In the midst of an international campaign launched against President Chávez, carried out by the extreme Right from Colombia and supported by Washington, the US State Department has organized and financed the trip of eight young Venezuelan politicians to the USA in order to denounce the Venezuelan government and to strengthen the links between young US Republicans and the Venezuelan Right. The eight young Venezuelan men and women have been selected by the US State Department as part of the program “Democracy for young political leaders”. It is a project of the interchange program “International Visitor Leaders – Venezuela”, which is being used by the Washington administration to recruit and train political actors who would later on promote the North American agenda in Venezuela.
The trip to the USA, during which the young Venezuelans were accompanied by US State Department representatives, lasted three weeks, from August 17th to September 4th. They visited different US cities, meeting with political groups and institutions apart from meetings with the communication media and Washington agencies. The US State Departments’ International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) (1) was created by Washington as part of a propaganda initiative aimed at recruiting spokespersons and international political actors willing to promote the imperial agenda. During the program, the participants attended training workshops conducted by political representatives of the USA on representative democracy, freedom of the press (à la USA), and reinforcement of political parties and leadership, amongst other topics.
However, this trip in particular takes place at a moment when the international Right, together with Washington, is carrying out a smear campaign against the Venezuelan government and the Bolivarian Revolution, with emphasis on the figure of President Chávez. In this context, the young Venezuelan men and women, paid and accompanied by the US State Department during their visit, issued statements to the US press, attacking, accusing, and trying to discredit President Chávez and the policies of the Venezuelan government. One of the Venezuelan students, Gabriel Alejandro Gallo Garrido, Director and Coordinator of the National Students Parliament of the capital district, declared to the US press that “We [in Venezuela] don’t know how a democracy works… the socialist model of President Hugo Chávez is a joke, and he [Chávez] is lying when he says that he guarantees medical assistance and health for all citizen… The Cuban doctors are no specialists and only provide preventive care”.
Also José Igancio Cayetaño Güedez Yépez, the young vice-president of the political party Un Nuevo Tiempo in the State of Lara, declared to the US press that “the United States has the world’s best model of democracy…at least [the USA does] have a system…in Venezuela for someone like me who opposes Chávez, we don’t have anything…”.
The visit of the young Venezuelans supported by the US State Department takes place exactly at a moment when the Venezuelan opposition is once again trying to promote destabilization in the country in order to attract international attention. They carried out various violent demonstrations against the recently passed Education Law (Ley Orgánica de Educación, LOE) and a rally titled “No more Chávez” (“NO MÁS CHÁVEZ”) aimed at inciting hatred, violence, destabilization, and the assassination of President Chávez.
It is extremely worrisome that by now the US State Department would overtly finance young men and women who belong to the Venezuelan opposition to make them go to the United States to slander their country and their president. In fact, this is an act that converts these eight men and women into Washington’s agents, carrying out a US State Department-funded, destabilization campaign against the Venezuelan government. The young Venezuelans have also been promoting the NO MÁS CHÁVEZ-rally from the USA during their visit. This link doubtlessly confirms that Washington actually is behind the international campaign aimed at vilifying President Chávez and promoting hatred and violence against him as well as his assassination. In addition, this confirms that the US State Department continues to actively finance the opposition’s student movement in Venezuela and the political party Un Nuevo Tiempo. These two organizations are the main promoters of destabilization in the country.
The eight young Venezuelan men and women who are being financed by the US State Department on this occasion include:
· Zaimar Yulieth Castillo Carvajal, Secretary of Inter-Institutional Affairs of the Venezuelan Law Students Federation (Secretaria de Asuntos Inter-Institucionales de la Federación de Estudiantes de Derecho de Venezuela, FEDEVE);
· Gabriel Alejandro Gallo Garrido, Director and Coordinator of the National Students Parliament for the capital district (Director y Coordinador del Parlimento Nacional Estudiantil por el Distrito Capital);
· José Ignacio Cayetano Guedez Yépez, Vice-President of the political party Un Nuevo Tiempo in the State of Lara;
· Angel de Jesús Paredes Monsalve, member of the Students Council of Political Science, Universidad de Los Andes;
· Victor Martin Pérez Moreno, Founding Member, Leader and Coordinator of the Students Movement of the Universidad de Oriente (Líder Fundador y Coordinador del Movimiento Estudiantíl en la Universidad de Oriente);
· Anais de los Ángeles Plaza Izquierdo, Coordinator of the National Student Movement, Un Nuevo Tiempo (Coordinadora de Organización del Movimiento Estudiantil Nacional, Un Nuevo Tiempo);
· Danny Alejandro Ramirez Contrera, Advisor, Special Security Program of the city of San Cristobal, in the State of Táchira; and
· Aimara Tibisay Rivas Palacios, Assistant President of the Federation of University Centers of the Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida (Asistente Presidente de la Federación de Centros Estudiantiles Universitarios of the Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida).
(1) T.n.: See the information provided at the US State Department’s website: Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs: International Visitor Leadership Program.
Original Source in Spanish: Rebelión El Departamento de Estado financia jóvenes venezolanos para hablar mal de Chávez en EEUU; published on September 4th, 2009.
This article has been translated from Spanish into English for Axis of Logic by Iris Buehler and revised by Les Blough, who are members of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity.