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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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November 24, 2004

The Bush team knew

More than two years after the coup to boot Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a just released CIA document proves what many had suspected -- that the Bush administration (at the least) knew about the planned attack ahead of time.

The Bush team has always denied involvement in the coup and has denied knowing about it.

The U.S. never warned the Chavez government. No surprise there. Bush and Chavez have been on rocky footing from day one. The U.S. depends on Venezuela -- and its leader -- for one-sixth of its oil, so the Bush administration manages to keep its comments about Chavez being a Communist and a dictator to a minimum.

The CIA document stops short of acknowledging actual U.S. involvement in the plot, which overthrew Chavez for two days before he returned to his post.

I was in Caracas, Venezuela's capital, on the day Chavez was democratically elected in 1998. I watched as thousands of ecstatic, poor Venezuelans marched in the street, hoping for better days. The wealthier, educated folks stayed in their homes on the hills above the dirty city, wary of this former military man. Jimmy Carter was there to watch the count.

Military man or no, dictator or no, Chavez was still democratically elected. And the U.S. should mind its own business.

Respond to Colleen

 
Posted by Colleen Pohlig at November 24, 2004 01:20 PM



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