The CIA is preparing a plan to overthrow the Venezuelan president
On August 15th citizens of Venezuela are going to decide, if they want President Hugo Chavez to resign. The controversy is gathering steam as the voting day is drawing near. Numerous pro and anti-Chavez meetings have swept over the country recently. Local authorities control the situation, although clashes in several cities were not possible to avoid.
Spanish newspaper El Mundo published a front-page article on Monday. The CIA, the newspaper wrote, is preparing a plan to overthrow the Venezuelan president, if Chavez keeps his power after the referendum.
According to the newspaper, CIA's deputy director of the Western hemisphere department William Spencer is currently in Chile, conducting consultations with chairmen of special services of Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru.
The CIA administration believes Hugo Chavez's government is trying to create two centers of the anti-imperialist revolution in South America - in Colombia and Bolivia. According to the US intelligence, the so-called dominos principle is expected to occur in the region after the situation in the countries is destabilized. As a result, the revolutionary movement is likely to seize Peru and Ecuador, where anti-governmental sentiments are especially strong.
The CIA is also concerned with Brazil and Argentina – the two countries also stand out for anti-American sentiments, RIA Novosti reports.
A senior American source in the Chilean capital told El Mundo in an interview the US Department of the Treasury would fund the CIA's plan, which would use the Pentagon's support when it needs to.
Chavez has been repeatedly accused of interfering in the affairs of neighboring states. A serious scandal occurred between Venezuela and Colombia 18 months ago. The Colombian authorities accused the Chavez's government of supporting the rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Officials of the US State Department said the Venezuelan president rendered considerable financial help to the leftist candidate for the post of the Bolivian president Evo Morales. The latter won the election in October 2003. There was no convincing evidence presented, however, to prove Chavez's implication in the events in Colombia and Bolivia.
It goes without saying the US administration would not bother about the events in Venezuela. However, it is the largest oil exporter in the Western hemisphere and a leading OPEC member. American officials believe Chavez's policy destabilizes the situation in Latin America. Washington will do its best not to let South America slip out of the USA's control.
On the other hand, it is not ruled out the CIA will not have to use the plan to remove Chavez from his position. About 3.5 million votes from 14 million registered voters will be enough to make the Venezuelan president step down. The opposition is capable of winning this amount of votes. Otherwise, Chavez will stay at power until January 10th 2007, if he is allowed to, of course.