Venezuela Information Office & the USA: the VIO files
By Aleksander Boyd
London 21 June 2004 – The team of ‘impartial’ advocates of Hugo Chavez in Washington, DC have gone eerily quiet. The only ones who opinionatedly continue repeating Chavez’ lines are Greg Wilpert and Dawn Gable. A couple of objective observers of grand intellectual stature, who happen to be acquaintances of some of the individuals who have mislead the public about Venezuela’s situation, wrote to me recently, quite offended, demanding public apologies and comparing yours truly with Crusty the Clown. Ergo in their view, no one will take the hassle to start libel suits against me for, being a Clown, I have no credibility and whatever "crappy" information published in this site will not in any manner dent the reputation of the notable analysts contacted by the Venezuelan Information Office (VIO) staff.
As shown in the last instalment of the investigation (part IV), the VIO has disbursed $51.250 to “Independent Contractors.” Curious about the identities of said contractors, I got in touch again with the FARA unit last Friday and requested documents of the payments. According to the lady I spoke to, the VIO filled last week forms containing detailed information about the payments. Whilst I was at it I researched the database of the FARA and found out that since the arrival of Hugo Chavez to the presidency his regime has spent $5.704.339,32 in lobbying activities in the US; not including in that figure the $1.2 million contract with Patton Boggs and the recent ‘allowance’ to the VIO. By and large, law firm Arnold & Porter LLP has capitalised better than anyone from Chavez’ necessity of representation; between the first semester of 1998 and the second of 2001 attorneys at Arnold & Porter charged $4.375.975,60 for their services.
What is wrong with this picture?
The US of A, in Chavez' adolescent mind, is a devil that need be destroyed. The administration’s ‘interference’ in Venezuelan affairs is the first commandment of chavismo, readily and irresponsibly echoed by hired pens and leftist talebans the world over. The ignorant crowd of Avenida Bolivar and other bastions of popular chavista celebrations are conveniently saved from learning about the careful outreach campaign undergoing in DC. They haven’t got a clue about the existence of Wilpert, Weisbrot, James, Hoffman et al neither do they know about the strategic alliances between Ambassador Alvarez Herrera and Republican Jack Kemp. So why would Chavez be so interested in convincing, by means of Washingtonites, the Bush administration about his benignity? To attain what objective/s, does he need to pay ‘make up artists’ in Capitol Hill? Venezuela provides about 15 % of the US’ gasoline consumption and come rain or shine that amount is not likely to change in the immediate future. Therefore America needs Venezuelan oil and Chavez has got absolute control of the industry. A quite straightforward relationship if you ask me; A has a demand for B’s product and B needs A’s cash to survive. Moreover A is filthy rich and B’s geo-strategic position places it in advantageous terms when it comes to compete with other producers. Why the vociferous and hypocritical need to antagonise, only in public one should add, with one’s customer? Should A takes its business someplace else, how would B remain afloat? Why do you court and flirt with the devil Mr Chavez? Is the USA enemy of Venezuela or not?
I dream about the day when public figures of whatever political tendency will raise their voices in public to denounce objectively Chavez’ double standards; I would be in nirvana if such a dream could come to be in Avenida Bolivar whilst the president addresses his favourite crowd. Imagine their reactions when hearing “our president has been telling us for nearly six years that America is the enemy; that our country’s sovereignty must be defended with our blood; that our children’s future depends on our successful hate campaign towards other members of our society; however see here the proof of his acts; analyse the dealings of that miserable representative of ours with the enemy; observe the properties they have acquired in hostile territory; realise that with the PR & lobby expenditure some hospitals or schools could have been built for our benefit… I apologize I just got carried away.
The VIO files [pdf files]
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