CIA Venezuela Destabillization Memo Surfaces

December 3rd, 2007 - by admin

James Petras / Venezuela Analysis – 2007-12-03 00:01:51

(November 28, 2007) — On November 26, 2007 the Venezuelan government broadcast and circulated a confidential memo from the US embassy to the CIA which is devastatingly revealing of US clandestine operations and which will influence the referendum this Sunday, December 2, 2007.

The memo sent by an embassy official, Michael Middleton Steere, was addressed to the Director of Central Intelligence, Michael Hayden. The memo was entitled ‘Advancing to the Last Phase of Operation Pincer’ and updates the activity by a CIA unit with the acronym ‘HUMINT’ (Human Intelligence) which is engaged in clandestine action to destabilize the forth-coming referendum and coordinate the civil military overthrow of the elected Chavez government. The Embassy-CIA’s polls concede that 57 per cent of the voters approved of the constitutional amendments proposed by Chavez but also predicted a 60 per cent abstention.

The US operatives emphasized their capacity to recruit former Chavez supporters among the social democrats (PODEMOS) and the former Minister of Defense Baduel, claiming to have reduced the ‘yes’ vote by 6 per cent from its original margin. Nevertheless the Embassy operatives concede that they have reached their ceiling, recognizing they cannot defeat the amendments via the electoral route.

The memo then recommends that Operation Pincer (OP) [Operacion Tenaza] be operationalized. OP involves a two-pronged strategy of impeding the referendum, rejecting the outcome at the same time as calling for a ‘no’ vote. The run up to the referendum includes running phony polls, attacking electoral officials and running propaganda through the private media accusing the government of fraud and calling for a ‘no’ vote. Contradictions, the report emphasizes, are of no matter.

The CIA-Embassy reports internal division and recriminations among the opponents of the amendments including several defections from their ‘umbrella group’. The key and most dangerous threats to democracy raised by the Embassy memo point to their success in mobilizing the private university students (backed by top administrators) to attack key government buildings including the Presidential Palace, Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council.

The Embassy is especially full of praise for the ex-Maoist ‘Red Flag’ group for its violent street fighting activity. Ironically, small Trotskyist sects and their trade unionists join the ex-Maoists in opposing the constitutional amendments. The Embassy, while discarding their ‘Marxist rhetoric’, perceives their opposition as fitting in with their overall strategy.

The ultimate objective of ‘Operation Pincer’ is to seize a territorial or institutional base with the ‘massive support’ of the defeated electoral minority within three or four days (presumably after the elections though this is not clear. JP) backed by an uprising by oppositionist military officers principally in the National Guard. The Embassy operative concede that the military plotters have run into serous problems as key intelligence operatives were detected, stores of arms were decommissioned and several plotters are under tight surveillance.

Apart from the deep involvement of the US, the primary organization of the Venezuelan business elite (FEDECAMARAS), as well as all the major private television, radio and newspaper outlets have been engaged in a campaign of fear and intimidation campaign. Food producers, wholesale and retail distributors have created artificial shortages of basic food items and have provoked large scale capital flight to sow chaos in the hopes of reaping a ‘no’ vote.

President Chavez Counter-Attacks
In a speech to pro-Chavez, pro-amendment nationalist business-people (Entrepreneurs for Venezuela – EMPREVEN) Chavez warned the President of FEDECAMARAS that if he continues to threaten the government with a coup, he would nationalize all their business affiliates. With the exception of the Trotskyists and other sects, the vast majority of organized workers, peasants, small farmers, poor neighborhood councils, informal self-employed and public school students have mobilized and demonstrated in favor of the constitutional amendments.

The reason for the popular majority is found in a few of the key amendments: One article expedites land expropriation facilitating re-distribution to the landless and small producers. Chavez has already settled over 150,000 landless workers on 2 million acres of land. Another amendment provides universal social security coverage for the entire informal sector (street sellers, domestic workers, self-employed) amounting to 40 per cent of the labor force. Organized and unorganized workers’ workweek will be reduced from 40 to 36 hours a week (Monday to Friday noon) with no reduction in pay.

Open admission and universal free higher education will open greater educational opportunities for lower class students. Amendments will allow the government to by-pass current bureaucratic blockage of the socialization of strategic industries, thus creating greater employment and lower utility costs. Most important, an amendment will increase the power and budget of neighborhood councils to legislate and invest in their communities.

