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Context of 'January 2004: Venezuelan Coup Plotter Wins Excellence Award'

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Air Force Colonel Pedro Soto, on a visit to Washington, attends a House committee hearing in which Otto J. Reich, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, is testifying. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) introduces Soto as a “great patriot.” [Washington Post, 4/21/2002, pp. A01]

Entity Tags: Carlos Molina, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Otto Juan Reich

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Rogelio Pardo-Maurer, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Western Hemisphere affairs, meets with chief of Venezuela’s military high command, General Lucas Romero Rincon. Pardo-Maurer, who served for three years as the chief of staff to the representative of the Nicaraguan contras, later tells the New York Times that he told Rincon during this meeting that the US would not support a coup against Chavez. “Nada de golpes,” he claims to have told him. [New York Times, 4/23/2002] Rincon will participate in the April 2002 coup attempt to unseat Chavez (see April 11, 2002).

Entity Tags: Lucas Romero Rincon, Rogelio Pardo-Maurer

Timeline Tags: US International Relations, US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Venezuelan Vice Admiral Carlos Molina has a meeting with a US official. (The identity of this official is not known. According to the Washington Post, the official is not affiliated with the US embassy.) [Washington Post, 4/18/2002, pp. A17]

Entity Tags: Hugo Chavez Frias, Fox News

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Venezuelan Rear Admiral Carlos Molina reportedly attends meetings with US officials during the weeks leading up to the April 11 overthrow of Hugo Chavez, according to several retired Venezuelan military officers and members of the post-coup provisional government. Molina however denies this in a post-coup interview with the Washington Post. According to Molinas, he had not had any contact with US officials “for many months.” [Washington Post, 4/21/2002, pp. A01]

Entity Tags: Carlos Molina

Timeline Tags: US International Relations, US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

Washington awards coup plotter Gustavo Cisnero the Inter-american Economic Council’s “Prestigious Excellence in Leadership” award. [Venezuela Analysis, 1/29/2004; VHeadline, 1/30/2004; US Newswire, 12/24/2004]

Entity Tags: Gustavo Cisnero

Timeline Tags: US-Venezuela (1948-2005)

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