Yesterday the Venezuelan oligarchy and their CIA/Big Oil backers held a rally in Caracas dubbed Operation Venezuela. The event, which was countered by supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, marked the anniversary of the deposing of Marcos Perez Jimenez in Venezuela in 1958. But as with all recent CIA-sponsored Orange/Velvet/Cedar “revolutions”, the contradiction lies within the history books. Jimenez, you see, was a right-wing dictator, the polar opposite of Chavez.
In 1914 Royal Dutch/Shell subsidiary Caribbean Petroleum discovered the vast Mena Grande oilfield in Venezuela. Foreign oil companies began flocking to the area. When oil was discovered at Lake Maracaibo in 1922, Venezuelan dictator Juan Vicente Gómez allowed Americans to write Venezuela’s petroleum law.
On November 27, 1948 Venezuela’s first democratically-elected President Romulo Gallegos was overthrown on a coup led by Jimenez cronies. Democracy was not restored until 1958 when Jimenez was overthrown. President Romulo Ernesto Betancourt Bello won the election held later that year. The populist Betancourt had been President from 1945-1948. He had transferred power to the novelist Gallegos shortly before the right-wing coup.
Jimenez privatized Venezuela’s economy while littering Caracas with the skyscrapers of multinational corporations and banks. He was tight with both Venezuela’s richest man Gustavo Cisneros and Creole Petroleum. Cisneros is a Rockefeller lieutenant who sits on the board at Bank of Nova Scotia- one of the Big 5 Canadian banks. It owned the 200 tons of gold recovered from beneath the World Trade Center post-911.
Creole Petroleum is an Exxon Mobil subsidiary and was founded by the CIA. Creole and the CIA share office space in Caracas. The Rockefeller family-controlled Exxon Mobil is the CIA in Venezuela. Bechtel built the Mena Grande pipeline to service Creole’s Lake Maracaibo oil interests.
Shortly after the 1958 election, Vice-President Richard Nixon visited Venezuela in an attempt to keep Betancourt in the Big Oil/IMF fold. Nixon was instead greeted by millions of angry protesters. Betancourt, who had already forced a 50-50 profit-sharing scheme from Big Oil in his first term, took another left turn. He began funding Castro’s revolutionaries in Cuba and attempted to fully nationalize Venezuela’s oil.
President Dwight Eisenhower responded by introducing quotas on Venezuelan oil, while giving preferential treatment to Mexican and Canadian crude. Betancourt countered in September 1960 when Venezuela joined Iran, Iraq Saudi Arabia and Kuwait at a meeting in Baghdad to launch OPEC as a producer cartel to counter the global economic clout of the Four Horsemen and their various tentacles.
Betancourt embarked on an ambitious land reform program and talked of supporting left-wing FARC rebels in neighboring Columbia. In later 1960 he survived an assassination attempt by agents of Rafael Trujillo, the CIA-installed dictator of the Dominican Republic. It is likely that the Agency itself was involved.
For the next four decades Venezuela underwent an oil industry re-privatization and expansion, becoming the primary source of Four Horsemen oil bound for the US. When oil prices crashed in the early 1990’s Venezuela- once the most modern nation in Latin America- suffered an economic collapse. Its once-thriving middle class was largely thrown back into poverty. It was a wake-up call.
In 1998 Fifth Republic Movement candidate Hugo Chavez was elected President with support from Venezuelan workers and peasants. He railed against US hegemony in his country, announced he would sell oil to friend Fidel Castro in Cuba on favorable terms and established diplomatic ties with Iraq. He announced a land reform program and installed Marxist economists at PDVSA- Venezuela’s national oil company. Chavez talked of diverting Venezuelan oil wealth from Western banks towards a grand development scheme for all of Latin America. OPEC’s articulate Secretary General until 2002 was Venezuelan Oil Minister Ali Rodriguez.
