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Thursday, April 29, 2004

Writing to Congress about Venezuela
I just used the web forms to send the following message to Senators Levin and Stabenow and Representative Dingell:

Dear Senator Levin:
I recently returned from a two-week trip to Venezuela. It is a wonderful country with wonderful people. I am deeply concerned that our government may be trying to unduly interfere in the politics there.

President Chavez was elected twice by a large majority of Venezuelans. The unseemly haste with which the Bush administration was willing to recognize the illegitimate coup of 2002 was deeply offensive to many people there, and suggested that the coup leaders had American backing. The so-called National Endowment for Democracy appears still to be meddling in Venezuelan affairs, especially the attempt to have a recall referendum on Chavez.

I met with both supporters and opponents of Chavez during my visit, and was impressed with the sincerity and passion with which they all approach their government. I believe that they can successfully address, if not fully resolve, their differences without U.S. interference. In fact, I suspect that U.S. meddling would likely make the situation far worse.

Please let me know what you know about any interference by the NED or other U.S. agencies in the internal affairs of Venezuela, and please encourage our government to let the sovereign people of Venezuela decide their own future.

Thank you!