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Raul Bosque: The initial phase of Operation Condoleezza is in full swing

* A most dangerous strategy is being activated against the government of Hugo Chavez, being this time its management completely assumed by the US State Department.

* A vast number of fellow-citizens already involved and still to be committed exist.

* The blow is rooted in Plan Colombia of which president Uribe is nothing else but an instrument.

* The kidnapping of Rodrigo Granda is only the beginning of an offensive that shall sustain itself upon a matrix of opinion that links the mandatories Chavez and Castro with the heads of narcotraffic.

* Ante-room of a military intervention.

Venezuelan journalist Raul Bosque writes: Since the middle of last year, the US State Department has been working on what they term ‘the Venezuelan Case.’ In the map of the discussion about the hemisphere, our country appears with a red sign that has changed from ‘intermitted’ to ‘permanent’ since President Hugo Chavez’ recent visit of to La Habana.

Diverse Venezuelan personalities (politicians and businessmen) have been taken aboard by Washington to intensify a phase that can be defined as preliminary to a military intervention.

United States Intelligence analysts have once again revised what has passed and are preparing themselves not to commit the same mistakes of what they call a ‘timid revolt’ on April 11, 2002.

The qualification arises from the way in which Southcom in Panama had behaved … and out of precarious military support provided to the insurgents of that time. Apparently, there was no central coordination unit which would have permitted coherency to the military uprising.

One of the complaints is that the opposition was totally divided … very much apart from showing a unitarian face in the course of events preceding the day of the ousting of Hugo Chavez. Inclusively, not even a clear government alternative was at hand … and the effort to crush Venezuelan democracy using the Haitian formula to conserve a facade by means of a civilian command junta failed.

The US State Department accepted the civilian command junta’s proposal … that at the beginning it should be presided by businessman Gustavo Cisneros … to avoid a bloodbath which an exclusively military regime with an inclination to the extreme right would have implied.

One must not forget that a “surgical” operation had been programmed, close to the model chosen by the Indonesian military when they toppled President Sukarno. At that time, in Jakarta, they executed 300,000 communists in one day. It had happened in 1965 when the CIA ousted Dr. Ahmed Sukarno, the elected President of this highly-populated archipelago. Sukarno had initiated the nationalization of all Dutch firms and goods. Nevertheless, the CIA took the country into a situation of undeclared civil war, which concluded with a coup d’etat and the annihilation of the communists.

With the “Cisneros option” … accompanied in the Vice Presidency by Luis Miquilena … Washington hoped to remove Chavez from power while avoiding the repetition of the experience of Pinochet. Moreover, at that moment, it was impossible to fall back on the Panama-Noriega pattern … simply because the arrest of a Latin American President with ever more and ever greater affection within the sentiments of the continent would have to be justified to the international community.

The US State Department took stock of its April 2002 failure when the Venezuelan ultra-right … which counted on ample backing of Israel … was allowed to seize power.

Starting from zero, Washington does not want more mistakes, and has decided to put itself at the head of the operation, which … in leaked information … has been denominated ‘Condoleezza’ … referring to the hawk embodied in the new US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who, although not yet confirmed in the Bush II line-up, has already opened fire against the Venezuelan President, with very well-defined warnings.

After evaluating the events of April 2002, the US State Department does not want repetitions of the oil stoppage which was entirely led by the Venezuelan extreme right and guaranteed by a tiny group of the CIA, behind the backing of the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency. The extensive stoppage by truck drivers in Chile was not the same as the oil stoppage in Venezuela … the first affected internal interests, but the Venezuelan had shaken the international crude oil market and consequently the North American market, in which Venezuela is the lead supplier in Latin America.

Now, once the plan to oust Chavez is in full swing (it is foreseen to) proceed with a flank of the Meta Plan that would allow bombing to drive the FARC definitely out of their strongholds. It is being talked about as an operation with continental range, where the south of Venezuelan and the Colombian north-east would be converted into an ‘occupied zone’ by US Marines.

The initial phase of Operation Condoleezza is in full swing.

Among Venezuelans who are considered as being potential collaborators within the framework prior to a military intervention, figure businessmen and politicians. Gustavo Cisneros continues to be a candidate, very much apart from the fact, that some of the designers of the interventionist strategy had lost confidence in him after the events of April 2002.

