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Who killed Hugo Chavez – and why?

Check out my new article at Press TV:

 

Chavez: Another CIA assassination victim?

 

“Am I 100% certain that the CIA killed Hugo Chavez? Absolutely not.

“It could have been non-governmental assassins working for the bankers.”

I go on to discuss the sorry history of bankster assassinations of Latin American leaders brave enough to stand up for their own people.

So we know that Chavez was assassinated. We know more or less who did it.

As to the “why,” Greg Palast has ably filled in the details in his article, reprinted below.

-KB

Vaya con Dios, Hugo Chàvez, mi Amigo

By Greg Palas – www.gregpalast.com


Tuesday, March 5, 2013For BBC Television, Palast met several times with Hugo Chàvez, who passed away today.

As a purgative for the crappola fed to Americans about Chavez, my foundation, The Palast Investigative Fund, is offering the film, The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, as a FREE download. Based on my several meetings with Chavez, his kidnappers and his would-be assassins, filmed for BBC Television. DVDs also available.

Media may contact Palast at interviews (at) gregpalast.com.

Venezuelan President Chavez once asked me why the US elite wanted to kill him. My dear Hugo: It’s the oil. And it’s the Koch Brothers – and it’s the ketchup.

Reverend Pat Robertson said,

“Hugo Chavez thinks we’re trying to assassinate him. I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it.”

It was 2005 and Robertson was channeling the frustration of George Bush’s State Department.

Despite Bush’s providing intelligence, funds and even a note of congratulations to the crew who kidnapped Chavez (we’ll get there), Hugo remained in office, reelected and wildly popular.

But why the Bush regime’s hate, hate, HATE of the President of Venezuela?

Reverend Pat wasn’t coy about the answer: It’s the oil.

“This is a dangerous enemy to our South controlling a huge pool of oil.”

A really BIG pool of oil. Indeed, according to Guy Caruso, former chief of oil intelligence for the CIA, Venezuela hold a recoverable reserve of 1.36 trillion barrels, that is, a whole lot more than Saudi Arabia.

If we didn’t kill Chavez, we’d have to do an “Iraq” on his nation. So the Reverend suggests,

“We don’t need another $200 billion war….It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”

Chavez himself told me he was stunned by Bush’s attacks: Chavez had been quite chummy with Bush Senior and with Bill Clinton.

So what made Chavez suddenly “a dangerous enemy”? Here’s the answer you won’t find in The New York Times:

Just after Bush’s inauguration in 2001, Chavez’ congress voted in a new “Law of Hydrocarbons.” Henceforth, Exxon, British Petroleum, Shell Oil and Chevron would get to keep 70% of the sales revenues from the crude they sucked out of Venezuela. Not bad, considering the price of oil was rising toward $100 a barrel.

But to the oil companies, which had bitch-slapped Venezeula’s prior government into giving them 84% of the sales price, a cut to 70% was “no bueno.” Worse, Venezuela had been charging a joke of a royalty – just one percent – on “heavy” crude from the Orinoco Basin. Chavez told Exxon and friends they’d now have to pay 16.6%.

Clearly, Chavez had to be taught a lesson about the etiquette of dealings with Big Oil.

On April 11, 2002, President Chavez was kidnapped at gunpoint and flown to an island prison in the Caribbean Sea. On April 12, Pedro Carmona, a business partner of the US oil companies and president of the nation’s Chamber of Commerce, declared himself President of Venezuela – giving a whole new meaning to the term, “corporate takeover.”

U.S. Ambassador Charles Shapiro immediately rushed down from his hilltop embassy to have his picture taken grinning with the self-proclaimed “President” and the leaders of the coup d’état.

Bush’s White House spokesman admitted that Chavez was, “democratically elected,” but, he added, “Legitimacy is something that is conferred not by just the majority of voters.” I see.

With an armed and angry citizenry marching on the Presidential Palace in Caracas ready to string up the coup plotters, Carmona, the Pretend President from Exxon returned his captive Chavez back to his desk within 48 hours. (How? Get The Assassination of Hugo Chavez, the film, expanding on my reports for BBC Television. You can download it for free for the next few days.)

