy study and analysis teams. He was a member of the Venezuelan Congress between 1983 and 1999, and was appointed President of the Energy and Mines Commission of the House of Representatives between 1994 and 1997. He was Vice-President of the Bicameral Commission of Energy and Mines of Congress for the analysis and approval of the reports on the oil opening agreement. Between 1993 and 1999, he was a member of the National Council of Energy and of the Commission of Energy and Mines of the Latin American Parliament. He was also a member of the Energy and Mines Liaison Presidential Commission of President Hugo Chavez Fras and was elected Senator to Congress for Bolvar state during 1999-2004.
In January 2001, he was elected Secretary General of OPEC.
José Rojas serves as Executive Vice-President and Director of Petroleos De Venezuela SA. Mr. Rojas is current appointment as Vice-President of PDVSA,while holding the offices of Venezuelan Finance Ministry, President of the Consultant Council of the Andean Community of Nations and
Rojas was Executive Director for Panama and Venezuela of the Inter American Development Bank (IDB), having previously been Venezuelan Governor at the IDBand, prior to that, Finance Deputy-Minister, director of State-owned companies, international financial institution official and consultant in his professional specialty to several private industries and government organizations.
President of the Latin AmericanReserves Fund, and his academic activities include faculty and executive positions in the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and the Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas, as well as in the Universidad del Zulia, in Maracaibo. Rojas is a member of the Venezuelan College of Statisticians, of the Association d’Econometrie de l’Université de Paris, the Royal Econometric Society of the UK and the Professors Association of the Universidad Central de Venezuela. He was graduated in 1983 from the Universidad Central de Venezuela with a degree in Mathematical Statistics. In 1988 he obtained a Master's degree in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the University Pantheon-Assas, Paris 2, after completing in 1987 a Master's program in Energy Economics at the French Institute of Petroleum (IFP). In 1993 he received his Ph.D. degree in Economic Sciences, Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the University Pantheon-Assas, Paris 2.
Mr. Rojas has undertaken research work and developed several econometric models on various aspects of the Venezuelan economy
The IDB is today the main source of multilateral financing for sustainable economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as for regional integration. It provides loans, grants, guarantees, policy advice and technical assistance to the public and private sectors in its Latin American and Caribbean borrowing member countries. Fulfilling a long-standing Latin American aspiration, the IDB was established in 1959 with bold mandates and novel tools that made it a model for other regional development banks.
The IDB Group is composed of the IDB, the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF). The IIC focuses on support for small and medium-sized businesses, while the MIF promotes private sector growth through grants and investments.
Hugo Chávez is a passionately disputed personality. Supporters view him as a socialist liberator, hailing him for promoting Latin American integration, fighting imperialism and neoliberalism, empowering Venezuela's poor and indigenous communities, and reducing poverty and unemployment. Meanwhile, his opponents see him as an authoritarian or a totalitarian communist, militarist and demagogue who has failed to deliver on his promises, violated fundamental rights, meddled in the affairs of other Latin American countries, threatened Venezuela's economy and democracy, illegally silenced opponents, and destabilized global oil prices.
[Kind of sounds like Obama, doesn’t it.]
What my rivals don't understand... is that Hugo Chavez is not Chavez but the people of Venezuela.
Hugo Chavez has seen his fortunes swing dramatically from success to failure and back again since his landslide victory in Venezuela's 1998 presidential election.
Only last July, the leftist leader's supporters were out celebrating his re-election in the streets of Caracas, but by April 2002 the whole country was embroiled in a general strike.
This admirer of Fidel Castro's Cuba and avowed anti-globalist was pushed from office on 12 April - as a result of his attempts to take control of the world's fifth-biggest oil industry.
But just two days later, after his supporters - mainly Venezuela's poor - took the streets, he was back in the presidential palace.
Eight months on, Mr Chavez is facing his fourth national strike this year - one that is threatening to severely disrupt the country's economy.
