Guest Writings
  Washington manipulators revealed as helping to de-stabilize Venezuela, to sabotage and to oust President Hugo Chavez Frias from power? Monday, October 20, 2003 By: Oscar Heck
Source: Vheadlines.com

Headline.com commentarist Oscar Heck writes: Have you ever wondered exactly how the USA (Washington) is involved in helping to de-stabilize Venezuela, especially recently, during the attempts by the opposition (CTV, Fedecamaras, Gente de Petroleo, COPEI, etc.) to sabotage the country and to oust Chavez from power?

I have some proof.

Although probably only the tip of the iceberg, this proof is representative of the extent to which the USA (most specifically, Washington) has been involved in backing the Venezuelan opposition’s acts of sedition, treason, sabotage and dis-information.

The following is a summary of monies received by “Venezuelan” organizations from the NED (National Endowment for Democracy). The information was gathered from the NED website.

Based in Washington, the NED is one of several supposed non-governmental US-based, not-for-profit organizations involved in granting monies to “pro-USA-style-democracy-collaborators” in foreign countries. The NED’s opening statement includes:

“...premised on the idea that American assistance on behalf of democracy efforts abroad would be good both for the U.S. and for those struggling around the world for freedom and self-government...”

and,

“...Governed by an independent, nonpartisan board of directors, the NED makes hundreds of grants each year to support pro-democracy groups in Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East...”

Without having done a complete search of who exactly is involved in or sitting on the boards of directors of the “Venezuelan” organizations in question (below), I have done a rather time-consuming search of a portion of the NED website http://www.ned.org regarding its reporting on “aid” given to “Venezuelan” organizations for the promotion of “democracy,” USA-style.

The following are the results.

Between 1992 and 2001, the NED gave US$4,630,255 to “Venezuelan” organizations that supposedly promote democracy. Of this, $2,797,970 (60%) had been granted during the period 1998-2001, and a substantial percentage was granted in the 2 years previous to 1998. (Chavez was elected at the end of 1998).

The following is the breakdown of the monies received by “Venezuelan” organizations from the NED, starting with the organizations that received the most funding:

IRI: (International Republican Institute), a Washington-based “pro-democracy” organization promoting fundamental “american principles.” The IRI’s Venezuela base is: Fundacion Pensamiento y Accion, whose president is (according to their website) Eduardo Fernandez who also seems to be the president of Copei, one of Venezuela’s two major traditionally corrupt political parties, and anti-Chavez.

Total Granted 1992-2001 $1,449,045
Granted 1998-2001 $1,027,615
% of total granted 1998-2001 71%

CICP: (Center for International Private Enterprise), a Washington-based “democratic” pro-free-market-oriented Chamber of Commerce-type organization, linked directly to and of “assistance” to Fedecamaras (Venezuela’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce) and to other Venezuelan business associations. It is important to note that Carlos Fernandez, the president of Fedecamaras, is hiding (apparently) in Miami, after being criminally charged for of his involvement in attempts to illegally oust Chavez.

Total Granted 1992-2001 $630,441
Granted 1998-2001 $211,281
% of total granted 1998-2001 34%

ACILS: (American Center for International Labor Solidarity), better known as the Solidarity Central, a Washington-based union organization linked directly to and providing “assistance” to the CTV (Venezuela’s Trade Union Confederation), whose president, Carlos Ortega is/was in hiding in Costa Rica on criminal charges brought about by his involvement in the 2002-2003 attempts to oust Chavez. It should also be noted that CTV members have little, if any say or vote in union affairs or election of leaders, and that the CTV was partner with Fedecamaras in the illegal attempts to oust Chavez.

Total Granted 1992-2001 $587,926
Granted 1998-2001 $515,676
% of total granted 1998-2001 88%

NDI: (National Democratic Institute for International Affairs), a Washington-based pro-“democracy” organization, linked to Escuela de Vecinos de Venezuela (see below) and Queremos Eligir. The NDI’s website states, “... a nonprofit organization working to strengthen and expand democracy worldwide...”

