On April 12, 2002, White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer stated:

“Let me share with you the administration’s thoughts about what’s taking
place in Venezuela. It remains a somewhat fluid situation. But yesterday’s
events in Venezuela resulted in a change in the government and the
assumption of a transitional authority until new elections can be held".

The details still are unclear. We know that the action encouraged by the
Chavez government provoked this crisis. According to the best information
available, the Chavez government suppressed peaceful demonstrations.
Government supporters, on orders from the Chavez government, fired on
unarmed, peaceful protestors, resulting in 10 killed and 100 wounded. The
Venezuelan military and the police refused to fire on the peaceful
demonstrators and refused to support the government’s role in such human
rights violations. The government also tried to prevent independent news
media from reporting on these events.

The results of these events are now that President Chavez has resigned the
presidency. Before resigning, he dismissed the vice president and the
cabinet, and a transitional civilian government has been installed. This
government has promised early elections.

"The United States will continue to monitor events. That is what took place,
and the Venezuelan people expressed their right to peaceful protest. It was
a very large protest that turned out. And the protest was met with

On that same day, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Philip T. Reeker,

“In recent days, we expressed our hopes that all parties in Venezuela, but
especially the Chavez administration, would act with restraint and show full
respect for the peaceful expression of political opinion. We are saddened at
the loss of life. We wish to express our solidarity with the Venezuelan
people and look forward to working with all democratic forces in Venezuela
to ensure the full exercise of democratic rights. The Venezuelan military
commendably refused to fire on peaceful demonstrators, and the media
valiantly kept the Venezuelan public informed".

Yesterday’s events in Venezuela resulted in a transitional government until
new elections can be held. Though details are still unclear, undemocratic
actions committed or encouraged by the Chavez administration provoked
yesterday’s crisis in Venezuela. According to the best information
available, at this time: Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans
gathered peacefully to seek redress of their grievances. The Chavez
Government attempted to suppress peaceful demonstrations. Chavez supporters,
on orders, fired on unarmed, peaceful protestors, resulting in more than 100
wounded or killed. Venezuelan military and police refused orders to fire on
peaceful demonstrators and refused to support the government’s role in such
human rights violations. The government prevented five independent
television stations from reporting on events. The results of these
provocations are: Chavez resigned the presidency. Before resigning, he
dismissed the Vice President and the Cabinet. A transition civilian
government has promised early elections.

"We have every expectation that this situation will be resolved peacefully
and democratically by the Venezuelan people in accord with the principles of
the Inter-American Democratic Charter. The essential elements of democracy,
which have been weakened in recent months, must be restored fully. We will
be consulting with our hemispheric partners, within the framework of the
Inter-American Democratic Charter, to assist Venezuela.”

Why do I re-cite these statements here? These statements from the highest
levels of the U.S. Government show the prepared version of the events that
took place during the April 11-12 coup d’etat against Venezuelan President
Chávez. Moreover, these revealing statements now prove, in light of
documents recently obtained from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) under
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), that this prepared version of events
was knowingly false and made with the intention of deceiving the
international community in order to justify a violent overthrow of a
democratic government.

The White House and the State Department both claimed that the Chávez
government had provoked violence and actions that resulted in the
President’s alleged resignation. They also asserted that the Chávez
government had fired on unarmed, peaceful protesters and that the Venezuelan
military and police had refused orders to “support the government’s role in
human rights violations”. The U.S. Government referred to the protests and
actions of that day as though they were spontaneous, unplanned events. The
U.S. Government has also continued to deny to this day any involvement
whatsoever in the April 2002 coup d’etat.