The electorate supporting the constitutional amendments is voting in favor of their socio-economic and class interests; the issue of extended re-election of the President is not high on their priorities: And that is the issue that the Right has focused on in calling Chavez a ‘dictator’ and the referendum a ‘coup’.

The Opposition
With strong financial backing from the US Embassy ($8 million dollars in propaganda alone according to the Embassy memo) and the business elite and ‘free time’ by the right-wing media, the Right has organized a majority of the upper middle class students from the private universities, backed by the Catholic Church hierarchy, large swaths of the affluent middle class neighborhoods, entire sectors of the commercial, real estate and financial middle classes and apparently sectors of the military, especially officials in the National Guard.

While the Right has control over the major private media, public television and radio back the constitutional reforms. While the Right has its followers among some generals and the National Guard, Chavez has the backing of the paratroops and legions of middle-rank officers and most other generals.

The outcome of the Referendum of December 2 is a major historical event first and foremost for Venezuela but also for the rest of the Americas. A positive vote (Vota ‘Si’) will provide the legal framework for the democratization of the political system, the socialization of strategic economic sectors, empower the poor and provide the basis for a self-managed factory system.

A negative vote (or a successful US-backed civil-military uprising) would reverse the most promising living experience of popular self-rule, of advanced social welfare and democratically based socialism. A reversal, especially a military dictated outcome, would lead to a blood bath, such as we have not seen since the days of the Indonesian Generals’ Coup of 1966, which killed over a million workers and peasants or the Argentine Coup of 1976 in which over 30,000 Argentines were murdered by the US-backed Generals.

A decisive vote for ‘Si’ will not end US military and political destabilization campaigns but it will certainly undermine and demoralize their collaborators. On December 2, 2007 the Venezuelans have a rendezvous with history.

James Petras, a former Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, owns a 50 year membership in the class struggle, is an adviser to the landless and jobless in brazil and argentina and is co-author of Globalization Unmasked (Zed). His new book with Henry Veltmeyer, Social Movements and the State: Brazil, Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina, will be published in October 2005. He can be reached at:

• For the full text of the report (in Spanish), see: Operacion Tenaza: Informe confidencial de la CIA devela plan de saboteo al referendum del 2 de diciembre, [Reproduced and translated below.]

Copyright 2007 Venezuela Analysis

Operación Tenaza:
Informe confidencial de la CIA devela
plan de saboteo al referéndum
del 2 de diciembre

Fecha de publicación: 27/11/07
continuación presentamos el informe completo de la operación que tiene la Agencia Central de Inteligencia (CIA) en nuestro país dirigido a evitar la Victoria del SÍ en el Referendum de la Reforma Constitucional del próximo 2 de Diciembre.
Este informe confidencial, fue leído parcialmente en la edición del programa La Hojilla en TV por Venezolana de Televisión del día 26 de Noviembre.
Lo estamos publicando para que las organizaciones sociales y el pueblo bolivariano lo conozcan y estén atentos, alertas y dispuestos a neutralizar las intenciones de saboteo y caos que pretenden promover en los próximoas días.

November 20,2007
De: Michael Middleton Steere, US Embassy
Para: Michael Hayden, Director Agencia Central de Inteligencia.

Asunto: Avance de la Fase Terminal de la Operación Tenaza
Tomando en consideración los anteriores avances documentales en torno a la Operación Tenaza que coordina Humint en Venezuela según la directiva 3623-g-0217, cumplo en informarle para los fines consiguientes, del status actual de dicha operación, la cual entra en su fase terminal según lo estimado.

En forma resumida, presentamos los diversos escenarios puntualizados en los memoradum anteriores, los cuales en las últimas semanas adquieren nuevos desarrollos:

1) Escenario Electoral.
Tal como lo puntualicé en el informe precedente, las tendencias de intenciones de voto se mantienen. Hasta ahora las distintas mediciones realizadas, incluidas las nuestras, le dan al SI una ventaja entre 10 y 13 puntos ( 57 % SI, 44% NO ).Tal estimación porcentual se dan en el marco de una abstención que ronda el 60% de los votantes inscritos.