Chavez had provoked the coup not just by clawing back some of the bloated royalties of the oil companies. It’s what he did with that oil money that drove Venezuela’s One Percent to violence.

In Caracas, I ran into the reporter for a TV station whose owner is generally credited with plotting the coup against the president. While doing a publicity photo shoot, leaning back against a tree, showing her wide-open legs nearly up to where they met, the reporter pointed down the hill to the “ranchos,” the slums above Caracas, where shacks, once made of cardboard and tin, where quickly transforming into homes of cinder blocks and cement.

“He [Chavez] gives them bread and bricks, so they vote for him, of course.” She was disgusted by “them,” the 80% of Venezuelans who are negro e indio (Black and Indian)—and poor. Chavez, himself negro e indio, had, for the first time in Venezuela’s history, shifted the oil wealth from the privileged class that called themselves “Spanish,” to the dark-skinned masses.

While trolling around the poor housing blocks of Caracas, I ran into a local, Arturo Quiran, a merchant seaman and no big fan of Chavez. But over a beer at his kitchen table, he told me,

“Fifteen years ago under [then-President] Carlos Andrés Pérez, there was a lot of oil money in Venezuela. The ‘oil boom’ we called it. Here in Venezuela there was a lot of money, but we didn’t see it.”

But then came Hugo Chavez, and now the poor in his neighborhood, he said, “get medical attention, free operations, x-rays, medicines; education also. People who never knew how to write now know how to sign their own papers.”

Chavez’ Robin Hood thing, shifting oil money from the rich to the poor, would have been grudgingly tolerated by the US. But Chavez, who told me, “We are no longer an oil colony,” went further…too much further, in the eyes of the American corporate elite.

Venezuela had landless citizens by the millions – and unused land by the millions of acres tied up, untilled, on which a tiny elite of plantation owners squatted. Chavez’ congress passed in a law in 2001 requiring untilled land to be sold to the landless. It was a program long promised by Venezuela’s politicians at the urging of John F. Kennedy as part of his “Alliance for Progress.”

Plantation owner Heinz Corporation didn’t like that one bit. In retaliation, Heinz closed its ketchup plant in the state of Maturin and fired all the workers. Chavez seized Heinz’ plant and put the workers back on the job. Chavez didn’t realize that he’d just squeezed the tomatoes of America’s powerful Heinz family and Mrs. Heinz’ husband, Senator John Kerry, now U.S. Secretary of State.

Or, knowing Chavez as I do, he didn’t give a damn.

Chavez could survive the ketchup coup, the Exxon “presidency,” even his taking back a piece of the windfall of oil company profits, but he dangerously tried the patience of America’s least forgiving billionaires: The Koch Brothers.

How? Well, that’s another story for another day. [Watch this space. Or read about it in the book, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits. Go to BallotBandits.org).

Elected presidents who annoy Big Oil have ended up in exile—or coffins: Mossadegh of Iran after he nationalized BP’s fields (1953), Elchibey, President of Azerbaijan, after he refused demands of BP for his Caspian fields (1993), President Alfredo Palacio of Ecuador after he terminated Occidental’s drilling concession (2005).

“It’s a chess game, Mr. Palast,” Chavez told me. He was showing me a very long, and very sharp sword once owned by Simon Bolivar, the Great Liberator. “And I am,” Chavez said, “a very good chess player.”

In the film The Seventh Seal, a medieval knight bets his life on a game of chess with the Grim Reaper. Death cheats, of course, and takes the knight. No mortal can indefinitely outplay Death who, this week, Chavez must know, will checkmate the new Bolivar of Venezuela.

But in one last move, the Bolivarian grandmaster played a brilliant endgame, naming Vice-President Nicolas Maduro, as good and decent a man as they come, as heir to the fight for those in the “ranchos.” The One Percent of Venezuela, planning on Chavez’s death to return them the power and riches they couldn’t win in an election, are livid with the choice of Maduro.

Chavez sent Maduro to meet me in my downtown New York office back in 2004. In our run-down detective digs on Second Avenue, Maduro and I traded information on assassination plots and oil policy.

Even then, Chavez was carefully preparing for the day when Venezuela’s negros e indios would lose their king—but still stay in the game.

