A statement from the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network
July 24, 2010 -- Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network -- On July 22, Venezuela broke off all diplomatic relations with Colombia and placed its national borders on high alert. This follows accusations made by the Colombian government that
Venezuela is harbouring “terrorists” from the Armed Revolutionary Forces
of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), and hosting
several “terrorist training camps” near the border region that divides
the two countries.
At an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of American States in
Washington on July 22, called for by Colombia, Colombia’s ambassador to
the OAS, Luis Alfonso Hoyos, presented television and video images
allegedly taken from computers confiscated during the Colombian
military’s illegal invasion of Ecuadorian territory in March 2008, as
well as some computer-generated maps and photographs of alleged members
of the FARC, which he said were taken inside Venezuela. Hoyos called for
“international intervention” in Venezuela, and gave a “30-day
Five days earlier, US State Department spokesperson Phillip Crowley
said the “possible” presence of “rebels in Venezuelan territory” had
also been “worrying” his government for a long time.
Justification for pre-emptive strike
These moves have all the hallmarks of justifying a pre-emptive strike
on Venezuelan territory. They continue a pattern of years of false
allegations by Colombian and the US governments against President Hugo
Chavez’s government of having links to the FARC and ELN, none of which
have ever been substantiated or subjected to international verification.
In September 2007, Chavez accepted the role as mediator to secure the
release of several hostages held by the FARC inside Colombian
territory. For that reason only, Chavez met with FARC commander Ivan
Marquez and secured the release of Clara Rojas and Consuelo Gonzalez in
January 2008. Apart from that contact, the Venezuelan government has
repeatedly denied and disproved any links to the FARC or any other
armed, irregular group from Colombia or elsewhere.
None of the images presented to the OAS meeting on July 22 were
authenticated or verified as reliable by any source other than the
Colombian government. Furthermore, the photographs presented by Hoyos
had no source identification, dates or times, and merely showed alleged
members of the FARC and ELN in jungle and coastal areas that could have
Venezuela’s ambassador to OAS, Roy Chaderton, has pointed out that
“there is no evidence, not a single piece of proof, of where those
photographs were taken”. On July 22, the Venezuelan army thoroughly
inspected the locations cited by Colombia and found none of the alleged
“terrorist sites”, “camps” or “guerrilla presence” claimed by Colombia.
Colombia is the United States’ main ally in Latin America and the
third-largest recipient of US military aid in the world. Pedro Carmona
Estanga, the leader of the short-lived coup in Venezuela that attempted
to overthrow President Chavez and the Bolivarian revolution in April
2002, today lives comfortably in Colombia with the sanction of the Colombian government.
Brink of war
In 2008, the Uribe government took the region to the brink of war
when it violated Ecuadorian sovereignty and bombed a FARC camp on
Ecuador’s side of the border, killing at least 21 people.
Last year, Colombia agreed to the establishment of seven new US military
bases in its territory in order that the US could conduct “full
spectrum military operations” throughout South America and “combat the
constant threat of anti-American governments in the region”.
In addition to the reactivation of the US Navy’s Fourth Fleet in
Latin American waters, an action the Pentagon admitted was a “showing of
US force and power in the region”, more recent developments that
indicate the seriousness of the US-backed campaign against Venezuela
- statements by US Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere
Affairs Arturo Valenzuela that Venezuela is proving to be the US’s “most
- the US use of its air force bases on the Dutch islands of Aruba and
Curazao, just off Venezuela’s coast, for intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaisance missions against Venezuela;
- drones of US origin illegally entered Venezuela’s airspace last December;
- incursions by Dutch military planes into Venezuelan airspace last month;
- the call by the Chilean senate for international organisations to
adopt “a more vigilant attitude” towards Venezuela’s National Assembly
elections in September;
- the arrest in Venezuela of renown terrorist Francisco Chavez Abarca,
who admitted to entering the country to carry out sabotage; and
- the July 16 decision by Costa Rica to allow the US to deploy between 6000-10,000 soldiers and 46 warships within its borders.
It is no wonder that Chavez warned on July 18 that the threat of war
looms on the horizon: “We would be naive if we did not look at all of
this aggression as a whole; everything is related … I think we are
looking at a re-enactment of the US imperial doctrine”.
The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network condemns this latest
attack through the OAS on the government and people of Venezuela. We:
(i) call on the member countries of the Union of South American
Nations to agree to Venezuela’s request that a meeting be convened as
quickly as possible to denounce Colombia’s recent aggression and work
towards averting any further escalation of tensions;
(ii) join with the many human rights and social justice organisations
around the world urging Colombia’s President-elect Juan Manuel Santos,
who takes office on August 7, to engage with Venezuela, end the harmful
policies pursued by Uribe and work in earnest to rebuild relations with
the rest of the region;
(iii) call on the Australian government to support the Venezuelan government’s insistence on its right to sovereignty; and
(iv) urge all supporters of peace and democracy to support any calls
for emergency solidarity actions that may be needed to defend Venezuela
against military attack.