In early 2002 Venezuela’s ruling elite, led by Rockefeller crony Gustavo Cisneros and his Bank of Nova Scotia crowd, attempted to overthrow Chavez. There were reports of US Naval and Air Force involvement. In April Chavez stepped down. Within days, following angry protests from the Venezuelan working class, he was back in power. The pro-US general who led the attempted coup was charged with treason. El jeffe fled to Columbia where he was welcomed by the US-backed narco-terrorist Uribe government. In October the Venezuelan oligarchy took another run at Chavez. Again their putsch failed. On December 5, 2002 Chavez stated that the Venezuelan unrest was part of a plot, “to seize the country’s oil industry”.
On January 16, 2003 Chavez left Venezuela amidst a strike led by oligarch oil executives. He appealed for help at the UN, where he handed over leadership of the radical G-77 group of developing nations to Morocco. In late February, after withstanding the strike, Chavez, knowing full well the true power behind the strikers, told the US government to “back off”.
On April 17, 2003 Venezuelan Army Director General Melvin Lopez proclaimed in USA Today that the US government had been directly involved in the attempted February putsch and that he had proof that three US Black Hawk helicopters had been sighted in Venezuelan airspace during that time.
On Christmas Eve 2005 Chavez delivered a speech to his nation in which he said, “…minorities, descendants of those who killed Jesus Christ, control the riches of the world”. He also proclaimed that 911 was an inside job.
In June 2007 Chavez ordered Big Oil to accept the role of junior partner to state-owned PDVSA or leave Venezuela. Exxon Mobil and Conoco Phillips both left. He befriended Iran and a wave of Chavez-allied left-wing Presidents came to power in Latin America. The most radical were Evo Morales in Bolivia, Raphael Correa in Ecuador and Sandinista Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. Together they used Venezuela’s oil wealth to launch the much anticipated Banco del Sur as a counter to IMF hegemony over their continent.
As Chavez’ attitude towards the international bankers became more defiant, the Four Horsemen began to buy oil from more easily corruptible nations like Mexico and Columbia. By 1990 Exxon was getting 16% of its oil from Columbia, while Chevron procured 26% of its US-bound crude oil from Mexico.
A May 2010 report documenting foreign assistance to political groups in Venezuela, commissioned by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), revealed that more than $40 million annually is channeled to anti-Chavez groups from US agencies. NED founder Allen Weinstein bragged to the Washington Post, “What we do today was done clandestinely twenty-five years ago by the CIA.”
This month the Obama administration revoked the visa of Venezuela’s ambassador to Washington after Chávez rejected the nomination of Larry Palmer as US ambassador in Caracas. Palmer had been openly critical of Chavez and has a spooky resume.
He worked with Betancourt’s would-be assassin Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic and cavorted with US-backed dictators in Uruguay, Paraguay, Sierra Leone, South Korea and Honduras. Palmer was to replace Patrick Duddy who was involved in the attempted coup against Chávez in 2002.
The latest plank in Chavez’ “Socialism for the 21st Century” program is reform the financial sector, long dominated by the international banker cartel. Venezuela’s National Assembly has passed legislation that defines banking as a public service. The law requires banks in Venezuela to contribute more to social programs, housing construction efforts, and other social needs. It protects depositors by requiring the Superintendent of Banking Institutions to work in the interest of bank customers rather than stockholders.
In an attempt to control speculation, the law limits to 20% the maximum amount of capital a bank can have out as credit. The law also limits the formation of financial groups and prohibits banks from having an interest in brokerage firms and insurance companies. The Depression-era Glass-Steagal Act had done the same thing in the US until President Bill Clinton repealed it in 1995.
The Venezuelan law also stipulates that 5% of bank profits go to projects approved by communal councils, while 10% of bank capital must be put into a fund to pay for wages and pensions in case of bankruptcy.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Chávez has threatened to expropriate large banks in the past if they don’t increase loans to small-business owners and prospective home buyers, this time he is increasing the pressure publicly to show his concern for the lack of sufficient housing for Venezuela’s 28 million people.”
Yesterday the NED-funded Cisneros/Rockefeller banker glitterati tried to rewrite history via Operation Venezuela. While the bankers whined unsuccessfully, Chavez issued this rebuttal, “Any bank that slips up…I’m going to expropriate it…”
Dean Henderson is the author of four books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve & Stickin’ it to the Matrix. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hook column @ www.deanhenderson.wordpress.com