Monday, July 26, 2010

Fun conspiracy theories

Eva Golinger writes about how Hugo Chávez "read from a secret memo he had been sent from an unnamed source inside the United States" with all sorts of vague but juicy information about some guy code-named Mauricio and how Costa Rica would help overthrow Chávez.

Pure comic conspiracy genius.  It is Mary Anastasia O'Grady in reverse.

17 comments:

mcentellas 8:17 AM  

Is she serious? For a moment I thought she was writing a parody or something. But, seriously?

boz 9:54 AM  

O'Grady and Golinger really are quite alike in many ways. Both of them have a following based on writing conspiracies that have limited basis in reality. Some readers are simply drawn to that sort of style, hearing what they want to hear.

Boli-Nica 4:33 PM  

Eva needs her lithium.

Whats scarier is that the whole "Mauricio" part is her quoting Chavez verbatim. He actually went on national TV in Venezuela, reading some pen-pals "correspondence".


Mauricio is Slave Revolt?

leftside 5:08 PM  
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leftside 5:09 PM  

It might be easier to laugh this off as paranoid delusions if this contact had not also apparently warned of 2 earlier plots that proved correct (the 2004 training of 150 paramilitaries to attack a Nat. Guard depot and steal 3,000 guns to start a civil war, and of course, the 2002 coup - including precise warnings about snipers). I have little doubt that you all were mocking Chavez for warning about those very real threats as well.

And I understand the reason why you all believe that Uribe's move at the OAS is somehow designed to bolster Santos, but that conclusion flies in the face of basic reason. A much more likely explanation is provided by the Economist magazine:

The move suggests that Mr Uribe, whose bid to run for a third term was shot down in the courts, is seeking to prevent Mr Santos from implementing a more conciliatory foreign policy (towards Venezuela).

The article notes the long standing mistrust between the two, buffeted by Santos' refusal to appoint Uribe's pals to high posts. But the proverbial straw that broke the back was the signal that better C-V relations were on the way, with the appointment of a well regarded Venezuelan expert to be Foreign Minister, as well as several conciliatory statements from Chavez and Santos. Uribe and his hardliners simply had one last
chance to stick it to Chavez and hope for a true rupture - and he went for it. This is all spectacle.

Uribe has steadfastly refused to comment on why he has gone this provocative route now, as the photos and data are admittedly old. But one of his underlings forgot to stay on message and told the truth:

“President Uribe is worried that these realities could be forgotten in this climate of rapprochement with Venezuela’s government.”

I have no doubt you all sincerely believe this will help Santos, but I think you are assuming that he wants the same contentious, unproductive relations that Uribe had. If the goal is instead to improve the Colombian economy and begin his term with the air of a Honeymoon, then this is a terrible "gift" Uribe has left him with.

Boli-Nica 8:28 PM  

Leftside you are hilarious.

The only real, documented cross-border threat is that presented before the OAS by Colombia. Which presented pictures, videos, and precise location of camps of violent communist guerillas in Venezuelan soil. Confirming reports from newspapers like the Guardian and the Reyes laptops. Which basically said that the FARC guerillas receive assistance from official sectors of the Venezuelan government, and operate in that country with at least some official sanction.

There is no "existential" threat to the Chavez government from the US or Colombia. The last thing the US needs is involvement in another military conflict, and the Colombian State can not afford to involve itself in an international conflict, since its main objective is to defeat the insurgency that has threatened it for decades.

Justin Delacour 8:37 PM  
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Justin Delacour 8:45 PM  

Uribe has steadfastly refused to comment on why he has gone this provocative route now, as the photos and data are admittedly old.

On a similar vein, did you hear that Uribe just went to La Macarena (right next to the site of the mass grave of the estimated 2000 "false positives" murdered by the Colombian army) to pay tribute to the army and denounce critics of the atrocities as "mouthpieces of terrorism"?

Uribe is --and always has been-- an extremely callous political figure with a dangerously Manichaean mindset, and yet most U.S. analysts never seem to come to terms with Uribe's extraordinary heartlessness. The fact that American analysts speak of Uribe as if he were just some run-of-the-mill, diplomatic political figure is mind-boggling.

leftside 2:24 PM  

Thanks Justin, I hadn't heard that. Jaw-dropping arrogance and callousness. Are the victims there ever going to be identified?

It is a terrible indictment of the US and Western media that this mass grave with 2,000 bodies has received probably 1/100th of the attention this manufactured theatre out together by Uribe got.

Justin Delacour 5:20 PM  

Are the victims there ever going to be identified?

It's hard to imagine a very serious investigation with Santos in office because the atrocities occurred under Santos' watch as well.

