Big surprise, huh?

The U.S. government knew of a plot to oust Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in the weeks before a 2002 military coup that briefly unseated him, newly released CIA documents show, despite White House claims to the contrary.

“This is substantive evidence that the CIA knew in advance about the coup, and it is clear that this intelligence was distributed to dozens of members of the Bush administration, giving them knowledge of coup plotting,” said Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archives.

Chavez, of course, returned to office a few days later, the coup failed, and the left is on the ascendant in Latin America.

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