Rumored U.S. Involvement Could Hurt Bush Admin
Posted: Monday, April 15, 2002
Several human sources told STRATFOR on April 14 that the U.S. State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency may have had a hand in the tumultuous events that occurred between April 5 and April 13 in Caracas, culminating in President Hugo Chavez's brief ouster and his return to power.
Although these sources may have had their own motivations for making the allegation, it is possible -- if the Chavez regime produces convincing evidence of U.S. government involvement in the failed coup -- that it could poison Washington's relations with governments throughout Latin America. Efforts to win regional support for increased U.S. military support to Colombia, and to other Andean ridge countries battling the twin threats of international drug trafficking and nominally Marxist insurgencies, would be set back significantly in Latin America and Washington. The Bush administration's efforts to pursue more free trade agreements in the region also would be undermined.
Chavez could strengthen his own political base in Venezuela if he can quickly prove U.S. involvement in attempts to topple his 3-year-old regime. This also would give a tremendous boost to Chavez's leadership status and credibility with populist and nationalist groups across Latin America that view the United States as a threat and that oppose U.S.-style capitalist democracy. MORE