Nuestros análisis, observan que esta tendencia es irreversible en el corto plazo, es decir, en los próximos quince (15) días no se pueden modificar esos porcentajes de una manera significativa.

Por otro lado, la campaña publicitaria promovida por el Plan y las deserciones de las filas gubernamentales ( Podemos- Baduel, por ejemplo ) han logrado quitarle a Chávez 6 puntos en su posición de arranque inicial, tal como NO había ocurrido en otras campañas, donde ha partido con una ventaja entre 15 y 20 % Sin embargo, se puede esperar un congelamiento del impacto esperado, ya que tales tendencias tocaron piso.

En tal sentido, esta oficina recomienda ejecutar lo previsto en el Plan para la Operación Tenaza en el caso de consolidarse en los próximos días este escenario. Como es de su conocimiento hemos propuesto un abanico de respuestas, entre las que están:
Impedir el referéndum o desconocer sus resultados aún cuando se llame a votar por el NO.
En términos de orientación táctica estas bisagras pueden dar la impresión de ser contradictorias, pero para el momento político coyuntural es necesaria su combinación. En los días que quedan podemos seguir fortaleciendo las actividades que apuntan a impedir el referéndum y al mismo tiempo preparar las condiciones para desconocer los resultados del mismo.
En el acondicionamiento político del no reconocimiento de los resultados del referéndum, ha resultado importante la creación de la matriz de opinión sobre un triunfo seguro del NO y en tal sentido seguiremos trabajando con las encuestadoras que hemos contratado. Al mismo tiempo que mantenemos una sostenida campaña por el NO, se viene trabajando en la crítica al CNE y su conexión con una serie de trampas, lo cual genera en la opinión pública la sensación de fraude. En ese sentido hemos venido insistiendo en los tópicos referido a las inconsistencia del registro electoral permanente, donde contactamos con un equipo de expertos de las universidades, que por su prestigio académico hace creíble una manipulación de la data por parte del CNE, igual ocurre sobre las dudas sobre la tinta y el comportamiento de las máquinas de votación.

En este contexto, empantanar el acto de votación el día 2 de Diciembre es consustancial con la premisa de VOTA Y QUEDATE para poder producir una implosión que nos permita ejecutar la directiva ya establecida en la Operación Tenaza. En este último aspecto hemos convenido con fuerzas aliadas comenzar a dar información en las primeras horas de la tarde del Domingo 2 de Diciembre, explotando los sondeos preliminares en las mesas de votación. La operación montada requiere de una coordinación con medios de comunicación a nivel internacional, según lo pautado.

Como hemos explicado en otro documento, manejarnos en estos dos escenario no deja de ser políticamente peligroso, por la fractura que existe en los grupos opositores. A pesar de nuestro esfuerzo por unir a todos los sectores, hay opiniones encontradas en torno a algunos aspectos de nuestro Plan. Hemos realizado contactos y reuniones con Primero Justicia y Nuevo Tiempo y al parecer no van a suscribir nuestra estrategia. Todo lo contrario del Comando Nacional de la Resistencia y Acción Democrática, con quienes venimos trabajando las dos opciones. Aquí es necesario resaltar el papel que viene desempeñando Peña Esclusa y Guyon Cellis según las coordinaciones previas realizadas por Richard Nazario, en lo relativo a diseminar en todo el territorio nacional pequeños focos de protestas, que generen un clima de ingobernabilidad, permitiendo culminar en el levantamiento general de una parte sustancial de la población.

Sin embargo, considero conveniente que este nexo operacional lo canalice la oficina para evitarle complicaciones a la embajada

2) Las tareas inmediatas de la fase terminal
La combinación de las anteriores pinzas o bisagras (impedir el referéndum, denunciar el fraude y tomar la calle )para un cierre victorioso de nuestra operación, demanda de un sostenido esfuerzo diplomático para aislar aún más a Chávez en el terreno internacional, tratar de lograr la unidad de la oposición y buscar la alianza de los abstencionistas y los que votan por el NO, incrementar la presión de calle en los días previos al 2 de Diciembre, sostener con firmeza la propaganda contra el régimen, ejecutar las acciones militares de apoyo a las movilizaciones y tomas propagandísticas, culminar los aprestos operacionales de nuestras fuerzas acantonadas en la Base aledaña. El apoyo de los equipos externos provenientes del país verde y azul, esta coordinado, la acción marítima de azul esta prevista y, las fronteras con verde en los puntos determinados esta libre.

