There is a major referendum today in Venezuela, granting Hugo Chavez the opportunity to stand for election beyond a fixed number of terms. Many see this as a step toward totalitarianism and students in their thousands came out to protest "Not like this" on Thursday. Reuters
But there is also a document in circulation claimed to be from a CIA operative in Caracas to CIA Director General Michael Hayden, uncovered yesterday, outlining a plan for interfering with a Venezuelan referendum set for Dec. 2, and laying out the steps for instigating and backing a coup. The plot, called "Operation Pliers," and laid out in the letter to Hayden by an undercover operative named Michael Steele, who reportedly works in the US Embassy as a "regional affairs officer," was intercepted by Venezuelan intelligence and released publicly on state TV yesterday. Associated Press. Another blog that has reported this in the peak oil forum has, by some coincidence, been hacked. Peak Oil Forum. I would point out though that the veracity of this document is yet to proved. operation-pliers. For more detail on the memorandum see :- IndyMedia Belgium
In response Chavez is threatening to cut-off oil exports to the US and possibly elsewhere thus creating the shortage that will fuel a massive price increase in black gold if there's evidence of interference in the referendum. He is also joining a call to price oil in the more stable Euro rather than US Dollars.
No doubt Bush and his cohorts will be fully aware of this power that Venezuela has, and they may react badly when they are cornered. A mistaken image mix-up by the CNN Spanish service ask a question "who killed him" under an picture of Chavez, how predictive is this?