Total Granted 1992-2001 $497,517
Granted 1998-2001 $329,401
% of total granted 1998-2001 66%

Asociación Civil Nuevo Amanecer: A Venezuela-based (?) organization apparently concerned with promoting “democracy” and good governance, that is closely linked to Cesap (see below).

Total Granted 1992-2001 $287,000
Granted 1998-2001 $120,000
% of total granted 1998-2001 42%

Agrupacion Pro Calidad de Vida: Supposedly a Venezuela-based “anti-corruption” organization.

Total Granted 1992-2001 $246,676
Granted 1998-2001 $40,000
% of total granted 1998-2001 16%

Cesap: A Venezuela-based organization that appears to be concerned with equality within Venezuelan society.

Total Granted 1992-2001 $227,575
Granted 1998-2001 $127,990
% of total granted 1998-2001 56%

Sinergia: (¿?) One document appears to link them to Cesap and the World Bank (in their search for financial support).

Total Granted 1992-2001 $102,900
Granted 1998-2001 $102,900
% of total granted 1998-2001 100%

Escuela de Vecinos: (seems to be directly linked to the NDI.)

Total Granted 1992-2001 $97,000
Granted 1998-2001 $0
% of total granted 1998-2001 0%

Fundacion Momento de Gente

Total Granted 1992-2001 $817,474
Granted 1998-2001 $817,474
% of total granted 1998-2001 100%

Victims of Caracazo

Total Granted 1992-2001 $80,000
Granted 1998-2001 $0
% of total granted 1998-2001 0%

Primero Justicia

Total Granted 1992-2001 $58,800
Granted 1998-2001 $58,800
% of total granted 1998-2001 100%

Comprension de Venezuela

Total Granted 1992-2001 $57,820
Granted 1998-2001 $57,820
% of total granted 1998-2001 100%

Educational Association

Total Granted 1992-2001 $55,000
Granted 1998-2001 $55,000
% of total granted 1998-2001 100%

Constitucion Activa

Total Granted 1992-2001 $50,648
Granted 1998-2001 $0
% of total granted 1998-2001 0%

Red De Apoyo

Total Granted 1992-2001 $50,420
Granted 1998-2001 $0
% of total granted 1998-2001 0%

Prodel

Total Granted 1992-2001 $50,000
Granted 1998-2001 $50,000
% of total granted 1998-2001 100%

Total Granted 1992-2001

Total Granted 1992-2001 $50,000
Granted 1998-2001 $50,000
% of total granted 1998-2001 100%

Consorcio Justicia

Total Granted 1992-2001 $19,740
Granted 1998-2001 $19,740
% of total granted 1998-2001 100%

Observations:

1) It appears that the NED’s increased financial “assistance” was to some degree synchronized with the events aimed at ousting Chavez. Both the CTV and Fedecamaras (along with Venezuela’s privately-owned media: particularly, El Universal, El Nacional, Globovision, RCTV, TeleVen, Venevision, Tal Cual and others) were heavily involved both in the April 2002 coup against Chavez (which also led to the dictatorial abolishment of the National Assembly and the reform laws) and the 2-3 month business-backed “stoppage” (which plunged Venezuela into serious economic problems). The CTV and their “associates” were provided with $515,676US during the time that Chavez has been in power, versus $72,250US before Chavez came into power (approximately a 700% increase in funding!).

2) The major so-called “Venezuelan” organizations that the NED claims to have backed (at least publicly), were essentially Washington-based organizations (IRI, CICP,ACILS and the NDI) who were directly sponsored through facades: Fundacion Pensamiento y Accion, Fedecamaras, CTV and (apparently) Escuela de Vecinos de Venezuela.  There are several other business/political Venezuelan organizations linked to the NDI as well, all of which appear to be anti-Chavez, and not mentioned in this document. A search of the NED grant details will lead you to them. The percentage of funds dealt to these organizations by the NED during the time of Chavez (compared to pre-Chavez times) is 65% ($2,083,973) of the total monies granted to them over an approximate 10 year period. The total amount of funds received by these four organizations (Washington-based, but in Venezuela) over the 10-year period is almost 70% of all the moneys granted to all organizations in Venezuela by the NED for the same time period.