De inmediato pasamos revista a las actividades realizadas para cumplir con tales metas:

A) En cuanto a las movilizaciones de calle, tal como lo contempla el Plan, hemos logrado persuadir a importantes sectores estudiantiles vinculados a las instituciones educativas privadas para que se incorporen orgánicamente a nuestras iniciativas para salir de Chávez. En la tercera semana de Noviembre se logró un acuerdo marco con los lideres emergentes que han acogido nuestro ideario de democracia y libertad, varias reuniones de trabajo hemos realizados, bajo la coordinación de los rectores Rudolph Benjamín Scharikker Podolski de la Universidad Simón Bolívar y Ugalde de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bellos. Estas autoridades han constituido un equipo donde participan unos grupos de profesores entre los que destacan Ángel Oropeza y su equipo del post-grado de Ciencias Políticas. A las reuniones han asistido dirigentes estudiantiles de varias universidades: Yon Goicochea de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (UCAB), Juan A. Mejías de la Universidad Simón Bolívar (USB), Douglas Barrios de la Universidad Metropolitana, Ronel Gaglio de la Universidad Monte Ávila, Gabriel Gallo de la Universidad Santa María. Entre estos líderes hay consenso en términos generales, pero con algunas diferencias en cuanto a las acciones concretas para los próximos días. Ha resulltado halagador la postura asumido por dirigentes estudiantiles de un grupo denominado Bandera Roja, antiguamente enemigo jurado de los intereses nuestros en el país. Su dirigente Ricardo Sánchez, de la Universidad Central de Venezuela, fue uno de los que apoyo nuestra propuesta de acciones de calle directas contra las instituciones: CNE, Tribunal Supremo de Justicia y el Palacio de Miraflores. De todos modos, hay que seguir trabajando la unidad de acción de estos grupos, ya que hay peligro de fractura bajo la premisa de la no violencia y las exigencias operacionales que se contemplan en el Plan, siendo parte de la misma realidad contradictoria que evaluamos en el escenario electoral, ya que en estos grupos estudiantiles influyen tanto el Comando Nacional de la Resistencia como Primero Justicia y en su seno se expresan las diversas posturas partidistas.

B) Como usted sabe, uno de los objetivos de la Operación Tenaza es controlar una franja territorial o institucional, con apoyo masivo de ciudadanos descontentos, en un lapso contemplado entre 72 y 120 horas, tiempo estimado como lapso mínimo para detonar la fase ascendente de las acciones prevista, donde se contempla el pronunciamiento militar. En esto no están comprometidos todos los sectores, por lo que demandamos una mayor actividad del equipo dedicado a construir nuestras alianzas. Particular importancia tiene los contactos y reuniones con los oficiales de los diversos componentes, particularmente de la Guardia Nacional. Si bien el enlace que anteriormente la oficina central envió hizo su tarea, la coordinación con esta fuerza clave no ha sido fácil por la dispersión de sus comandos.

En este ámbito, como ya está enterado por el mensaje de emergencia enviado, uno de los equipos coordinado por nuestro enlace operativo fue detectado y decomisado parte del armamento, lo cual ha generado algunas dificultades de seguridad. Ante los peligros de utilización política de los hechos conocidos públicamente, hay que preparar unas coartadas y contrapropaganda que evite el impacto desmoralizante de algunas imputaciones que de seguro hará el gobierno, dado a los rastros encontrados en algunos celulares y en la lapto decomisada.

C) En la esfera de la propaganda y las operaciones psicológicas contempladas en el Plan en curso, es donde hemos cosechado los mayores éxitos, hasta tal punto que en las últimas semanas hemos impuesto nuestra agenda y dominado la escena publicitaria. Los aportes de la SIP y de las agencias internacionales han sido clave. Especial reconocimiento merece Benjamín Gregg ZIF, AAPP de la Embajada , por este trabajo. El y el equipo organizado por Ravell viene rindiendo sus frutos y requiere en esta última fase mayores aportes nuestros.