Among almost a hundred of Venezuelans: Asdrúbal Aguiar, Marcel Granier, Federico Alberto Ravell, Eduardo Fernández (outsider), Herman Escarrá, Rafael Simón Jimenez, Hiram Gaviria, Luis Miquilena, Omar Camero, Gerber Torres, Ricardo Haussman, María Corina Machado, Carlos Blanco, Andrés Mata Osorio, Teodoro Petkoff, Gustavo García, Luis Giusti (outsider), Moisés Naim, Reinaldo Cervini, Henry Ramos Allup, Simón Alberto Consalvi, Pynchas Brener, Andrés Velásquez, Trino Márquez, Henrique Salas Römer, Baltasar Porras, Carlos Gil, Manuel Rosales (it is interesting getting to know the details of the drastic change of course faked by the latter), Albis Muñoz, Vicente Brito, Román Duque Corredor, and Lorenzo Mendoza, amongst others.

Each of them have been, or will be contacted by the US State Department. Some of them, above all the politicians, will be subsidized during that period, so that they will accomplish set tasks. The remuneration will be strictly controlled by Washington to avoid a deviation of resources, into which the boss of the trade union, Carlos Ortega (who did not account for the money delivered to him for the preparations of April 11, 2002), had presumably indulged in.

Soon, the work of various NGO’s will be intensified … above all of those who have to do with human rights and community work (Cofavic and Cesap; for sure, the latter is seeking to receive support from the government for its activities, behind which destabilization is being hidden.)

An interesting thesis that motivates some of the public officials of the US State Department is the so called ŒChavismo without Chavez,‚ with the names of Bernardo Alvarez, Maripili Hernández, Eduardo Manuitt, Roy Chaderton, Arévalo Méndez, Alí Rodríguez Araque, Ramón Martínez, Leopoldo Puchi, Ismael García, Rafael Ramírez being mentioned. To be noted: The fact of appearing amongst the probable candidates to assimilate a transition period does not mean that it is actually being count on the support of the named. But what does appear is the intention to convoke them at some moment through near friends opposed to President Chavez.

Chavismo without Chavez is a proposal sold to various United States petroleum managers by Bernardo Alvarez … it is being presented as an alternative of populist government style, more in the realm of what Rafael Caldera’s second period of government was like. Social programs would be strengthened, amongst them Barrio Adentro (without the support of Cuban doctors, of course), and the financing of large credits would be negotiated in order to start huge infrastructural works to lower unemployment.

Under Chavismo without Chavez one would live in a climate of (a somewhat moderate left) social democracy. Various deputies of the so called Bloque de Cambio, two important mayors who are now supportive of the government, and a high-ranking military official, would agree with this proposal.

So far, Federico Alberto Ravell is responsible for the persuasion of the two mayors. Amongst the “kindnesses‰ of the offer Chavismo without Chavez, it is being estimated that it would be a less traumatic way to perform a drastic change of course, and that it would impede the fierce persecution of all those, who have been pro-government.

What is not clear for those promoting the thesis and seeking the consent of the White House is, how best to get rid of Chavez.

This incoherency lowers their chances to get support from the US State Department, more so now, as Operation Condoleezza is in full swing … therefore, Bernardo Alvarez (ambassador of Venezuela in Washington), who is the visible face of that proposal in the north, knows that he is acting against time.

Within the diplomatic service, various dignitaries are committed. The tentacles reach the embassies of El Salvador, Portugal, Israel, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, Italy, France, and Spain (it is not clear if it counts on the consent of the Spanish government or if the officials in question are acting on their own account).

Without doubt, the activities are being intensified and half a hundred CIA officials have entered the country to personally take charge of the details of the subversion. The profile includes a matrix of opinion where Chavez and Castro are being linked to narco-traffic.

With regard to definitions, the US State Department is preparing to redouble its campaign against Cuba, preparing everything related to a military intervention that would reach Venezuela and adding the option of protecting the shipment of Venezuelan oil to the United States.

To intervene militarily in Venezuela, the US State Department is counting on the unconditional support of the ex-paramilitary Alvaro Uribe, now President of the neighboring Republic. The United States is collaborating closely with Colombia, which, by the way, has been transforming itself into the maximum collaborator of the United States‚ hawks in the region. Plan Colombia puts emphasis on the so-called war against narco-terrorism … a term they have started to stamp upon the Venezuelan government.

Colombia has broadly been made known by the United States government to the public as the example of democracy in Latin America.

At this moment, Plan Colombia contemplates redoubling military intervention in Venezuela, which has been on its way in a very malicious manner since about 4 years. This interference is being realized counting on paramilitaries as well as on police and military forces of the Bogota government.

The most important Venezuelan military installations have been infiltrated, existing concrete plans to paralyze them once the moment of a invasion on a big scale, resting on United States‚ Marines, has come.

The cases of detected paramilitaries in the surroundings of Caracas and the kidnapping of Rodrigo Granda are only test runs. The entire strategy is of complete knowledge to Alvaro Uribe, who is but the executive arm of the US‚ interventionist politics in the hemisphere.

(Translated by Iris Bühler) La fase inicial de la Operación Condoleezza está en marcha

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