News and Document archive source
copyrighted material disclaimer at bottom of page

NewsMinewar-on-terrorvenezuela — Viewing Item

Chavez increasingly strident anti us invited aristide venezuela

Original Source Link: (May no longer be active)

U.S. Has Few Options Against Venezuela's Chavez
Wed Mar 17, 2004 02:33 PM ET

By Pablo Bachelet
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration has few, if any, options against Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, who is using increasingly strident anti-U.S. rhetoric and openly working to scuttle a referendum on his rule which Washington backs, analysts said.

"I just don't see that there's much that countries of this hemisphere or the United States (are) going to do aside for some verbal bombast perhaps," said Peter Hakim, who heads the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington think-tank.

In the latest insult to U.S. policy, Chavez Tuesday said he would not recognize the new government in Haiti, set up with U.S. involvement, and invited ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Venezuela. The White House partly blames Aristide for Haiti's crisis and facilitated his departure last month.

Chavez, who survived a brief coup in 2002, has called President Bush "stupid" and accused the United States of plotting to overthrow him. He actively courts U.S. foes like Cuba and Iran.

Venezuela is the fourth largest supplier of crude oil to the United States and Washington has a big interest in having a stable and friendly government in the Latin American state.

For his actions to undermine democratic moves to oust him, Chavez could potentially face expulsion from the Organization of American States, under the regional body's Democratic Charter. But that is unlikely to happen, experts say.


One problem is that Chavez has resorted to a "continued erosion, a decay" of the Venezuelan democratic order, rather than an outright rupture contemplated by the Charter, said Hakim, adding that the press is still free in Venezuela and Chavez is not imprisoning political foes.

"It's just very hard to develop a conceptual basis for national collective action against governments like Venezuela," he said.

One option open to Washington would be to squeeze Chavez with economic sanctions and condemnations, but even that "would not be very fruitful," said Felix Martinez, of Florida International University. He noted that such a policy had failed to remove Fidel Castro from power.

"The policy should be to engage Venezuela more directly, to exert international public opinion pressure on Venezuela," he said, adding the U.S. should lead a multilateral effort with Latin American states to exert pressure on Venezuela.

Miguel Diaz, with the Washington-based Center for Strategic International Studies, doubts that Chavez is susceptible to outside pressure.

Short of an outright U.S. invasion, which is "not even in the realm of consideration," Diaz suggests holding top Venezuelan officials and Chavez himself accountable to any human rights violations, much the same way the U.S. arrests corrupt Latin American officials who seek refuge in Miami.

U.S. officials say Chavez has been working with Castro to dislodge elected governments in Latin America and that he is at best a reluctant collaborator in the fight to keep Colombia's armed groups out of the border regions with Venezuela.

He appears to be gaining the upper hand in his fight, using legal challenges and technicalities, to stop a bid by the opposition to force a mid-term referendum on his rule, despite opposition claims that they have more than the 2.4 million signatures needed to force a vote.

Chavez says many of those signatures were fraudulent.

Chavez is a "democratically elected president ... who seems to be systematically dismantling democracy and turning Venezuela into an authoritarian government," said Eric Farnsworth of the Council of the Americas.

Ambassador to venezuela denies CIA plot { October 23 2003 }
Chavez accuses us over terrorists { September 24 2003 }
Chavez backs indiginouis struggle
Chavez calls bush asshole as goes fight troops
Chavez calls jesus the greatest socialist in history { January 11 2007 }
Chavez changes currency { February 7 2003 }
Chavez charges US election coup in venezuela 2005
Chavez claims us trains cuban terrorists in florida { September 25 2003 }
Chavez claims victory in august 2004 recall attempt
Chavez denies terror ties { October 1 2003 }
Chavez fierce critic of IMF
Chavez increasingly strident anti us invited aristide venezuela
Chavez protests gringo on bush tour { February 2007 }
Chavez redistributes land to rural poor { November 14 2005 }
Chavez says US isnt democratic and bush is satan { September 21 2006 }
Chavez scotts at recall demand
Chavez shuts down station calling for his assassination { May 30 2007 }
Chavez supporters opponents clash { May 1 2003 }
Chavez tells US gingos go home { January 22 2007 }
Chavez threatens mexico and withdraws top diplomat
Christain leader says oil ok if chavez assassinated
CIA new mission bolsters hardliners in venezuela
Congress investigate venezuela program helping poor { February 21 2006 }
Huge chavez moves on land reform { April 3 2005 }
Imposes controls against strikers { February 6 2003 }
International republican institute funding coups venezuela haiti { July 15 2004 }
Opposition to chavez blocks freeway in venezeula capital
Pat robertson calls for venezuelan presidents death { August 23 2005 }
President jimmy carter affirms chavez victory { August 17 2004 }
Still trying to overthrow venezuelan leader
Two killed in venezuelan recall protests { March 3 2004 }
US ambassadors car pelted in caracas venezuela { March 2006 }
Us funnels money to chavez oposition { March 1 2004 }
US poor receive cheap heating oil from venezeula { November 21 2006 }
Usnews venezuela disinformation { October 1 2003 }
Venezuela again { October 6 2002 }
Venezuela aids farc rebels
Venezuela brink { November 19 2002 }
Venezuela convinced of US invasion sept 05 { September 4 2005 }
Venezuela is evicting us attaches from bases { May 13 2004 }
Venezuela oil for iraq war { January 24 2003 }
Venezuela opposition demands recall again june 04 { June 3 2004 }
Venezuela wants florida extradition 1976 cuban terrorist { May 4 2005 }
Venezuelan strikers close halliburton plant
Wackenhut denies its employees are cia agents

Files Listed: 45


CIA FOIA Archive

National Security
Support one-state solution for Israel and Palestine Tea Party bumper stickers JFK for Dummies, The Assassination made simple