Perhaps no world leader is better placed to challenge the global authority of the United States than Hugo Chavez, the populist leader of Venezuela. As the head of one of the world's largest oil-producing countries, Chavez has been instrumental in raising world oil prices, undermining the control and profits of the multinational oil companies, and introducing innovative plans to use the wealth from this natural resource to help the impoverished-rather than the already powerful-in his own country and around the world. As the popularly elected president of one of South America's largest democracies, his strong resistance to the Bush administration's Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) has severely set back, if not derailed entirely, the US's long-held hemispheric agenda.
When in 2005 Bush ally and Christian fundamentalist Pat Robertson called for Chavez's assassination ("It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war"), public outcry forced some questions: Was that, in fact, a CIA goal? Did the US have plans to invade Venezuela (as Chavez alluded to receiving intelligence about on Nightline in September 2005)? And exactly what was the extent of US knowledge of or involvement in the April 2002 coup against Chavez? (He was back in power within two days, after 250,000 took to the streets in Venezuela to protest.)
Venezuelan-American attorney Eva Golinger and journalist Jeremy Bigwood have used the US Freedom of Information Act to obtain government documents about US intervention in Venezuela. The Chavez Code contains this irrefutable evidence that, at the very least, the US knew about the plot to overthrow Chavez before it happened. The history of US interventions across Latin America, the suspicious blacked-out lines and pages, and the ongoing investigation suggest an even darker tale.