3) Although Fedecamaras’ (and other business associations’) share of the pie appears to have decreased during the time that Chavez has been in power, the amount in-of-itself is substantial: $211,281.  However, the Venezuelan business community may not have wanted more “publicized” funding from the NED in order to appear “clean,” not to mention that they probably have plenty of money anyways ... unless they did receive additional NED funding during 2002-2003, which does not appear on the NED website as yet.

4) The most astounding amounts of monies provided by the NED during the time of Chavez appear to have been given to Copei (through the IRI) and to other “hard-to-trace” Venezuelan cohorts linked directly to the NDI. The total amount is: $1,357,016.

5) Unless the NED’s website is not up-to-date, it strikes me as interesting that no monies seem to have been transmitted to the above mentioned “Venezuelan” organizations in 2002-2003. (I really don’t think that the NED would want to publish any details yet anyways ... at least not until Chavez is out for good.) I suspect, however, that if any monies were granted in 2002-2003, most, if not all monies would have been “delivered” before the end of February 2003 (when the Chavez government enacted currency exchange restrictions, suddenly cutting off “accessible” US-dollar supplies).

Things just seem to fall into place: with currency exchange controls, whatever US$ would enter Venezuela (after the currency exchange laws were in place), would have to remain in Venezuela for an indefinite period of time. The opposition began to cut back their sabotage-type efforts at the end of February 2003 and Carlos Fernandez and Carlos Ortega left for Costa Rica and Miami, probably relying of the last batch of US$ accessible to them. As the few recent months have shown, it does not appear feasible for any USA-loving Venezuelan anti-Chavez (anti-democratic) activist to receive any US-based (democratic?) financial help since such activists would have to spend the money in bolivares, in Venezuela ... no financial backing for free travel to the USA or exorbitant spending on Caribbean islands!

6) The NED is only one of several US-based organizations promoting US-style “democracy” throughout the world by providing financial support. Every one of the websites related to such organizations (and their grantees) also either state or imply adherence to and promotion of equality and “human rights.” However, from what I can see, the financial support provided by such organizations appears to go to members of the corrupt elite in Venezuela and abroad. Such moneys (supposedly aimed at pro-democracy activities and “human rights efforts”) end up in the hands of those elite who themselves have continued to perpetuate inequality and corruption.Just look through the websites of some of these organizations and you will find some pictures of “pro-democracy/pro-human-rights meetings” taking place in very posh hotels ... the members and participants almost entirely “white.” It appears to me that the words, “democracy and human rights,” have become almost a &uot;code” for corrupt-pro-USA Venezuelans looking for US hand-outs.

One simple example is the CTV ... how much of the $587,926 did they use? For what purpose exactly? To pay for rooms at El Tamanaco for “meetings” and press conferences aimed at inciting people to violence and sabotage? To pay for top-rate lunches in Las Mercedes? To take trips to Washington to try to convince Washington that Chavez is a communist? To pay for trips to Miami to seek Venezuelan-Miami support to assassinate Chavez? Democracy? Human rights?

7) If the NED and others are so interested in promoting democracy, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that promotional campaigns, educational courses and offices should be found within the geographical areas that most need the services? In Venezuela, this would mean, in the barrios. Not surprisingly, all the “Venezuelan”-based pro-democracy organizations that are subsidized by the NED appear to be based in wealthy areas of Caracas and meetings are held at 5-star hotels and restaurants and at beach-side resorts.

