Pro-Chavez legislators Juan Barreto, Nicolas Maduro, and Roger Rondon presented more material today, which implicates the leaders of the union federation and of the CIA in clandestine activity in Venezuela.
The new material the legislators presented included documents and a video recording of a presumed CIA operative leaving from the Valencia airport in Carabobo state. The airplane, according to Maduro, is registered to the CIA by the Federal Aviation Administration. The video shows the same individual who, in a video Maduro presented last week, was giving a course in security and surveillance, boarding the airplane.
Juan Barreto presented a report by the Disip, Venezuela’s national police, which described the arrival and departure of the plane, with the registration N202HG, on July 25th, 2003. The people who boarded the plane were carrying weapons, which is illegal in Venezuelan airports. The report further states that the individuals boarding the plane were with the security firm Wackenhut, which in Venezuela is owned by Isaac Perez Recao, one of the main individuals implicated in organizing last year’s 2002 coup attempt against President Chavez. The plane, according to Barreto, did not follow the normal migration protocols.
Last week, both the U.S. embassy and the security company Wackenhut denied supporting any CIA activity in Venezuela.
Leaders of the Union Federation CTV Discuss Plans for Destabilizing the Country
Juan Barreto then presented a recording of a phone conversation between the former President of the CTV, Carlos Ortega, and the current CTV President, Manuel Cova. Ortega was one of the opposition’s most important leaders, who led, together with the industrial Chamber of Commerce president Carlos Fernandez, the December 2002 oil industry shut-down. After the strike, a warrant for his arrest was issued and Ortega took refuge in the Costa Rican embassy and then applied for political asylum in Costa Rica, which he received and where he currently resides.
In the telephone conversation, Cova and Ortega discuss meetings with members of the opposition and Ortega’s return to Venezuela. In the course of the conversation, they talk about “the other way” and that Ortega’s return would justify a “civil rebellion”.
Ortega: I will go there and in the meantime the whole program is being planned and we’ll get to it.
Cova: I’ll do the thing with the other path and the issue of the referendum.
Ortega: What is being planned and organized, the contacts, are very advanced, OK? In that moment, in the moment of the mobilization, I will show up.
Cova: That would be good.
Ortega: It would be the 25th or 30th. In the next few days, I will be there.
Cova: Don’t give a date.
Ortega: No, no, of course not.
Cova: This will be very important, for justifying the civil rebellion, because
Ortega: The government will fall. It’s going to be the biggest mess, in the streets, … in Venezuela, this will explode, burst apart…
Cova: And the opposition, if it does not understand this…
According to Barreto and Maduro, this conversation supports their argument that there are groups and individuals in the opposition who are working to create general chaos and destabilization during the recall referendum signature collection process, which, in the case of the presidential recall, is to take place November 28 to December 1st. Then, at the end of the recall signature collection process, the opposition would declare it had collected more than enough signatures and would announce a general strike in reaction to the attacks that were supposedly organized by government supporters against the recall signature collection locations.
Roger Rondon further announced that a week ago a judge was going to rule in favor of lifting the warrant for Carlos Ortega’s arrest, with the support of a Supreme Court justice, who had been having discussions with Manuel Cova about this.