Class war on a chessboard. Even in death, I wouldn’t bet against Hugo Chavez.


Investigative reporter Greg Palast covered Venezuela for BBC Television Newsnight and Harper’s Magazine.

Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic, named Book of the Year 2012 on BBC Newsnight Review.

Visit the Palast Investigative Fund’s store or simply make a contribution to keep our work alive!

 

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Posted by on Mar 6 2013, With 0 Reads, Filed under Americas, Editor, World. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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18 Comments for “Who killed Hugo Chavez – and why?”

  1. What was done to Chavez could be done to any of the elites safely and remotely by anyone with the balls. Google “Poor man`s ray gun pdf” and download.Play safe;)

  2. Anyone who recalls the words of the late and great Aaron Russo (the un-corruptible jewish film-maker) will also remember that in part of his disclosure of what the Rockefeller clan had told him first hand – was that they would “Go after Chavez in Venezuela”. This as soon as the 9/11 scam was in action.

    • And he also died of cancer, as did Christopher Story……

      • OrdinarySerf – you know what they say – once is happenstance, twice could be coincidence – three times is enemy action.

  3. Groups Demand Records of Plans to Assassinate Chavez

    Within hours of President Hugo Chavez’s untimely death (he was 58), US civil rights groups filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with numerous federal agencies seeking information and documents that “relate to or reference or discuss any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. ” The records demands have been made to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the Defense Intelligence Agency and have been filed by the civil rights legal organization, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the anti-war group, ANSWER Coalition and Liberation Newspaper.

    The Venezuelan government is also calling for an investigation into the circumstances of President Chavez’s illness, specifically whether he was poisoned or deliberately exposed to cancer causing elements.

    **************http://www.dailycensored.com/groups-demand-records-of-plans-to-assassinate-chavez/

  4. You hope Venezuela builds a democratic system, do you? You mean like the one here in the US? Do you know what the bad points of a “democracy” really are? Remember that Americans essentially had to vote for either Obama the Destroyer or Romney the Drug Money launderer, is this the democracy you are extoling?

  5. Ken Rechtstein

    I have just watched Greg Palast historical Video, with clips from the April 11, 2002 coup that deposited Chávez. I urge VT readers to do the same as an introduction to Venezuela and to get acquainted with Chávez, the man and the president.

    This said, knowing how the Zion Talmudic Mind function, I am strongly inclined to believe that the MOSSAD or/and SHIN BET stood behind the assassination of president Chávez.

    As a matter of fact, Shimon Peres, the war criminal president of Talmudlandia, during his visit to Argentina in November 2009, talking about Chávez and Ahmadinejad, he said: “”They won’t hold, not because any of us is going to kill them; their own people are getting tired of them,” “So if you want good relations with them, consider that they are passing passengers. It’s a short-term relationship. So don’t waste too much on them.”, which in plain English means that his executioners had both presidents marked for elimination. *****http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2010287886_apltargentinaisrael.html

  6. Charlotte NC Bill

    ” an evil dictator”?? Someone in FB has been watching too much Fox “News”..

  7. Remember Jack Ruby? All this reminds me of the same scenario. Don’t play ball with the big boys well, things can happen. True, people do die every day with cancer…but once, like others, cross America’s fake patriotic family, and the needle and the damage done. I forgot he was kidnapped. What does that tell any readere?

  8. Hugo Chavez, anti-Israel president of Venezuela and Iran ally, dies

    Excerpts from the article:

    NEW YORK (JTA) — Hugo Chavez, the longtime president of Venezuela who often spouted anti-Israel rhetoric and befriended Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has died.

    Venezuela severed ties with Israel following Israel’s three-week Gaza operation that began in late December 2008, expelling the Israeli ambassador and staff. In May 2010, following a deadly Israeli Navy clash with a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine Turks dead, Chavez called Israel a “genocidal state” in a national broadcast and said the Mossad was trying to kill him.

    “Israel is financing the Venezuelan opposition. There are even groups of Israeli terrorists, of the Mossad, who are after me trying to kill me,” he said.
    In the same speech, Chavez sent “greetings and respect” to the local Jewish community. “They know they have our affection and respect,” he said. “I doubt very much that a Venezuelan Jew would support such an atrocity.”

