Members of Congress Question IMF on Coup in Venezuela
Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, August 21, 2007
[link to the Members' letter:
link to the IMF statement:
One activity you can't do too much: challenge the hollowness of the
Bush Administration's rhetoric about "supporting democracy." And, so
long as this Administration is in office, it's not too late for
Congress to demand straight answers about past actions.
Last week five Members of Congress - Reps. Dennis Kucinich, Raul
Grijalva, Jose Serrano, Barbara Lee, and Tammy Baldwin - sent a letter
to the head of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo de Rato,
asking about a statement by IMF spokesman Thomas Dawson in 2002, hours
after a military coup overthrowing the democratically elected
Venezuelan government, in which Dawson, reading from a prepared text,
said "we stand ready to assist the new administration in whatever
manner they find suitable."
This was a remarkable statement, given that the IMF, a U.S.-taxpayer
funded institution, is not supposed to interfere in countries'
political affairs. It's hard to imagine a more dramatic interference
than endorsing a military coup as it's unfolding.
The Members of Congress asked the IMF:
How, when, and by whom was this decision made?
Did IMF officials have any advance knowledge a coup would take place?
Has the IMF ever decided this quickly to support a government that had
taken power by military coup?
They also asked for all documents and records relating to the decision.
So far there has been no response from the U.S. taxpayer-funded IMF.
It's virtually impossible that this decision was taken without the
knowledge of Bush Administration officials.
The question is: which officials? Who gave the green light?
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