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by Juan Pérez Cabral

JULY 31, 2002. As the Venezuelan Supreme Court deliberated over whether four military officers should be tried for leading April's failed coup against duly elected President Hugo Chávez, the United States announced that it has found itself innocent of supporting the coup.

According to State Department spokesman Philip Reeker, the department's inspector general found "that the policy of the United States toward Venezuela during this period was to support democracy." One may wonder which period.

Perhaps the one when a spokesman for President Bush conceded that although Chávez "was democratically elected" one had to bear in mind that "legitimacy is something that is conferred not just by a majority of the voters, however..."

Or when, skirting the C word, the Bushies fell over each other to congratulate "interim president" Pedro Carmona.

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