[Visit the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network website at http://www.venezuelasolidarity.org.]
Chavez: US and Colombia plan to attack Venezuela
By Eva Golinger
Caracas, July 24, 2010 – http://www.chavezcode.com -- Venezuela's President
Hugo Chavez denounced US plans to attack his country and
overthrow his government. During a ceremony celebrating the 227th
birthday of independence hero Simon Bolivar, Chavez read from a secret
memo he had been sent from an unnamed source inside the United States.
friend, I haven’t seen you in years. As I said to you in my three prior
letters, the idea remains the generation of a conflict on your western
border”, read Chavez from the secret missive. “The latest events
confirm all, or almost all, of what those here discussed as well as
other information that I have obtained from above”, the letter
“The preparation phase in the international
community, with the help of Colombia, is in plain execution”, manifested
the text, referring to last Thursday’s session in the Organization of
American States (OAS), during which the Colombia government accused
Venezuela of harboring “terrorists” and “terrorist training camps” and
gave the Chavez government a “30-day ultimatum” to allow for
The letter continued with more
details, “I told you before that the events wouldn’t begin before the
26th, but for some reason they have moved forward several actions that
were supposed to be executed afterward”.
“In the United States,
the execution phase is accelerating, together with a contention force,
as they call it, towards Costa Rica with the pretext of fighting drug
On July 1, the Costan Rican government authorised 46 US warships and 7000 marines into their maritime and land territory. The true objective of this military mobilisation, said the letter, is to “support military operations” against Venezuela.
Assassination and overthrow
is an agreement between Colombia and the US with two objectives: one is
Mauricio and the other is the overthrow of the government”, revealed
the document. President Chavez explained that “Mauricio” is a pseudynom
used in these communications. “The military operation is going to
happen”, warned the text, “and those from the north will do it, but not
directly in Caracas”. “They will hunt ‘Mauricio’ down outside Caracas, this is very important, I repeat, this is very important”.
Chavez revealed that he had received similar letters from the same
source alerting him to dangerous threats. He received one right before
the capture of more than 100 Colombian paramilitaries in the outskirts
of Caracas that were part of an assassination plan against the
Venezuelan head of state, and another in 2002, just days before the coup
d’etat that briefly outsted him from power. “The letter warned of
snipers and the coup”, explained Chavez, “and it was right, the
information was true, but we were unable to act to prevent it”.
US military expansion
information comes on the heels of the decision on July 22 to break
relations between Colombia and Venezuela, made by President Chavez after
Colombia’s “show” in the OAS.
“Uribe is capable of anything”,
warned Chavez, announcing that the country was on maximum altert and the
borders were being reinforced.
Last October, Colombia and the US
signed a military agreement permitting the US to occupy seven Colombian
bases and to use all Colombian territory as needed to complete
missions. One of the bases in the agreement, Palanquero, was cited in
May 2009 US Air Force documents as necessary to “conduct full spectrum
military operations” in South America and combat the threat of “anti-US
governments” in the region.
Palanquero was also signalled as
critical to the Pentagon’s Global Mobility Strategy, as outlined in the
February 2009 white paper: Air Mobility Command Global En Route
Strategy, “USSOUTHCOM has identified Palanquero, Colombia (German Olano
Airfield SKPQ), as a cooperative security location (CSL). From this
location nearly half of the continent can be covered by a C-17 without
The 2010 Pentagon budget included a US$46 million request to improve the installations at Palanquero, in order to support
the Command Combatant’s “Theater Posture Strategy” and “provide for a
unique opportunity for full spectrum operations in a critical sub region
of our hemisphere where security and stability is under constant threat
from narcotics funded terrorist insurgencies, anti-US governments,
endemic poverty and recurring natural disasters”.
The May 2009
US Air Force document further added that Palanquero would be used to
“increase our capacity to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and
Reconnaissance (ISR), improve global reach…and expand expeditionary
In February 2010, the US National
Directorate of Intelligence (NDI) classified Venezuela as “Anti-US
Leader” in the region in its annual threat assessment.
also maintains forward operation locations (small military bases) in
Aruba and Curazao, just miles off the Venezuelan coast. In recent
months, the Venezuelan government has denounced unauthorised incursions
of drone planes and other military aircraft into Venezuelan territory,
originating from the US bases.
These latest revelations evidence
that a serious, and unjustified conflict is brewing fast against
Venezuela, a country with a vibrant democracy and the largest oil
reserves in the world.
[This article first appeared at Eva Golinger's website, Postcards from the Revolution.]