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Monday, August 28, 2006


U.S. diplomats and their strange personal habits

[First posted 8/26, 8:36 p.m.; updated and bumped]

The U.S. is up in arms (not yet literally, but with the U.S., nothing can ever be taken for granted) because Venezuela searched and seized some "diplomatic" baggage. The State Department had this to say about the seized shipment: "The impounded cargo consisted of household effects of a U.S. diplomat and a shipment of commissary goods." Well now that is interesting. Because here's what the shipment did consist of: "ejector seats apparently intended for Venezuelan combat jets, explosive charges and about 180 pounds of chicken that did not pass through sanitary inspection."

Update: It turns out there's even more to the story:

The detection of detonators and cables used for explosives in a cargo for the U.S. embassy is heightening suspicions that that country's intervention in Venezuela is moving beyond rhetoric and financing the opposition.

According to PL [Prensa Latina]; the dispatch was found on August 23 in an air freight of 20 crates to be entered in the country via diplomatic exemption.

The incident casts serious concerns as to possible White House assistance to violent sectors of the opposition, at a point when some sources have warned of a subversive plot in the context of the presidential elections in December.

Curiously, the freight was detected a few days after the escape from military prison of four conspirators, some of them officers linked to the 2004 entry into Venezuela of Colombian paramilitaries who, according to investigations, had instructions to commit sabotage operations and assassinate political figures, including President Hugo Chavez.

Jesse Chacon, the Venezuelan minister of justice and the interior, stated that a crate supposedly containing material for the Armed Forces, which arrived on the same flight, was taken out of the airport without passing through the arms control authorities.

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