    • Mossad in South America

      By WAYNE MADSEN | WMR | JUNE 2, 2010

      Excerpts from the article:

      There is a consensus among experts that the Mossad’s number one adversary and target in Latin America is Hugo Chavez, the political leader condemning Israel’s attempts to resolve conflicts in the Middle East by force. Chavez suspended Venezuela’s diplomatic relations with Israel in August, 2006, following the Israeli aggression against Lebanon. At that time Israeli Ambassador Shlomo Cohen and the embassy staff (mostly Mossad operatives) left Caracas. In several months Chavez took steps to normalize the relations with Israel, largely in response to the requests made by Venezuela’s 12,000 Jewish community.

      TV commentator and former Venezuelan Vice President José Vicente Rangel often warns in his TV show that the Mossad is planning to assassinate Chavez. Agents with the corresponding qualifications were sent to Columbia, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Panama, and Curacao Island. In Rangel’s view, the greatest threat emanates from Colombia as DAS — instigated by the CIA — already conspired quite a few times to kill Chavez. Alarming comments were also made by US journalist Eva Hollinger who is a renown expert in operations against Venezuela. Author of CIA in Venezuela Hose Sant Ross calls the Venezuelan authorities to be mindful of the Mossad’s operations in the country.

      As a rule, the efforts of Venezuelan security services to identify the Mossad agents echo with carefully orchestrated protests staged by the country’s Jewish community and with «solidarity» campaigns across Latin America. Media synchronously respond by charging Chavez with antisemitism and collusion with Muslim extremism.

  9. Well, I suppose killing people with phony airplane crashes became a little too obvious. It wouldn’t surprise me if they gave him cancer. I wonder what John Perkins has to say about Chavez, John Perkins would be a great radio guest.

  10. a good dictator who loves his people beats a faKE DEMOCRACY ANYDAY

    • I love all these Americans making value judgements about how other countries are run forgetting what a piece of crap government we got. Must be some of that “American myth” that’s hard to purge from the brain acting up again

    • Charlotte NC Bill

      you got that right….

  11. darrellrotramel

    ” Doctor Mary’s Monkey” http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Marys-Monkey-Cancer-Causing-Assassination/dp/0977795306/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362584165&sr=1-1&keywords=dr+mary%27s+monkey is an account of the CIA using a particle accelerator in 1963 to create a virulent cancer to try to use on Castro and used by the United States Department of Health to try to kill the simian viruses discovered in the polio vaccine. Fast forward to the senate hearings on CIA assassinations in the Ford administration and chairman Frank Church whose exposure placed him as a strong candidate in the 1976 presidential election. A fast acting cancer ended his campaign and his life. Fast forward to 1998. No government official ever pushed harder or more publicly for disclosure of Roswell-related government records than Congressman Steve Schiff. Schiff made inquiries at the Pentagon and several government archives in 1993 before concluding that he was getting “the runaround.” Angered by what appeared to be stonewalling on the part of Pentagon officials, Schiff pushed the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, to look into possible improprieties related to Roswell. An 18 month investigation by the GAO concluded that many records of government activity in Roswell during the summer of 1947 were mysteriously missing. The apparent destruction of those records was unusual and unauthorized, the GAO said, but without them, the investigation came to a standstill. He came down with an apparently easily treatable cancer. Caught early, squamous-cell carcinoma reportedly has a 95% cure rate. But doctors treating Schiff recently expressed concern that his cancer was unusually aggressive an ended his investigation and his life. Just sayin.

  12. Some remarkable initiatives have prospered in Venezuela under Senor Chavez. One that is truly inspiring is “El Sistema”.

    It is a national youth program based on learning classical music. Cu “How Music Saved Venezuela’s Children” under you tube, or Google video.

    You should listen to them in concert at “Proms” in London. Cu “Gustavo Dudamel at the Proms – Arturo Márquez – Danzón Nº 2″ and, if you think that was great, wait until you hear, “Gustavo Dudamel at the Proms – José Pablo Moncayo “Huapango”.

    Inspiration? It will absolutely blow you away!

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