Thursday, December 23, 2004

Mark Weisbrot on Venezuela

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, in Washington, D.C.usually knows what he is talking about. He usually writes about economic issues. This week, he is writing about Venezuela.
[T]he biggest threats to Venezuela's democracy still come from Washington, which has funded and allied itself with the anti-democratic leaders of Venezuela's opposition, including supporters of the failed coup. This funding and support has been acknowledged by the U.S. State Department. The National Endowment for Democracy, which is funded by our Congress, has also funneled millions of dollars to opposition groups. And recently-released documents from the CIA show that the Bush Administration had detailed advanced knowledge of the coup but lied about what happened: the White House tried to convince the press and other countries that it was not a coup at all, but rather a legitimate seizure of power by 'pro-democracy' forces.

After failing to overthrow the government by means of a military coup and an economically devastating oil strike, the opposition turned to a recall referendum last August. They lost overwhelmingly. Although the vote was certified by the Carter Center and the Organization of American States, most of the opposition -- including the media -- has not accepted the results. And Washington seems intent on regime change, currently imposing several types of economic sanctions on Venezuela, despite the fact that it is a democracy and poses no security threat to anyone.

So expect to hear a lot of criticism of Venezuela in the next few years -- much of it exaggerated, dishonest, and false.

No comments: