Your tax dollars at work
The vehicle for this meddling in Venezuela is the National Endowment for Democracy, which calls itself “a private, nonprofit organization” but is funded by U.S. taxpayers. Its self-described mission is “to strengthen democratic institutions around the world through nongovernmental efforts.”
In the case of Venezuela, “strengthening democratic institutions” has meant financing groups that helped carry out the failed coup attempt against Chavez in April 2002. Coup leaders representing the traditional oligarchy in Venezuela, and their supporters in the U.S. government, saw a “problem”: Chavez is genuinely interested in a fairer distribution of wealth and refuses to subordinate his country to U.S. policy. Their “solution” was a coup that lasted for 48 hours, during which an illegal decree installed a businessman as president and dissolved the National Assembly and the Supreme Court. The United States quickly backed the coup, until loyal officers and civilian groups restored Chavez to office.
Former President Jimmy Carter monitored the Venezuela election and found it clean, as did the other observers. The Venezuela right wing, and the Bushies by proxy, got their butts kicked 58%-42%.