8) Now, for Washington to claim that they support democracy (and that they have had no hand in the attempts to oust Chavez) is ludicrous. The above figures are ample evidence of direct Washington involvement in subversive attempts at de-stabilizing Venezuela’s democratically elected government.

The above figures are concrete evidence that the USA (Washington) is directly involved in financially assisting criminal/terrorist activity in Venezuela; sedition/treason by the CTV and Fedecamaras, Carlos Ortega’s call for the assassination of Chavez in Miami, sabotage of the Venezuelan economy by the Venezuelan Business Associations, and more.

Hold on a second!

Isn’t Washington hunting downs all sorts of “Arabs” and “Muslims” that financially assist supposed Islamic “terrorist” organizations? Isn’t this exactly what Washington is doing ... financially supporting criminal and terrorist organizations such as the CTV and Fedecamaras?

9) The monies received from the NED by the supposed pro-democracy organizations in Venezuela were/are probably shipped to them “tax-free.” Based on my experience with the Venezuelan elite, I suspect that much of the money, if not most of it, was/is used for personal gain and corresponding taxes owed to the Venezuelan government were/are probably not duly paid. I propose that the Venezuelan government investigate tax evasion at all the above-mentioned organizations that received moneys from the NED. $4,630,255 tax-free, is a lot of money.

10) The NED has not contributed to VHeadline.com ... perhaps the most pro-democracy English-speaking Venezuelan news source. On the contrary, Washington, as proved above, wholeheartedly and actively supports the Venezuelan opposition, the same Venezuelan opposition that has been doing everything to try to shut down VHeadline.com by sabotaging our computers and threatening our sponsors. We have also received many death threats from Venezuelan opposition people and US citizens who do not like the fact that we bring up points that they (Washington included) would rather keep hidden from the public.

11) In the approximate 10 years of NED funding in Venezuela (1992-2001), only $80,000 was granted to the organizations involved in “setting things right” after the 1989 Caracazo food riots which left hundreds, if not thousands dead (mostly apparently shot and killed by government orders ... not Chavez’ government).

12) It would be very interesting to investigate to see who exactly sits of the board of directors of all the Venezuelan organizations funded by the NED, particularly, the several “small” organizations that were only funded during the time of Chavez. I would venture to say that most of the people involved in most of the above mentioned organizations are related either by family, business or friendship.

Finally, as if the above isn’t proof enough of corruption and hypocrisy on the part of Washington, on Monday, December 20, 1999, USAID, a Washington-based US government agency that purports to assist in world “needs,” published the following, regarding the Vargas (Venezuela) disaster where thousands of people died after massive land slides:

“USAID has already provided over $800,000 in assistance, including an eleven-person USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team which will coordinate U.S. Government relief activities, conduct damage and needs assessments, and oversee $225,000 which has been provided to the US Embassy in Caracas for the local purchase of supplies, including 30,000 tetanus vaccines and 40,000 syringes. USAID has also airlifted relief supplies to the region including, blankets, plastic sheeting, individual water containers and collapsible water tanks that arrived on December 19 and 20.”

Because of the way the statement is written, I suspect that part of the $800,000 (if not all) was to be used to pay the 11-person response team. The other $225,000 went to the US embassy to buy medical supplies. Who did the US embassy contract for the purchases? I suspect, a US-linked distributor.

While Washington dishes out $2,797,970 (1998-2001) to help support the criminal sabotage of a democratically-elected government, Washington also dishes out $1,025,000 to supposedly assist in a humanitarian disaster, most of which, in my opinion, would have fallen back into the hands of US contractors and/or the Venezuelan elite. Some help.

USAID is also apparently heavily involved in the “re-building” of Afghanistan and Iraq ... which, as all of us know, were destroyed by the USA itself.

Washington has an urgent need to give the impression of being benevolent benefactors while they try to reject any evidence that they themselves are co-conspirators in promoting inequality, destruction and corruption ... as they have done in Venezuela, and probably keep on doing to this day.

Oscar Heck
oscar@vheadline.com

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