Venezuelan Ambassador to the United States Bernardo Alvarez, sent a letter to the editors of the U.S. News and World Report with regard to an article titled “Terror Close to Home” published in the October 6th issue of the magazine, in which author Linda Robinson links Venezuela’s democratic government to terrorist organizations.
Ambassador Alvarez echoes complains from the Venezuelan government with regard to Ms. Robinson’s claims for which she does not offer any concrete verifiable proof. Ms. Robinson cites numerous “unnamed U.S. government sources”, to back her claims.
Venezuela has signed on to a number of hemispheric and international anti-terrorism conventions and treaties, including the OAS Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism, which 22 nations, including the United States, have not signed yet.
Ambassador Alvarez concludes his letter by saying that the magazine’s credibility has been affected by Ms. Robinson’s article. “By reporting unproven allegations as facts and ignoring contrary evidence, Linda Robinson’s October 6th article portrayed Venezuela in a manner so misleading that it undermined the credibility of U.S. News and World Report.”
Linda Robinson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an influential group that has dominated US foreign policy planning since World War II. Venezuelan billionaire Gustavo Cisneros, who according to several sources including Newsweek, was the bankroller of the April 2002 coup d’etat against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is also member of the Council.
Ambassador Alvarez’s letter follows:
October 6, 2003
To the editor:
Linda Robinson’s article “Terror Close to Home” in your October 6th issue makes outrageous, false, and very serious allegations that Venezuela is linked to terrorism, without offering a shred of verifiable evidence.
If there were any proof to support the claims made in Robinson’s article, the Bush administration would undoubtedly make it public. Furthermore, there was no pretense of fairness or balance in the article: in 1874 words, there was not a single quote from anyone rebutting the dubious allegations of the anonymous sources.
Some of the “evidence” in the article is laughable: for example, it faults the Venezuelan government for issuing Venezuelan identity cards to people from other countries—as if someone from the Middle East can enter the United States more easily if he has a Venezuelan identity card.
To cite only a few examples of the information left out of Linda Robinson’s article: the government of Venezuela has ratified the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism—before the United States—and has signed multiple UN conventions on terrorism, including the Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism and the Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings. The Chavez government has also deported dozens of suspected terrorists and drug traffickers to countries including Colombia, Spain, Pakistan, and the Netherlands.
While Venezuela, like many other governments, has at times criticized aspects of U.S. foreign policy, the Chavez administration has done its part to combat terrorism. By reporting unproven allegations as facts and ignoring contrary evidence, Linda Robinson’s October 6th article portrayed Venezuela in a manner so misleading that it undermined the credibility of U.S. News and World Report.
- Terror Close to Home US News and World Report
- U.S. News & World Report Spreads Disinformation about Chavez Government Support for Terrorism Venezuela Analysis