“No Country in the World is Interfering in Venezuela”

President Chavez declared yesterday that he does not have any evidence that any country in the world is interfering in Venezuelan internal affairs. The statement appeared to contradict earlier statements of pro-government legislators who said that the CIA was trying to destabilize the Chavez government.

“We do not have any evidence, at this moment, … that any country in the world is interfering in Venezuelan internal affairs,” said President Chavez yesterday, in one of his first joint press conferences in many years with both the national and international media. He went on to say that “our relations with the U.S. have gone through a notable and surprising positive improvement.”

Chavez was responding to whether he believed that the U.S. government was trying to destabilize the Venezuelan government. According to Chavez, the U.S. had decided to suspend “microphone diplomacy,” speculating that the reason might be because the U.S. had realized that it was being fooled by Venezuela’s opposition into believing all kinds of lies. In the end, Chavez said, the Washington realized that what Venezuela’s opposition was doing was to trick the Bush administration into pursuing the interests of the opposition, but not of the U.S. or of Venezuela as a whole.

Chavez made these comments in the course of one of his typical 3.5 hour news conferences, in which merely eight questions were asked. The comments appeared to contradict statements issued by pro-Chavez legislators Nicolas Maduro and Juan Barreto, who had a few weeks ago presented a video recording that they said showed CIA officers training Venezuelans in surveillance.

A government official, who asked not to be identified, informed Venezuelanalysis.com that a tacit agreement had been reached between the governments of the U.S. and of Venezuela that accusations against Venezuela’s policies would cease if Venezuelan officials stopped going public with information about supposed CIA involvement in Venezuelan affairs.