En este último aspecto debo informarle que de los $8 millones que fueron transferidos casi todo han sido gastado en propaganda, publicidad y contribuciones a algunas de las organizaciones de fachada.

En este último caso, hemos tenido dificultades con la Development Alternative INC, ya que la inteligencia enemiga tiene ubicada nuestra conexión con el señor Gerson Patete y tienen monitoreada la cuenta corriente del Banco Mercantil, No 0105-0026-59-102636243-1. Es urgente no seguir haciendo transferencia a esa cuenta y establecer otro canal para el financiamiento contemplados en esta fase de la Operación Tenaza.

Venezuela Destabilization Memo
Unedited BabelFish Translation
Confidential Memo
U.S. Embassy Stops
Michael Hayden, Director Central Agency of Intelligence.
Subject: Advance of the Final stage of the Operation Pliers

Taking in consideration the previous documentary advances around the Operation Pliers that coordinate Humint in Venezuela according to the director 3623-g-0217, I fulfill in informing to him for the consequent aims, of the present status of this operation, which enters its final stage according to the considered thing.

In summarized form, we presented/displayed the diverse scenes emphasized in the memoradum previous, which in the last weeks acquires new developments:

1 – Electoral Scene.
As I emphasized it in the preceding report, the tendencies of intentions of vote stay. Until now the different made measurements, including ours, they give him to IF an advantage between 10 and 13 points (57 % IF, 44% non). Tal percentage estimation occur within the framework of an abstention that goes up to around 60% of the enrolled voters. Our analyses, observe that this tendency is irreversible in the short term, that is to say, in next the fifteen (15) days cannot be modified those percentage of a significant way.

On the other hand, the advertising campaign promoted by the Plan and the desertions of the governmental rows (We can Baduel, for example) has managed to clear to Chávez 6 points to him in their position of initial starting, as it had not happened in other campaigns, where has started off with an advantage between 15 and 20 % Nevertheless, a freezing of the waited for impact can be hoped, since such tendencies touched floor. In such sense, this office recommends to execute predicted in the Plan for the Operation the Pliers in the case of consolidating in the next days this scene.

As it is of his knowledge we have proposed a fan of answers, between which they are:

To prevent the referendum or to not know its results even though is called to vote by NO.

In terms of tactical orientation these hinges can give the impression of being contradictory, but for the conjunctural political moment its combination is necessary. In the days that are we can continue fortifying the activities that aim to prevent the referendum and at the same time to prepare the conditions to not know the results of the same one.

In the political preparation of the nonrecognition of the results of the referendum, the creation has been important from the opinion matrix on a safe triumph of NOT and in such sense we will continue working with the encuestadoras that we have contracted. At the same time which we maintain one maintained campaign by NO, one comes working in the critic to the CNE and its connection with a series of traps, which generates in the public opinion the fraud sensation. In that sense we have come insisting on the topics referred the inconsistency from the permanent electoral registry, where we contacted with an equipment of experts of the universities, that by its academic prestige makes a manipulation credible of the data on the part of the CNE, equal happens on the doubts on the red and the behavior of the voting machines.

In this context, to flood the voting act day 2 of December is consustancial with the premise of VOTES and QUEDATE to be able to produce an implosion that allows us to execute the director already established in the Operation Pliers. Upon this last aspect we have agreed with allied forces to begin to afternoon give information in the first hours of of the Domingo the 2 of December, exploding preliminary soundings in the voting tables. The mounted operations requires of a coordination with mass media at international level, according to the pautado thing. Since we have explained in another document, to handle itself in these two scene does not stop being politically dangerous, by the fracture that exists in the competing groups. In spite of our effort to unite to all the sectors, there are opinions found around some aspects of our Plan. We have made contacts and meetings with the First Justice and New Time and apparently are not going to subscribe our strategy.

All the opposite of the National Commando of the Resistance and Democratic Action, with those who we come working the two options. Here it is necessary to emphasize the paper that come carrying out Esclusa Rock and Guyon Cellis according to the previous coordinations made by Richard Nazario, with respect to scattering in all the national territory small centers of protests, that generate an ungovernability climate, allowing to culminate in the general rise of a substantial part of the population.

