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14 Sep, 2010 23:32

US intervening in Venezuelan elections

Government documents released through the Freedom of Information Act have some claiming the US is interfering in the political affairs of Venezuela.

The US Agency of International Development (USAID) is a humanitarian and disaster relief branch of the US government that works to aid other nations and promote democracy abroad.

USAID is now part of the US counter insurgency campaign, claimed Eva Golinger, a lawyer and author based in Venezuela.

In the case of Venezuela, Venezuela is a country that is oil wealthy so it has never qualified for any kind of direct USAID help. Therefore USAID has never had an office here officially and they didn’t actually come to the country and set up an office until 2002, right before the coup d'état against President Chavez. And the documents, internal documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that the sole intention of setting up the office here in Venezuela was to aid opposition forces to eventually oust Chavez from power,” said Golinger.

The internal memo recommended the creation of an office in Venezuela to ensure the preservation of democracy and create an active program in support of civil society and the media.

Golinger argued that there are a number of government funded or partnered organizations and NGOS that work in Venezuela and elsewhere with the sole purpose of supporting opposition political parties and movements to bolster the US agenda.

Robert Naiman, the policy director at Just Foreign Policy argued that the US government has continued its efforts in Venezuela partly because of Venezuela’s oil.

Because of an overall US policy that regards as a threat any independent country that’s a major oil supplier. We saw, you know, in the same time period of that coup in Venezuela, there was the US invasion of Iraq, for example, which was also about oil,” said Naiman.

He argued that Washington simply does not want to see a truly independent government in Venezuela in order to maintain their own interests.

The government of Venezuela has also been a leader in the global south that has continually challenged the US and its leadership in the world, which has also contributed to US efforts in the region, said Naiman.

Naiman further argued that this represents US policy around the world, and is not specific to Venezuela alone.