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Caracas, Saturday December 17 , 2005  
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Government insists on US-backed plot against Venezuela

* National Assembly president Nicolás Maduro and parliamentarian Cilia Flores, both members of ruling party MVR, on December 13th filed new evidence of a plan intended to "isolate" and "destabilize" Venezuela, and directly accused a US congresswoman of involvement in said plot.

* Flores disclosed a recording of an alleged conversation between two Venezuelan women, Patricia Andrade and Tamara Suju, tuning up details to report human right violations in Venezuela after December 4th parliament polls. According to Flores, Andrade and Suju had support from US Congress representative Ileana Ross Letinen.

* Flores added that they planned to offer a news conference "to demonstrate -based on all the maneuvers of Ms Patricia Andrade-" that "Venezuela has incurred in human rights violations."

* "For such purposes, this Ms Patricia Andrade has an alliance or a combination with Cuban-US congresswoman Ileana Ross, who is widely known because she allegedly works with all the cases of human rights violations. And she is now setting this trap against Venezuela. They planned to show, in the days after December 4, that Venezuela is involved in human rights violations," Flores added.
* She insisted that "the US Embassy, President George W. Bush' administration, CIA, and stateless Venezuelans" are involved in this plan and are "plotting to destroy not only democracy but also the peace of Venezuelans."

* Flores said Andrade, who has lived in US over the last 10 years, "is an undercover agent with CIA. She has direct contact with destabilizing and terrorist sectors in Venezuela, those who participated in April 11 coup, and who conceived a plan (to prevent) December 4th (parliament polls), as we had previously reported."

* Flores said Tamara Suju, a niece of retired general Oswaldo Suju Rafu, is a friend of general Felipe Rodríguez, known as the Raven, who has been accused in connection with murder and explosive attacks against diplomatic premises in Venezuela.

* US Ambassador to Venezuela William Brownfield denied again an involvement in any plot to destabilize the government of President Hugo Chávez.

* Brownfield spoke ironically about "the number of plots and conspiracies I am managing at this current time. I think they are about 23 or 24."

* The official repeated that Washington has no involvement, interest or activity whatsoever aimed at overthrowing the Venezuelan government.

* For his part, Luis Posada Carrilles' attorney Joaquín Chaffardet labeled as show and reckless charges against him by a group of pro-government deputies about a presumed plot to "isolate and destabilize" Venezuela.

* Chaffardet refused "any link with such activities. No military action is necessary, because I particularly do not trust in the army and do not want a military government."

* "Nicolás Maduro (the chair of the National Assembly) or even the President of the Republic are not men enough to intimidate me."

* A special committee of the National Assembly as of January 5th is to delve into an alleged plot to destabilize Venezuela following December 4th parliament election, as reported on December 13th by a group of pro-government parliamentarians, including the chair of the legislature, Nicolás Maduro.

* Pro-government parliamentarians Cilia Flores, Darío Vivas, and Ricardo Sanguino presented recordings of an alleged phone conversation between Venezuelan citizens Patricia Andrade and Tamara Sujú.

* In such a conversation, Ms Andrade and Ms Sujú mentioned local TV networks Radio Caracas Televisión and Globovisión in connection with the alleged plot, which also involves Cuban-US congresswoman Eliana Rosset. The pro-government parliamentarians therefore demanded an explanation from those television stations.

* Maduro reminded that he recently filed with the Attorney General's Office and the Military Attorney General's Office a claim on an "international conspiracy." He insisted that the newly elected Parliament is to conduct a more comprehensive investigation into this issue.

* Maduro also ensured he is to present these recordings to the Organization of American States, as in their conversation one of the women mentioned the possibility to ask OAS international observers to participate in a trial against dissident general Rodríguez on January 16, 2006.

* The group of pro-government lawmakers insisted that the United States is involved in this plot and asked the US Embassy to Venezuela for an explanation on the "diplomatic valises" Ms Andrade and Ms Sujú mentioned in their conversation.

* Meanwhile, deputy Sanguino stressed that the plan was intended to "create a front against Venezuela in order to isolate President (Hugo) Chávez."

* Pro-Chávez parliamentarian Darío Vivas ensured that the plot included funding opposition parties for them to withdraw from December 4th polls. According to Vivas, US ambassador William Brownfield "cannot do anything he wants without giving any notice to the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Ministry."

* Based on the conversation between Ms Andrade and Ms Sujú, deputy Flores concluded that they wanted to seek political refugee status for Luis Posada Carriles and "involve general Felipe Rodríguez (known as "the Raven") in such a negotiation."

* Venezuelan Vice-President José Vicente Rangel would not be surprised about any involvement of US Ambassador William Brownfield in a plot denounced recently by pro-government deputies.

* "It would be not surprising, as CIA and intelligence agencies are everywhere," he added.

* Rangel was reminded that the US diplomat denied any link with a plot against Venezuela. "Criminals deny having committed a crime," he answered.

* On the claims made recently by deputies Nicolás Maduro and Cilia Flores, the senior official maintained that significant evidence has been submitted.

* "Every week, there is conspiracy in Venezuela. And we have security and intelligence agencies that disclose such plots."

* State security agencies had addressed already the claims of plot made recently at the National Assembly (AN,) Minister of the Interior and Justice Jesse Chacón said.

* The efforts of the Military Intelligence Division (DIM,) the Directorate for Intelligence, Security and Prevention (Disip,) the navy and the army, helped unveil a plot of some opposition sectors to cause chaos during the elections for parliament, the Minister said in a press release, as quoted by official news agency ABN.

* The minister recalled that the plan started with student riots in Andean Trujillo state, followed by placement of some explosive devices in Caracas, and finally burst of an oil pipeline in Paraguaná refinery.

* The senior official noted much progress in the investigations and hinted upcoming detentions of conspirators.

* US ambassador William Brownfield on December 15th said his country's relations with Venezuela are not going through their best time and hoped things improve next year.

* "This has been a year with sensitive and difficult times," the diplomat stressed.

* "I hope we may reach any agreement allowing greater cooperation in the issue of illegal drugs. I hope we may clarify a little this matter of spare parts and pieces supply for F-16s owned by the Venezuelan Air Force. I hope we may successfully solve some trade issues involving US private firms and the Venezuelan government," said Brownfield, listing some of his expectations for 2006.

* He also voiced interest in achieving "some progress in the issue of free trade in the hemisphere and close the gap between the 29 countries supporting the Free Trade Area of the Americas, the four nations that prefer to wait and see, and the one nation that backs a different model (referring to Venezuela's proposal, called Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas)."

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