Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's Phones are Tapped

By Patrick J. O'Donoghue
October 28, 2007

All the Venezuelan President's phone lines are tapped and for sale News Editor Patrick J. O'Donoghue writes: In his weekly column editor/publisher, Miguel Salazar claims that phone and electronic recordings have been on the rise over the last couple of months.

Salazar highlights but witholds some of the people involved in the espionage and cites as examples the state security organs, one of which offers its services to a powerful business man belonging to the new boli-bourgeoisie.

A group of business persons contract lawyer firms as intermediaries in obtaining phone conversations.

One of the objectives, apart from eavesdropping on journalists is to control and detect all the phone links of PDVSA marketing, the Finance Ministry and those who managing stock exchange and financial market info.

Another center is inside the exchange administration committee (Cadivi).

The MIJ is heavily infiltrated, Salazar contends, but worse still is the revelation that presidential phone lines have been intervened, allowing the listeners to check all the President's movements.

Top on the tap list is the President's foreign policy and especially, the editor insists, recent negotiations with Colombia regarding the Castilletes maritime border dispute and the humanitarian agreement.

Taped messages are for sale to foreign intelligence agencies.

The government will find it hard to tackle the leaks, the editor concludes, because the intelligence agencies are themselves infiltrated.

Salazar accuses unscrupulous business persons identified with the government as leading the collection and sale business, not the opposition.

In his main commentary, Salazar adds that he disagrees with modifications in Art. 337 regarding states of exception, which has already been passed by parliament, calling it a "contraband" piece of legislation that nobody seems to know who actually introduced it as one of the added 25 new modifications.

All his life, Salazar muses, he has been fighting for the right to due process and freedom of information and warns that he will not vote for the referendum, if it means accepting such right-wing contraband.

Patrick J. O'Donoghue

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