Operation PLIERS. An internal CIA memorandum has been obtained by Venezuelan counterintelligence from the US Embassy in Caracas that reveals a plan to destabilize Venezuela during the upcoming constitutional referendum. The plan, titled "OPERATION PLIERS" was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steere and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington. The full text of the memo will be released soon for verification purposes. Many previously.
If at first you don't succeed... Venezuelan army officers tell the Christian Science Monitor they're planning another coup attempt. Other signs: Ten masked men criticized President Chavez on TV last week, protests are mounting and, oh, those 50 tanks you see over there? Don't be alarmed. They're just "rehearsing" for the July 5 Independence Day parade, which also happens to be the day Chavez may try to clean house during an annual round of military promotions. Ruh-roh. The good news: On June 10, workers at the country's largest newspaper released a statement denouncing last April's media manipulation by wealthy owners and promised to fight if it happened again. And everyone's favorite meddling Baptist has announced he's heading to the area. (More inside)
Revelations regarding Venezualen Coup Greg Palast, who's been at the front of this story ever since predicting it, gives enlightening details behind the events of Apil. It barely had anything to do with the protests and riots - Chavez was tipped off by an OPEC minister days before the coup was launched. He hid loyal soldiers in the Presidential palace and once Carmona was installed he became as much a hostage as Chavez. Chavez also says he has photos, videos and the names of American officers who entered the coup plotters' headquarters.
Venezuela's Chavez deposed with the military claiming control for now. The end of a sometimes cringe-inducingly entertaining era. What next? Civilian constitutional rule restored by lunchtime, or not? Will the strike end, allowing oil exports to resume?