Nevertheless, I consider advisable which this operational nexus canalizes the office to avoid complications to him to the embassy

2) The immediate tasks of the final stage
The combination of the previous clamps or hinges (to prevent the referendum, to denounce the fraud and to take the street)para a victorious closing from our operation, demand of a sharp diplomatic effort to isolate still more to Chávez in the international land, to deal with to obtain the unit of the opposition and to look for the alliance of the non-participants and those who vote by NO, to increase the pressure of street in the previous days to the 2 December, to maintain with firmness the propaganda against the regime, to execute military actions of support to the mobilizations and propagandistic takings, to culminate operational preparations of our forces quartered in bordering Base. The support of the originating external equipment of the green and blue country, this coordinated, blue the naval operation of this predicted one and, the borders with green in the certain points this free one.

We immediately reviewed to the made activities to fulfill such goals:

A) As far as the mobilizations of street, as it contemplates the Plan to it, we have managed to persuade to important tie student sectors to the deprived educative institutions so that they are gotten up organic to our initiatives to leave Chávez. In the third week of November an agreement was obtained frame with you lead them emergent that has welcomed our idea of democracy and freedom, several meetings of work we have made, under the coordination of Rudolph directors Youngest child Scharikker Podolski of the Simón University Bolivar and Ugalde of Beautiful the Catholic University Andrés. These authorities have constituted an equipment where groups of professors participate between whom they honor Oropeza Angel and his team of the postgraduate of Political Sciences. The meetings they have attended student leaders of several universities: Yon Goicochea of the Catholic University Beautiful Andrés (UCAB), Juan To Mejías of the Simón University Bolivar (USB), Douglas Districts of the Metropolitan University, Ronel Gaglio of the University Mounts Ávila, Gabriel Rooster of the University Santa Maria. Between these leaders there is consensus in general terms, but with some differences as far as the concrete actions for the next days. Red Flag has resulltado flattering the position assumed by student leaders of a denominated group, formerly enemy jury of the interests ours in the country. His Ricardo leader Sanchez, of the Central University of Venezuela, was one of which support our proposal of direct actions of street against the institutions: CNE, Supreme Court of Justice and the Palace of Miraflores. Anyway, unit has to continue working of action of these groups, since there is danger of fracture under the operational premise of the nonviolence and exigencies that are contemplated in the Plan, being part of the same contradictory reality that we evaluated in the electoral scene, since in these student groups they influence so much the National Commando of the Resistance as the First Justice and in their sine the diverse partisan positions are expressed.

B) As you know, one of the objectives of the Operation Pliers is to control a territorial or institutional strip, with massive support of citizen displeasures, in a lapse contemplated between 72 and 120 hours, time considered like minimum lapse to detonate the ascending phase of the actions anticipated, where the military uprising is contemplated. In this they are not it jeopardize all the sectors, reason why we demanded a greater activity of the dedicated equipment to construct our alliances. Particular importance has the contacts and meetings with the officials of the diverse components, particularly of the National Guard. Although the connection that previously the central office sent made its task, the coordination with this key force has not been easy by the dispersion of its commandos.

In this scope, as already he is found out by the sent message of emergency, one of the equipment coordinated by our operative connection was detected and seized part of the armament, which has generated some difficulties of security. Before the dangers of political use of the well-known facts publicly, it is necessary to prepare alibis and contrapropaganda that the demoralizing impact of some imputations avoids that of insurance the government will do, dice to the signs found in some cellular ones and lapto seized.

C) In the contemplated sphere of the propaganda and psychological operations in the Plan in course, is where we have harvested the greater successes, to such an extent than in the last weeks we have imposed our agenda and dominated the advertising scene. The contributions of the SIP and the international agencies have been key. Special recognition deserves Youngest child Gregg ZIF, AAPP of the Embassy, by this work. And the equipment organized by Ravell comes rendering its fruits and requires in this last phase greater contributions our.

In this last aspect I must inform to him that of $8 million that were transferred almost everything they have been spent in propaganda, publicity and contributions to some of the facade organizations.

In this last case, we have had difficulties with the Development INC. Alternative, since enemy intelligence has located our connection with Mr. Gerson Patete and have monitoreada the current account of the Mercantile Bank, Not 0105-0026-59-102636243-1. He is urgent not to continue making transference that account and to establish another channel for the financing contemplated in this phase of the Operation Pliers.