Venezuela Denounces at OAS US Intervention Aimed at Ousting Chavez

Venezuela formally denounced before the OAS the US role in the 2002 coup d'etat against Chavez, the referendum campaign, and its financing of opposition groups

Jorge Valero, Venezuelan Ambassador to the OAS.

Caracas, Venezuela. Apr 1 ( The Government of Venezuela denounced before the Organization of the American States (O.A.S.), the intervention of the government of the United States in Venezuela’s internal politics aimed at ousting President Hugo Chavez.

Through a speech before the Permanent Council of the O.A.S., the ambassador of Venezuela before that organization, Jorge Valero, denounced actions by the government of the United States that violated Venezuela’s sovereignty and articles 3 and 19 of the O.A.S. charter.

“The Bolivarian Government denounces in a responsible manner before this forum, that the U.S. National for Endowment Democracy (NED) has been used – and continues being used by the Government of the United States, to support undemocratic activities of groups of the opposition in Venezuela,” Valero said.

The ambassador stressed the democratic and peaceful character of the Venezuelan process of changes led by President Chavez.” The Bolivarian revolution has a democratic and peaceful character, but it is being opposed irrationally by minority sectors that, allied with international interests, who fear losing their immoral privileges,” Valero stressed.

Valero denounced that the 11 of April, 2002 coup d’etat, and the oil sabotage that caused more than 10 billion dollars in losses, were actions that counted with the support “of personalities of the Department of State and the National for Endowment Democracy (NED).”

“Officials at the Department of State and the Permanent Mission of the United States before the O.A.S. made on Friday 12 of April of the 2002 (the day after the coup), engaged in an intense lobby campaign before this organization, and before the diplomatic body of Latin American and Caribbean countries in Washington, destined to justify the coup d’etat in Venezuela. Meanwhile, in Caracas, the Ambassador of the United States, Charles Shapiro, made a “courtesy visit” to Dictator Pedro Carmona Estanga,” said the Ambassador.

Valero added that the same year that the coup d’etat took place, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) of the Department of State, also disbursed two million dollars to support leaders and Venezuelan groups they call “moderate” but that in reality were opposed to President Hugo Chávez.

The ambassador denounced the aid of the National for Endowment Democracy to SUMATE, the group that organized the signature collection process to request a recall referendum against Chavez.

The NED has also been financing the Center for Justice & International Law (CEJIL), to promote denunciations against the Venezuelan Government in the matters of human rights before the Inter American System of Human Rights.

Valero invited OAS members to visit the website, where one can find copies of the documents that show the monetary and logistical aid of NED to the political opposition of Venezuela.

What would be the reaction of the Government of the United States, if a foreign government financed political parties or NGOs so that they interfere in its national or international policy; to sabotage nuclear plants; or to call U.S. citizens to stop recognizing or to rebel violently against its democratic institutions,” asked the Ambassador.

“We demand a stop to the foreign intervention in Venezuela,” concluded Valero.

The whole speech is available in Spanish at

U.S. reactions

The reaction from the U.S. government came out immediately. John Maisto, permanent representative of the United States before the O.A.S., said at the meeting that “these irresponsible and baseless accusations are being made to distract the attention of the Permanent Council and international public opinion from what we all know is the real issue at stake in Venezuela”. Maisto was referring to the process of referendum underway in Venezuela to revoke the mandate of President Chavez.

“My Government is proud to promote democracy and democratic institutions in the Hemisphere,” Maisto added.

Recent claims of kidnapping of the President de Haiti by U.S. forces, and well know U.S. campaigns aimed at toppling governments in Central America and Chile; seem to contradict the U.S. government’s claims of “promoters of democracy around the world.”

The evidence of the financing by the U.S. government to anti-Chavez groups, has received coverage in foreign media, revealing before international audiences what some describe as an imperialistic attitude of the Bush administration towards Venezuela.