Thursday, November 29, 2007

CIA destabilization of Venezuela?

Well, what a surprise. It is now being reported that a CIA memo from the US Embassy in Caracas has been intercepted. It contains a detailed plan of destabilization activities leading up to, and following, the current referendum.

The memo, from CIA officer Michael Middleton Steere, addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington, DC, outlines the following orchestrated actions (original article in Spanish, translation provided by venezuelanalysis):
  • Take the streets and protest with violent, disruptive actions across the nation
  • Generate a climate of ungovernability
  • Provoke a general uprising in a substantial part of the population
  • Engage in a "plan to implode" the voting centers on election day by encouraging opposition voters to "VOTE and REMAIN" in their centers to agitate others
  • Start to release data during the early hours of the afternoon on Sunday that favor the NO vote (in clear violation of election regulations)
  • Coordinate these activities with Ravell & Globovision and international press agencies
  • Coordinate with ex-military officers and coupsters Pena Esclusa and Guyon Cellis - this will be done by the Military Attache for Defense and Army at the US Embassy in Caracas, Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO)
To encourage rejection of the results, the CIA proposes:
  • Creating an acceptance in the public opinion that the NO vote will win for sure
  • Using polling companies contracted by the CIA
  • Criticize and discredit the National Elections Council
  • Generate a sensation of fraud
  • Use a team of experts from the universities that will talk about how the data from the Electoral Registry has been manipulated and will build distrust in the voting system
The CIA memo also talks about:
  • Isolating Chavez in the international community
  • Trying to achieve unity amongst the opposition
  • Seek an alliance between those abstentionists and those who will vote "NO"
  • Sustain firmly the propaganda against Chavez
  • Execute military actions to support the opposition mobilizations and propagandistic occupations
  • Finalize the operative preparations on the US military bases in Curacao and Colombia to provide support to actions in Venezuela
  • Control a part of the country during the next 72-120 hours
  • Encourage a military rebellion inside the National Guard forces and other components
Those involved in these actions as detailed in the CIA memo are:
  • The CIA Office in Venezuela - Office of Regional Affairs, and Officer Michael Steere
  • US Embassy in Venezuela, Ambassador Patrick Duddy
  • Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO) at the US Embassy in Caracas and Military Attache Richard Nazario
Venezuelan Political Parties:
  • Comando Nacional de la Resistencia
  • Accion Democratica
  • Primero Justicia
  • Bandera Roja
  • Alberto Federico Ravell & Globovision
  • Interamerican Press Society (IAPA) or SIP in Spanish
  • International Press Agencies
  • Pena Esclusa
  • Guyon Cellis
  • Dean of the Simon Bolivar University, Rudolph Benjamin Podolski
  • Dean of the Andres Bello Catholic University, Ugalde
  • Students: Yon Goicochea, Juan Mejias, Ronel Gaglio, Gabriel Gallo, Ricardo Sanchez
On the face of it, the US is up to its old tricks. Rigged opinion polls, in 2004 (h/t) and possibly now, may be just the tip of the iceberg. Stay tuned for official US denials, cover-ups, and the other assorted dirty-tricks paraphernalia of the Manifest Destiny crowd.

UPDATE: (December 3) Assorted commenters and Larry Johnson (referenced in the comments) have made their point abundantly well. The CIA has played this game so often before that it was too tempting to think that they'd done so again. But I think the commenters are right. The "CIA memo" does have a bad smell about it. The point about encryption of CIA cables, in particular, is an excellent one. This is a case of the boy who cried wolf in reverse--in this instance, for once, there doesn't appear to be a wolf.

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