The Foundation of a Coup: Lies

WW1 Class

Venezuela Assignment

February 26th, 2007


As the world’s largest super power, the United States feels the need to police the world. We believe that we know how every country should live their lives and run their agreementgovernment. The United States has the power to change leadership in other countries, execute hundreds of thousands of people without anyone knowing, and all the time claiming a high level of morality. In this paper I will illustrate how the media helps the government manipulate the public, examples of how the United States manipulates other countries and how it is impossible for the United States to claim a high moral ground.

We have read two articles regarding a coup in Venezuela against President Chavez in April 2002. One article was published in the New York Times and the other article was written in the Tehran Times. italics It is clear that both articles are trying to put two different spins on the same incident. The New York Times article is written to make the government of Venezuela look as if they are against running the country the way that the United States would like them to run the government. The article gave many examples of how Chavez was a bad leader for the Venezuelan Government, how he tried to stage a coup d’ete of his own in 1992, the number of casualties that were caused by the followers of Chavez, and how his followers took over the local TV stations making demands for his return.  The United States is upset with Chavez because he was starting relationships with Cuba, Iran and Iraq. With the United States not agreeing with Chavez and his policies, it is obvious (why obvious?  If this is a democracy, are we to expect our papers to take the government/corporate line?)  that an article written in a major American newspaper would try to discredit Chavez. In the Tehran Times, an Iranian newspaper, they are in support of Chavez and his policies. They reported that there were fewer casualties and that they were Chavez supporters. They spoke about how a coup was not a way to make political change, and the fact that they put Chavez back into power was a victory for democracy. They blamed the United States for prompting the coup.

The New York Times (NYT) title is “Chavez reclaims Venezuelan Presidency” and the Tehran Times (TT) title is “With Collapse of US-Masterminded Coup Chavez Returns”. Just by reading the titles of the articles it is clear that there are 2 different viewpoints and the titles are quite harsh toward the opposite side. The NYT article makes it seem as if Chavez took back the presidency not making it a big deal, it just happened, and the TT article clearly blames the United States for Chavez being thrown out of office and how their attempt to do so failed.

In the NYT article they make Chavez appear to be somewhat of an aggressor, “raising his fist in the air” and” reclaiming the presidency”. The TT article makes him seem a much more compassionate man, “choking with emotion”. It is apparent that the TT article would like us to have compassion for Chavez.

According to the TT article, the Organization of American States threatened sanctions to punish those responsible for the coup. The article is clear that the members of the US Embassy and the US Ambassador to Venezuela participated in the demonstration against Chavez and his policies. It seems as if the Organization of American States and the United States do not agree on Chavez.

As far as who killed who, it depends on the article. The NYT article made it look like most of the casualties were caused by Chavez supporters and that the casualties numbered well above 40. The TT article made it seem as if a majority of the casualties from those two days were Chavez supporters that were hurt while demonstrating. The number of casualties reported by the Tehran times was far less than the NYT article.

OPEC is the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. Chavez organized an OPEC summit in 2000, which just happened to be only the second summit in forty years. Chavez was trying to increase he price of oil by cutting supply. This was a move that was clearly frowned upon by the United States.

According to the TT story, Carmona, the man that replaced Chavez for one day kicked out the Supreme Court and demanded that they have new elections. He also dismissed the national assembly but later re-instated it after the military made conditions to show their support.

            Finding examples of US involvement in fatal world events really is not very difficult to do, although finding out how the United States CIA started a coup in Indonesia did prove to be a daunting task. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that the United States acknowledged their part in the Indonesian coup that happened in late September/early October of 1965. The United States CIA supplied the Indonesian Government with the names of people that were in the communist party. The numbers vary about the amount of names that the US supplied to the Indonesian Government but the average seems to be around 5,000 people. The names ranged from people that were very high up on the social ladder all the way down to villagers. The names of the people on the list were part of the PKI, Partai Komunis Indonesia, which was the third largest Communist Party in the world with close to three million members. The Indonesian government found these Communists as well as several thousands or hundreds of thousands and killed them all. This would later be called one of the largest massacres of the Century. The number of actual casualties range from 250,000 to one million communists; I have yet to find an article that gives an accurate casualty count.

