CIA boss says Cuba and Venezuela are 'unstable'

Campaign News | Thursday, 17 February 2005

Goss goes on offensive as Negroponte becomes 'Intelligence Tzar'

Washington Feb 17. - CIA director Porter Goss is the latest USA official to take a potshot at Cuba and Venezuela, saying he considers the countries potentially unstable in 2005.

Speaking to the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Goss says Venezuela, Colombia, Haiti, Cuba and Mexico are on his list of unstable countries in South America.

He said the countries could become conflictive points this year. Goss insists that even though the principal enemy remains Al Qaeda, there is concern about the situation in some Latin American countries and of course, Venezuela and Cuba top the list.

According to the CIA, Venezuelan President Chavez Frias is consolidating his power vis-a-vis the opposition, using "technically legal tactics" and furthermore, is interfering in other countries with Fidel Castro's support.

Cuba is a cause for concern he says because of the alleged ill health on the part of aging Fidel Castro, raising speculations about a possible successor.

The upcoming elections in Colombia, the USA's principal ally in South America, could "disrupt the advances in Plan Colombia's anti-terrorist and anti-drugs programs brought about by Alvaro Uribe's leadership."

Goss maintains that the USA will continue to support Plan Colombia and President Uribe's strategy to wage war on Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) narco-trafficking.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has confirmed that the USA will continue to fund Plan Colombia or Plan Patriotico, as it is called in Colombia.

The appointment of John Negroponte as the new US Intelligence chief hammers home President Bush's new foreign policy of the big stick.

Negroponte is remembered in Latin America for his controversial role as US Ambassador to Honduras 1981-1985 when he allegedly supported human rights abuses and set up a training camp for the Nicaraguan Contras.

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