Venezuela: The Birth of an Alliance for a Coup


March 17, 2012

Less than a month before a coup d’état staged against the government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in Caracas was born a civil association named Alliance for Freedom, aimed at fighting communism “radically” and destabilizing the country.

This way was stated in the local newspaper El Universal, on March 17th, 2002, in an article titled “Alliance for Freedom to face the Left.”

In an opening ceremony, the Alliance’s coordinator and former political party leader Agustin Berrios said they would “battle to get rid of Chavez” and the causes “that brought us to Chavez,” reported the mentioned newspaper.

The goals of the Alliance for Freedom were once again exposed when former chief of the state oil company PDVSA, Andres Sosa Pietri, who attended the ceremony, defended the idea that PDVSA would change into “a public enterprise with private shares.” Such option allows to begin a process of undercover privatization, as one denounced several years ago in the Mexican oil company Pemex.

But the birth of the Alliance for Freedom was not an isolated fact. Days earlier, statements and calls for unrest added up: on March 15, Eddie Ramirez -director of Pamalven, PDVSA subsidiary- called to “a peaceful resistance” after President Chavez appointed a new board of directors for the company; on March 13, PDVSA managers began their first actions against the Executive; throughout the month, private newspapers called openly or undercover, through articles, opinion and even ads, to remove President Chavez from office.

“Radically opposed to communism and overall leftism and with a proposal marked by liberal democracy, the rule of law and market economy” were the “ideals” of the organization, according to El Universal report.

Since President Hugo Chavez took office in 1998, simultaneously began the US financing of civil associations and non-governmental organizations that were the spearheads of the opposition against the Bolivarian Revolution.

In December 2007, the website Cubadebate interviewed US researcher Jeremy Bigwood, who had released some papers about the White House financing to Venezuelan NGOs.

The analyst explained that before the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) installed a seat in Caracas, there had already began “a financial support” to those associations, aimed at “speeding up the transition of the Chavez Administration to other government.”

Documents released by Bigwood show that OTI spent 26 million dollars in Venezuela between 2002 and 2006.

Meanwhile, researcher Eva Golinger said that OTI “installed illegally in Venezuela in 2002 to encourage actions against the Hugo Chavez Government,” that it also channeled “multimillionaire funds” for opposing parties, including the private organization Sumate, headed by current rightist deputy Maria Corina Machado.