A few weeks ago, during the first wave of the Wikileaks scandal, the US State Department released its own set of declassified documents on US diplomacy and relations with Venezuela. While I initially feared that these documents would be rather bland and not contain anything interesting, I was quickly proven wrong upon my initial review of the document containing information on months leading up to the 2002 “coup attempt.”
Below is an index of other content areas included in the collection. The full collection can be found on the US State Department website.
Venezuelan Declassification Collection
February 4, 1992 Venezuelan Coup Attempt – This collection consists of documents relating to the failed coup d’état in Venezuela on February 4, 1992 including the political atmosphere prior to the coup to reaction to the coup by Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez and from around the world, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. The attempt to remove President Perez from power was carried out by army units led in part by Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chavez.
Bolivarian Army of Liberation (FBL) – This collection contains documents relating to violent attacks and assassination attempts by the Bolivarian Army of Liberation and the response to these attacks.
November 27, 1992 Venezuelan Coup Attempt – This collection consists of documents relating to the failed coup d’état in Venezuela on November 27, 1992 and the consequences for the December 6 regional elections. The attempted coup was led by units of the Venezuelan Air Force.
The 1998 Venezuelan Elections and Bolivarianism – U.S. relations with Venezuela during the initial social, economic, and political transfThis collection consists of documents relating to the 1998 Regional and Presidential Elections in Venezuela, in particular the candidacy and election of Hugo Chavez as Venezuela’s President. Included in this collection are documents concerning ormation of Venezuela in the first year of the Presidency of Hugo Chavez.
Death of Danilo Anderson – This collection consists of documents relating to Danilo Anderson, a Venezuelan Prosecutor who was killed when a car bomb was detonated on November 18, 2004. Danilo Anderson had been preparing a case against about 400 opposition members, including politicians, lawyers and businessmen, accused of supporting a short-lived coup against the government of Hugo Chavez in 2002.
Expanded Powers and Opposition – This collection consists of documents relating to President Hugo Chavez’s attempts to enact sweeping political, economic and social changes in Venezuela and opposition to these attempted changes.
The August 15, 2004 Recall Referendum – this collection consists of documents relating to the recall referendum against Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on August 15, 2004. Efforts to initiate a referendum on the mandate of President Chávez began in 2003 when the non-government organization Súmate, whose interests include monitoring elections in Venezuela, organized a nationwide signature collection for nine petitions. These petitions included one for Chávez’s recall and another for a constitutional amendment to shorten the President’s term to four years. After a court battle to determine the validity of a number of signatures necessary to meet the constitutional requirement, the referendum was held on August 15, 2004. This collection includes documents concerning the prosecution of some members of Súmate, including María Corina Machado, accused of treason and conspiracy in connection with the referendum and its receipt of funding from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).