CIA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden told the House Intelligence Committee that President Bush has ordered him to “pay more attention” to Hugo Chavez. According to former intelligence czar John Negroponte, U.S. intelligence already pays a great deal of attention to Chavez, leaving one to wonder exactly what kind of action has been authorized, particularly for an agency with a long history of meddling in Latin America.
Negroponte, well aware of the threat Chavez poses to American corporate interests, responded that Venezuela “is probably the second country in the hemisphere (second to Cuba) where we have concentrated the majority of our intelligence and analysis efforts.” He reassured policymakers that they should be afraid, very afraid. Negroponte accused Chavez of spending “millions and millions of dollars to support his extremist ideas in various parts of the world…despite the fact that there is an enormous amount of poverty in his own country.”
Chavez’s “extremist” ideas have provided free oil to struggling US citizens, and favored Venezuelans above the interests of foreign corporations. Negroponte also failed to mention the 7 million dollars taken from US taxpayers every year through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela, along with fascist capitalist politicians. Despite the US interference in Venezuela’s free elections, Chavez won in December with 63 percent of the vote.