ConsDemo 6:15 AM  

Eva Golinger is a long time apologist for Chavez. Her "evidence" supposedly "proving" the 2002 coup was directed by the US is pathetically weak.

leftside 12:38 PM  

Consdemo, yes Gollinger support Chavez. But I don't think she ever argued the coup was "directed" by Washington. But she has found pretty clear evidence that the US Government funded, supported and advised the coup leaders before and after the coup. The US certainly knew of the coup plot beforehand and did nothing to stop it, at the very least proving complicity. I think most people undertand there was a tacit approval of the plot, if not active cooperation.

Boli-Nica 4:14 PM  

I find it pretty funny that Delacour-side get all worked up over...well...Uribe, not their boy Chavez' actions.

Uribe is not the issue, the issue is Chavez' (or at the very least some sectors in his governments) support for the FARC.

There is a reason for such misdirection.

Fact of the matter is, that as soon as the evidence of Chavista support for the FARC became clear, they lost whatever moral superiority they might have claimed. However bad Uribe is, for dealings with the paras, links with traffickers and his military's right abuses his army, Chavez in this analysis is no better. He supports an army of Communist killers terrorizing a country with an elected government. Not to mention they finance their war through drug dealing.

Do the Chavez checklist -

support for illegal armed bands in neighboring country - check, support for human rights violating private army - check. supporting army of drug trafficking killers- check - support for totalitarian ideologues wanting to overthrow elected government - check.

dang, Chavez support makes him pretty bad.

ConsDemo 9:11 PM  

I don't think she ever argued the coup was "directed" by Washington. But she has found pretty clear evidence that the US Government funded, supported and advised the coup leaders before and after the coup.

Leftside, I think she has made that claim but even if she hasn't you are making a pretty small distinction.

As for the claims you attribute to her, the "funded" and "advised" accusations are pretty weak, since they rely the assertion that NED funds helped underwrite the coup when in fact there is no evidence they did. The "support" claim largely comes from the failure to condemn the coup, but that is quite a bit different than documenting material support.

As far as "knowing about it", the Venezuelan media was rife with coup rumors in 2002, anyone who way paying attention knew it was a possibility.

You compare all of that versus the countless time Hugito has claimed a US invasion is imminent, that the CIA is going to try to assassinate him and how many times either of these two events ever happened and it becomes very hard to take the "Big Bad US is out to me" chavista routine very seriously. The Chavez rhetoric has less to do with any actual threat than making himself out to be more important than he really is and keeping the domestic audience focused on something other than his mismanagement and authoritarianism.

leftside 2:02 AM  

the "funded" and "advised" accusations are pretty weak, since they rely the assertion that NED funds helped underwrite the coup when in fact there is no evidence they did.

ConsDemo, the documents Gollinger dug up through relentless FOIA requests prove that the US Government funded (providing training and all kinds of support) many of the groups that were essential parts of the coup (the State Dept. had admitted this as well - pg. 3). Gollinger or I never said the US Government funded the coup itself. There were plenty of rich people in Venezuela to do that. But we did more than know about it from media reports. We knew about it because our diplomats and representatives met with these coupsters more than anyone else in the country. We supported them financially and there's no doubt we were very close to them (probably the only South American woman to meet with Bush in the White House was one of those who signed the declaration to dissolve the Constitution). More importantly, we know what the USG thought through its actions. The State Dept. immediately blessed the coup (alone in the world), until we realized it was not gonna fly.

A botched coup, a botched civil war, a botched bombing campaign, an attempted owner strike/strangulation, an unprecedented media campaign. These have all been countered and prevented by the Chavez. If anyone has reason to fear the US has them in their sights in this hemisphere, it is Venezuela. When did he say the US was about to invade?

ConsDemo 9:43 AM  

Leftside, the link you posted didn't work.

As for Maria Corina Machado, she has never been convicted of being part of the coup (which is saying something given Venezuela's highly politicized judicial system). She claims she wasn't endorsing the dissolving the constitution but in any case, saying one favors dissolving the constitution is a lot different from taking part in an armed insurrection. Would you want to jail someone who said they wanted to dissolve the US constitution?

If anyone has reason to fear the US has them in their sights in this hemisphere, it is Venezuela.

I always have to laugh whenever I hear this. If it were true, who would the Americans send? the US military is tied down elsewhere. This is all about Chavez painting himself as some bulwark against "yankee imperialism" and its b.s.

When did he say the US was about to invade?

If you listen to his speeches, he says it all the time, here is just one example.

"El presidente Hugo Chávez constantemente advierte a los venezolanos que una invasión de los Estados Unidos es inminente."

Justin Delacour 3:55 AM  

However bad Uribe is, for dealings with the paras, links with traffickers and his military's right abuses his army

It makes little since to begrudgingly acknowledge how bad Uribe is and then refuse to critically scrutinize his claims with regard to Venezuela. Unless you're willing to recognize that there are often ulterior motives behind Uribe's claims, it's hard to take your "analysis" seriously.

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