However, there is a vast amount of evidence that has surfaced since the coup
demonstrating that the events on April 11, 2002 were entirely premeditated
by a sector of the opposition intent on overthrowing the Chávez government.
Furthermore, my own investigations have provided a plethora of evidence
proving the U.S. involvement in the coup on various levels. Most revealing
on the Venezuelan front was a news program on Saturday morning, April 12,
2002, “24 Horas” with host Napoleon Bravo. On that program, Bravo
interviewed Vice-Admiral Carlos Molina Tamayo, a professed coup leader, and
Victor Manuel Garcia, Director of the polling company CIFRA who claimed to
have represented the “civil society” during the coup. Both Molina Tamayo and
Garcia gave a jaw-dropping, detailed account of the events leading up to the
coup and those key Venezuelans involved, including crediting the private
televisions stations for their complicity and aide. Their testimony, along
with Chacao municipal mayor Leopoldo Lopez of the Primero Justicia political
party and Napoleon Bravo’s own admissions of complicity in the coup,
provided plenty of proof that the overthrow of Chávez was a premeditated

Later, an extraordinary and award-winning documentary by filmmaker Angel
Palacios, “Puente Llaguno: Claves de un Masacre”, revealed how the
Venezuelan private media had manipulated and distorted the events that
unfolded on April 11, 2002 in the opposition march, which resulted in
widespread violence and death. The documentary also provided sufficient
proof that snipers unrelated to the Chávez government had provoked the
violence in the opposition march that justified the forced removal of Chávez
from office. Furthermore, the documentary succeeded in proving that a
well-planned military-civilian coup d’etat had taken place that day and that
those involved were connected to the highest levels of the U.S. government.

But the evidence of actual U.S. involvement in the coup itself remained
scarce up until recently. On www.venezuelafoia.info, I have posted hundreds
of documents that evidence the intricate financing scheme the U.S.
government has been carrying out in Venezuela since 2001, that includes
financing well over twenty million dollars to opposition sectors. The
funding of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a quasi-governmental
entity in the U.S. financed entirely by Congress and established by
congressional legislation in 1983, has provided more than three million
dollars since late 2001 to opposition groups, many of which were key
participants in the April 2002 coup. And in June 2002, the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID), set up an Office of Transition
Initiatives (OTI) in the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, allegedly for the
purposing of helping Venezuela to resolve its political crisis. The OTI in
Caracas has counted on more than fifteen million dollars in funding from
Congress since June 2002 and has recently requested five million more for
2005, despite the fact that it was only supposed to be a two-year endeavor.
All evidence obtained to date shows that the OTI has primarily funded
opposition groups and projects in Venezuela, particularly those that were
focused on the August 15, 2004 recall referendum against President Chávez.

I have written other articles explaining the intervention model applied
through NED and USAID in Venezuela. This method of intervention is very
sophisticated and complex, as it penetrates civil society and social
organizations in a very subtle way and is often either undetectable or
flimsily justified by the concept of “promoting democracy”, which is what
the NED claims to do around the world, despite evidence to the contrary. The
mere fact in Venezuela that the NED has financed exclusively anti-Chávez
groups and those very same organizations that were involved in the April
2002 coup shows that “democracy” is far from the NED’s intention.

But the CIA intervention in Venezuela is of the crudest, simplest kind. Top
secret documents recently obtained and posted on www.venezuelafoia.info show
that in the weeks prior to the April 2002 coup against President Chávez, the
CIA had full knowledge of the events to occur and, in fact, even had the
detailed plans in their possession. An April 6, 2002 top secret intelligence
brief headlining “Venezuela: Conditions Ripening for Coup Attempt”, states,
“Dissident military factions, including some disgruntled senior officers and
a group of radical junior officers, are stepping up efforts to organize a
coup against President Chávez, possible as early as this month, [CENSORED].
The level of detail in the reported plans - [CENSORED] targets Chávez and 10
other senior officers for arrest...”
The document further states, “To provoke
military action, the plotters may try to exploit unrest stemming from
opposition demonstrations slated for later this month...”