It is not clear as to the reason that the Government finally decided to release the information twenty-five years later, and no one remembers who exactly in the CIA was responsible for giving Indonesia the information but the reason that they gave them the information was very clear. The United States gave Indonesia the list to rid the world of Communists. The United States did not have to do the killing, it was an easy way for us to rid the world of the communists and not take responsibility. This was a way for the United States Government to ensure that the Communist would not overtake Indonesia which was the largest country in Southeast Asia ( and

After I read the paragraphs that were posted by other students it is apparent that the United States government will not allow other countries to dictate their own fate if it deviates from what the United States feels. According to Patty Melton, in Guatemala the US interfered and paid for the overthrow of President Arbenz. They said it was because he was trying to nationalize and redistribute land owned by the United Fruit Company but the CIA records that were opened up many years later suggested that it was because of his ties to communism and the Cold War. Another example of one of these incidents was provided by Sarah Gibbons. Again the United States helped to organize a coup to overthrow President Salvador Allende. Allende was a democratically elected socialist that represented a new progressive government. He was overthrown because the US felt that Chile needed a pro-US dictatorship.

            The United States justifies their actions for their aggressions by claiming that it will help the people of the country, it will rid the world of communism and rid the world of terrorism. We spin it to seem as if we are a moral, upstanding country, but when it comes to claiming high-morality the United States doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Everyone has heard stories regarding slavery, but most people only attribute slavery’s existence to just prior to the Civil War. Slavery actually began in the United States almost 250 years earlier when a ship from Africa carrying about 20 blacks was sold within the colony of Jamestown, Virginia in the year 1619. It is estimated that about 15 million Africans were transported to the US until about 1850.

            The Africans were transported by ship to the United States with barely enough room to move. These slave ships were often over packedone word with Africans to maximize the profits of the slave traders, and theywho were shipped to the US with their hands and feet chained together. The death toll on these ships reached up to 50% because of the spread of diseases like small poxone word and dysentery, but the traders were still able to make huge profits on the remaining slaves. There were also cases were the slaves would refuse to eat, ultimately committing suicide, instead of being subjected to a life of slavery. The taking of slaves by the importers was justified in their eyes. They argued that they were giving the Africans a chance to become Christians, and the cause would eventually be supported by the Christian Church. Initially the importers of the slaves would barter with the chiefs of the African tribes, using goods from Europe, to obtain the slaves. When the demand became larger than the supply of slaves that a tribe would be willing to let go, the slave traders would just take the slaves against the will of the tribe by raiding parties. Theywho would be held in forts that were built on the coasts of Africa, while they awaited the arrival of the slave ships.

            Once the surviving slaves had reached America, they would be sold to northern and southerners at very large profits. The northerners would use the slaves mainly as house workers, where the southerners would use them to work in the fields. As slave selling became a popular and profitable business,,,,,,,,,,, it was important to increase the amount of slaves that an owner had. The slave owners pushed the slaves to reproduce. They would start, on average, at the age of thirteen. The slave owners would promise the female slaves freedom if they would produce 15 children, a promise that was never kept. Slaves were made to work in the fields on the plantation for 18 hours a day. The female slaves were expected to work as hard and as long as the male slaves. If the female slave was pregnant, she would be expected to work up until the time the child was born. The slave owners and overseers were legally able to whip and torture slaves that were “noncompliant”. The laws even allowed a slave owner to kill a slave if they were considered an escapees.

            It is apparent that the industry of slavery was not a humane one. The slaves were treated as property from the time that they were traded from their tribe to the time that they were sold to other plantation owners or killed for disobedience. The conditions that they traveled in from Africa were horrifying at best. The slaves were forced to reproduce and work long hours for close to nothing, given enough food to survive and little of anything else (, and  The institute of slavery was built on the need for power and the greed of slave owners and importers. For over 250 years we had treated human beings as property with little compassion for their well being and their way of life. Slavery was abolished almost 150 years ago and we still feel the affects of it today. While I feel that the amount of racism has most likely diminished since the days of the Emancipation Proclamation.,,,,,,,, I think that there will always be issues regarding race in the United States. As much as the US would like to forget the issue of slavery, we will never be able to forget, nor should we forget the affects that our immoralities have had on this country.

