Golinger, Eva. THE CHÁVEZ CODE: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela. 2006. Olive Branch Press, MA, USA.

“In the case of Venezuela, as this book makes clear, the US government added yet another stain to its national honor. Golinger shows the incontrovertible facts of Washington´s attempt to overthrow the government of Hugo ChÁvez…
…Golinger´s prose radiates a fierce sense of the law´s moral importance. This young Venezuelan–American attorney uses her fact–filled pages almost like a legal brief…” from the foreword by Saul Landau.

THE CHÁVEZ CODE by Eva Golinger: A Book Review

When Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela spoke last year at the UN General Assembly he held up Chomsky´s Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of the United States. He said, “It’s an excellent book to help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout the 20th century, and what’s happening now, and the greatest threat looming over our planet… The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a sword hanging over our heads.”

Eva Golinger's Book Review

Photo © Theresa Wolfwood.

The next time he speaks at the UN he may well recommend Golinger´s book as a specific example of Chomsky´s thesis. It is an extraordinarily well–documented case study of one USA operation with the goal to destroy Venezuela´s democratically elected government. Golinger is both passionate and meticulous in her presentation of a few dramatic years of recent history that historians may one day see as the pivotal period of Latin American history – a time when USA intervention throughout the hemisphere began to crack. Would that Canadians will read it and take heed before we are wedded fast to deep integration.

Eva Golinger is a Venezuelan–American lawyer, educated in USA who now lives in Caracas. She slogged through bureaucracy and archives for several years and acquired through the USA Freedom of Information Act the details of the USA government agencies and their front groups that participated in the short-lived effort to overthrow Chávez and his government, otherwise known as ´funding democracy.´ Even USAID, supposedly a humanitarian & development fund became ´a fund for the CIA to dip into for covert interventions.´The evidence is in the documents reprinted in the 100 page appendices – it is all there to read and her concise history in the book links this evidence to the actual events. But Golinger cautions us that she is still working on collecting evidence and that the full extent of USA involvement is yet to be revealed.

“I am ever more committed to bringing to light the injustices caused at the hands of the US government and conducted in the name of the US people.”

She goes back to early Venezuelan history, its rise as an oil producer and its various elected governments which in spite of corruption did manage to create some social infrastructure with oil money. She also takes us back to previous USA interventions, reminding us of the overthrow of Salvador Allende and the Contra war against Nicaragua´s Sandinistas. Then she takes us year by year, month by month, day by day and even hour by hour through the build up and attempt to overthrow democracy in Venezuela.

The so-called Cold War fuelled the USA-backed violence for decades in Latin America. So what is the excuse now for such blatant intervention?  Back to Chomsky´s explanation of the drive for USA hegemony or “full-spectrum dominance” as it is officially called. And of Venezuela, Golinger writes, “Venezuela presents a new and more threatening challenge for the United States. As the fourth largest supplier of petroleum in the world, Venezuela, the port of South America´, is a national security interest for the USA.”

After 2000, the USA began to feel hostile towards a government that was friendly with Cuba, revitalized OPEC, had contacts with Libya and Iraq and focussed on policies that would reduce poverty (at home and abroad) and promoted greater participatory democracy. Wealthy Venezuelan elites (at home and in Miami) who were unhappy with these policies and trends, embedded themselves with Washington, and were instrumental in working with the USA and the plot to overthrow Chávez. Even the Canadian government has used our taxes through CIDA to fund an anti–democracy group, SUMATE. It is important to read this book and understand the complexities of global intrigue because there is no way the USA and its friends have given up on Venezuela and this book (now in its 5th edition with hundreds of thousands of copies issued in Spanish and English) is a case study for many USA interventions. Chávez and his government and friends, including this author are still in danger.

She spoke in Victoria in 2007 and was surprised at the large turnout and the level of interest in her book and its subject. Although tired and tense (she was on the road for months, has received many death threats and has given up her law practice to work for Venezuela), she was eloquent and enthusiastic about the hope and concrete example that Venezuela provides to Latin America, indeed to the world.

She said that “when people´s rights are legislated, they are just pretty,” but when a government actually enacts and enforces these rights, change happens. A government that creates and brings to life a new participatory constitution, openly exports the principles of the Bolivarian Revolution, opposes war in Iraq and Afghanistan, creates new international institutions – banks, media, trade and health agreements, and rolls back neo–liberalism and privatization to create economic rights for the population is a government to be feared by imperialistic powers and to be supported by those who aspire for a government in other countries that might enact bold justice.

Filed under Book Reviews, Eva Golinger