So the CIA knew that a coup attempt would take place soon after April 6,
2002, and moreover, they knew the plan would include Chávez’s arrest and an
exploitation of violence in the opposition march. In other words, they knew
the plans before the coup occurred and surely they knew the actors involved,
many of whose names are probably in the censored parts of the top-secret
documents. One could assume that if the CIA had the detailed plans in their
possession in the weeks prior to the coup it was because they were
associating and conspiring with the coup plotters. So, when Ari Fleischer
and Philip Reeker made those statements on April 12, 2002 on behalf of the
U.S. Government, they did so with full knowledge that a coup had taken
place, Chávez had been arrested and the violence in the opposition march,
which they attributed to Chávez, had actually been a premeditated part of
the coup plot. The top secret documents that prove this information show
they were sent to the U.S. Statement Department and the National Security
Agency, which means frankly, the White House knew what was happening all

Furthermore, the CIA documents make no mention of any attempts to have
Chávez forcibly resign from office. The CIA warnings indicated as early as
March 5, 2002 (which is the date of the earliest document provided) that a
coup was on the rise and even hinted that prospects for a successful coup
were limited. The CIA rightfully felt the opposition was too disperse and
divided to successfully overthrow Chávez. But the concept that Chávez had
“resigned” as the White House and State Department “confirmed” on April 12,
2002 was merely a set-up, a false claim made with the intention of deceiving
the U.S. public and the international community. Remember that the U.S.
stood practically alone in the world in its endorsement of the
coup-implemented Carmona Government, which it later weakly condemned but
only after the coup came tumbling down and the U.S. realized it needed to
save face quickly.

A top secret CIA document from April 14, 2002 shows concern that Latin
American governments will view U.S. foreign policy as “hypocritical” because
of its sole endorsement of the Carmona coup government. The CIA also seems
surprised that the region of Latin America so quickly rejected the coup in
Venezuela and that the Carmona government “stunningly collapsed”, which
demonstrates a possible out-of-date view of the hemisphere and a failure in
intelligence gathering and analysis. In fact, the CIA never imagined the
coup would buckle because of support for Chávez - their analysis all along
showed possible failure due to lack of opposition unity and hasty actions.
This is a very important point, because it demonstrates that although the
CIA was involved in the coup plotting and the collaborations with dissident
military factions and opposition leaders, it was fairly detached from the
reality of Venezuelan society.

The CIA’s intelligence failures in Venezuela were apparently repeated during
the oil industry strike later in 2002 and the guarimba destabilization
attempt, an old-school CIA tactic applied in Chile and Nicaragua. Both of
these harsh actions injured the Venezuelan economy and affected the
government’s international image, but failed in their goal to oust President
Chávez. The NED’s and USAID’s tens of millions of dollars in financing to
build and maintain the opposition movement and finance the recall referendum
campaign against President Chávez also failed to achieve their mission. In
fact, all of these bungled attempts by the U.S. government and its
marionette opposition movement have served to strengthen Chávez’s support
within Venezuela and paint him as a strong and solid international leader.

Now that some of the top-secret documents have surfaced that show the CIA’s
complicity and involvement in the April 2002 coup, it leaves one to wonder
what is next on the agenda. In September 2001, shortly after the attacks on
the World Trade Center in New York, President Bush unconditionally
authorized former CIA Director George Tenet’s “Worldwide Attack Matrix”,
which targets leaders and prominent figures in 80 countries around the world
for assassination. The authorization of the Worldwide Attack Matrix provided
the CIA with a virtual carte blanche to conduct political assassinations
abroad, justified under the “war against terrorism”. The “Attack Matrix”, a
top secret CIA document, authorizes an array of covert CIA anti-terror
actions that range from “routine propaganda to lethal covert action in
preparation for military attacks”.
The plans give the CIA the broadest and
most lethal authority in history. Some analysts have indicated that
Venezuela is possibly included in the plans.

The recent assassination of Venezuelan Prosecutor Danilo Anderson, conducted
in a style reminiscent of CIA operations, could be setting the stage for
future political murders. History shows that when the CIA fails to remove a
target via non-lethal means, more desperate measures are taken. Despite the
fact that the Venezuelan government and its supporters appear to have foiled
the CIA numerous times already over the past few years, vigilance,
intelligence and increased security measures should become a priority.