The former army paratrooper burst back on to the political scene in 1998, promising to transform Venezuela.
But as Mr Chavez proved unable to bridge the huge gap between the country's rich and poor, his combative rhetoric alienated and alarmed the country's traditional business and political elite.
When Mr Chavez came to power, the old Venezuelan order was falling apart.
Unlike most of its neighbours, Venezuela had enjoyed an unbroken period of democratic government since 1958, but the two main parties which had alternated in power stood accused of presiding over a corrupt system and squandering the country's vast oil wealth.
Hugo Chavez promised "revolutionary" social policies, and constantly abused the "predatory oligarchs" of the establishment as corrupt servants of international capital.
The great provocateur
This populist leader, who never missed an opportunity to address the nation, once described oil executives as living in "luxury chalets where they perform orgies, drinking whisky".
Church leaders in this overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country fared no better. "They do not walk in... the path of Christ," said Mr Chavez at one stage.
Whenever the media reported discontent with his rule, he accused it of being in the pay of reactionaries.
He courted controversy in foreign policy, too, making high-profile visits to Cuba and Iraq, while allegedly flirting with leftist rebels in Colombia and making a huge territorial claim on Guyana.
Relations with Washington reached a new low when he accused it of "fighting terror with terror" during the war in Afghanistan after 11 September.
But Mr Chavez's "revolution" had little real impact on the lives of ordinary Venezuelans, who still suffer from chronic poverty and widespread unemployment despite the country's oil wealth.
His popularity rating had fallen from a high of 80% to 30% last December, when the first mass street protests erupted.
But, as his dramatic return to power showed, Mr Chavez still commanded much grass-roots support.
From coup-leader to president
The ex-paratrooper's journey along the road to power has been an eventful one.
Mr Chavez first came to prominence in February 1992 when he led an attempt to overthrow the government of President Carlos Andres Perez amid growing anger at economic austerity measures.
But the foundations for that failed coup had been laid a decade earlier, when Mr Chavez and a group of fellow military officers founded a secret movement named after the father of South American independence leader, Simon Bolivar.
The February revolt by members of the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement claimed 18 lives and left 60 injured before Colonel Chavez gave himself up.
He was languishing in a military jail when his associates tried again to seize power nine months later.
That second coup attempt in November 1992 was crushed as well, but only after the rebels had captured a TV station and broadcast a videotape of Colonel Chavez announcing the fall of the government.
Mr Chavez spent two years in prison before being granted a pardon.
He then relaunched his party asand made the transition from soldier to politician.
the Movement of the Fifth Republic
... in the oil industry of Venezuela.
For nothing in the world would I allow a strike
The power struggle for Venezuela's state oil company between its managers and the country's President, Hugo Chavez, could bring the oil-rich nation to its knees.
Latin America's largest corporation, Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), is undergoing its worst crisis since it was nationalised in 1975.
President Chavez has said that he is prepared to send in armed forces to run the state oil company if protesting workers try to halt production.
The cause of the crisis is the appointment of the company's new board of directors, which many managers say was politically motivated and an attempt to bring the company under the government's wing.
Some new directors leapt between six and eight levels in the company's hierarchy.
At the top of the pile is new company president Gaston Parra, a 68-year-old leftist academic with no previous management experience who has opposed private investment in the sector.
"It's unacceptable that those who have been enemies of this institution for reasons of political ideology or personal interest should be named in positions of leadership," a statement from 34 of the company's executives, including three former vice-presidents said.
Since then, more than 5,000 executives and managers of the company's 40,000-strong workforce have signed newspaper advertisements opposing the board and administrative staff have held two half-day strikes.
Luis Giusti, a former head of PDVSA who helped shape US President George W Bush's oil policy, told the BBC it was like "putting a bomb inside the company to implode the whole thing".
"PDVSA has quickly gone from being a company people could trust to an agency of the government," he said.