Book claims US tried to topple Chavez

Top Venezuelan government officials have attended a ceremony launching a new book that seeks to demonstrate US involvement in the short-lived 2002 coup against President Hugo Chavez.

    Chavez was marked for arrest along with other senior officials

    Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel said during Monday night's ceremony that El Codigo Chavez, by the Venezuelan-American lawyer Eva Golinger, should be

    "required reading for all Venezuelans".


    The book, published in Spanish by Fondo Editorial Question, analyses 4000 US documents obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act.


    Golinger, who lives in New York and Caracas, writes that since 2001, the US Agency for International Development and the Washington-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have "invested more than $20 million to foment conflict and instability in the name of 'promotion of democracy' in Venezuela".


    The US government has denied involvement in the coup, and the NED says its programmes are aimed at groups that work to "strengthen democratic processes" irrespective of their political affiliations.




    Golinger addressed hundreds who attended the ceremony, saying the US government is waging "a dirty-war campaign" against Chavez's government.


    "Here in Venezuela there is a very sophisticated intervention. That's why it's so dangerous," she said.


    "Here in Venezuela there is a very sophisticated intervention. That's why it's so dangerous"

    Eva Golinger,

    The book analyses US documents obtained by Golinger and investigative reporter Jeremy Bigwood that previously have been posted on the website


    In one US diplomatic cable cited from late 2001, the businessman Pedro Carmona -  who would briefly be named president during the coup - is described as "the right man for the right time in Venezuela."


    An intelligence report from 6 April 2002, five days before the coup, referred to "conditions ripening for coup attempt" and said the plan "targets Chavez and 10 other senior officials for arrest."


    US officials have said that then-Ambassador Charles Shapiro warned Venezuelan officials about a possible coup before Chavez opponents took control of the government for two days starting 11 April 2002.


    Golinger said her research continues into US intervention in Venezuela.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


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