            I read the posting about the amount of money that the United States spends on its war budget posted by Barbie Nieves. We are spending money trying to police the world and get other countries to live by our policies and ideals while we have an overwhelming amount of homelessness and lack of medical insurance for our own citizens. The crime here is against the United States citizens. I also read the posting about global warming from Patricia Melton. I am appalled at the actions or lack of action that the United States has shown to help preserve our environment. We pride ourselves on being a good moral example for all the countries around the world, but we have taken a backseat on global warming issues and put our resources on war and destruction. The United States will take action against global warming until it is too late. We have a tendency not to react until permanent damage has been done and the government is affected.

            After much digging to find out who is really telling the truth I have come to the conclusion that the Tehran Times is telling more of a truth than the New York times. The reasons supporting my claim were not only found in additional newspaper articles found on the internet but also by finding information supporting the reasons that the United States would like to have Chavez removed from the presidency.

            Chavez was is a very vocal and opinionated president for Venezuela, especially against the United States and its actions. After the attack on the World Trade Center the United States attacked Afghanistan. Chavez spoke out against the United States stating that we were “fighting terrorism with terrorism” and referring to “the slaughter of innocents”. In response to Chavez’s comments, the bush administration withdrew the US ambassador from Venezuela. Chavez was friendly with Castro and has sold oil to Cuba in exchange for medical services; he also called for an end to the US embargo against Cuba ( With Venezuela being the third largest oil supplier in the world and the second largest oil supplier to the US, the United States can not allow a world leader to disagree with theirits policies. This is exactly how Chavez felt. Grammar: Need a bit more care with agreement

            Knowing that Chavez did not agree with United States policies, the US has been trying to get Chavez out of office since 2001. It has been proven that the United States has provided millions of dollars to opposition groups that were key participants in the coup that happened in April of 2002. It was also proven that the united States CIA had full knowledge of the coup against Chavez prior to the occurrence, but chose not to warn the Venezuelan President.

            The evidence against the United States Government regarding the coup in Venezuela continues to pile up. The US did a good job of covering up the incident at first, but new evidence continues to be released. While I believe that most news programs and newspapers are somewhat bias, I still believe that the Tehran Times article about the coup d’ete that happened in Venezuela on April 12th, 2002 was closer to the truth. After examining the two newspaper articles provided in our course packs as well as examining how the government has been involved in other coups and political cover-ups it is apparent that the United States has strong hold on the media and its citizens.

I realize now why it is so important that we investigate all aspects of history to ensure that what we are reading and studying is true. This is important in studying World War 1 because the government, not just the United States but England as well, has a tendency to glorify history and especially glorify war. This is apparent in WW1 with the way that Britain had all of the men cheering and excited to go to war, later to find out that it was not all that the government made it out to be. We saw the same thing with the war on Iraq. The US government painted a picture against Iraq that they were harboring weapons of mass destruction, playing on the sympathy of the American public after September 11th. If the public would dig deeper into some of the issues and be more informed, we may be able to avoid a lot of crimes against humanity that are government induced.

Here you miss the critical point:  Historical scholarship is a difficult undertaking, as you have just seen for yourself.  So, when we review any single claim of any historian, we must be skeptical.  We must consult 10 historians to resolve the issue, and even then we are not sure.  They lie, or they are misinformed, just like the NYT did on Venezuela.  That is the chief moral in WWI class.




Associated Press (as printed in the New York Times). 14 April 2002. Chavez reclaims Venezuelan Presidency. . Retrieved 10 February 2007


Blanton, Tom. 27 July 2001. CIA Stalling State Department Histories. retrieved 10 February 2007.


Blum, William. 2002. US Coup Against Chavez of Venezuela, 2002. . Retrieved 22 February 2007.


Golinger, Eva. The CIA was Involved with the Coup Against Venezuela’s Chavez. Retrieved 22 February 2007.


Kadane, Kathy. 1990. Ex-agents say CIA compiled death lists for Indonesians. Retrieved 10 February 2007.


Spartacus Educational. USA History: Slavery in the United States. Retrieved 15 February 2007.


Tehran Times. 14 April 2002. With Collapse of U.S.-Masterminded Coup Chavez Returns. . Retrieved 10 February 2007.


Wikipedia. History of Slavery in the United States.  www.// Retrieved 15 February 2007.


A few minor problems with grammar, and with main conclusion (see above).  But overall, an excellent first draft.  Thanks, and I’m posting it online.  I do so anonymously, to protect you.  If you want your name attached to this, let me know.

Grade: A