Washington's War on Chavez - by Stephen Lendman
Since George Bush took office in January 2001, efforts to oust Chavez failed three times:
-- in April 2002 for two days, aborted by mass street protests and support from Venezuela's military, notably its middle-ranked officer corps;
-- the 2002 - 2003 general strike and oil management lockout, causing severe economic disruptions; and
-- the failed August 2004 national recall referendum, Chavez prevailing with a 59% majority.
Nonetheless, disruptive activities continue, including malicious propaganda, CIA subversion, funding opposition forces, sanctions, and militarizing the region, notably in Colombia as well as gunboat diplomacy by reactivating the Latin American/Caribbean Fourth Fleet for the first time since 1950 despite no regional threat.
Ignoring America's appalling human rights record, on April 11, the State Department issued its 2010 Human Rights Report: Venezuela, claiming Chavez government responsibility for largely uncorroborated, exaggerated or falsified abuses, including:
"unlawful killings, including summary executions of criminal suspects; widespread criminal kidnappings for ransom; prison violence and harsh prison conditions; inadequate juvenile detention centers; arbitrary arrests and detentions; corruption and impunity in police forces; corruption, inefficiency, and politicization in a judicial system characterized by trial delays and violations of due process; political prisoners and selective prosecution for political purposes; infringement of citizens' privacy rights; restrictions on freedom of expression; government threats to sanction or close television stations and newspapers; corruption at all levels of government; threats against domestic NGOs; violence against women; trafficking in persons; and restrictions on workers' right of association."