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The ‘impartial’ advocates of Venezuela’$ Hugo Chavez, Part IV

By Aleksander Boyd

London 17 Jun. 04 – A sheet defined as Supplemental Statement- Foreign Agent Registration Act was filled on February 27, 2004 by the Venezuelan Information Office, LLC. Section 14 (a) for Receipt- Monies contains the following question: During this 6 month reporting period, have you received from any foreign principal named in items 7. 8 and 9 of this statement, or from any other source, for or in the interests of any such foreign principal, any contributions, income or money either as compensation or otherwise? Yes (x) No ( )

If no, explain why.

If yes, set forth below in the required detail and separately for each foreign principal an account of such monies.

Date From Whom Purpose Amount
7/11/03 Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Setup of Public Relations Office $39.055
9/24/03 Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Educational and Public Relations Activities $131.697
11/24/03 Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Educational and Public Relations Activities $159.147
1/9/04 Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Returned to Embassy of Venezuela) -$53.189,86
1/12/04 Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Returned to Embassy of Venezuela) -$2.500

                                                                                                                                                      Total        $274.209,14

Evidently the government of Hugo Chavez disburses large amounts of money in education plans. Not only the Venezuelan dispossessed need literacy ‘misiones,’ in the regime’s view Washingtonites also have to be taken out from their obscure ignorance in respect to our country’s situation. Section 15 (A) identified as Disbursement- Monies goes as follows:

Initial Office Setup $6.540,38
Salaries of Employees and Contract Employees $124.376,49
Employee Health Benefits $11.398,89
Employer Unemployment Taxes $8.989,79
Office Rent $12.700
Office Telephone $421,77
Cellular Telephone $5.257,62
Payroll Services $224,62
Local transportation and parking $831,60
Office supplies $2.319,90
Printing and copying $2.403,91
Meals and hospitality (no members of press or government officials $982,19
Computer technical assistance $816,21
Video duplication $3.076,90
Publications $2.602,19
Subscriptions $169,22
Shipping and postage $1.466,34
Other expenses $1.190,50
Trip to Pax Christi Conference, New York City (August 2003) $722,76
Fact-finding trip to Venezuela (August 2003) $3.549,21
Trip to California with Venezuelan Ambassador (October 2003) $4.519,27
Trip to Florida and Georgia (November 2003) $1.783,38
Trip to Conference on Media Reform in Madison, Wisc. (November 2003) $1.926,60
Trip to Venezuela (January 2003) $2.179,50
Film to benefit "Healthcare Across Borders" (December 2003) $2.481,93
Payment to Independent Contractors $51.250
Purchase of Computer Equipment $10.617,14
Travel expenses to Venezuela $7.441
Satellite transmission costs $1.876

                                                                                                                  Total expenses   $274.115,31

The above item, "Film to benefit 'Healthcare Across Borders' was a contribution to a fund-raising campaign for medical supplies for Venezuela, constituting a 'transmittal of monies to a foreign principal'". The amount was $2.481,00

We then find the Itemized air travel expenses of the VIO

Date of travel Identity of travelers Destination Purpose of travel Amount
August 18-29, 2003 Bev Hoffman, Jennifer Russell, Glenn Rabut Caracas, Venezuela Fact-finding trip to Venezuela by VIO personnel $1.426,20
August 18-29, 2003 Bev Hoffman, Jennifer Russell, Glenn Rabut Barquisimeto, Venezuela (from Caracas) Fact-finding trip to Venezuela by VIO personnel $307,02
26-Aug-03 Bev Hoffman Caracas, Venezuela (from Barquisimeto) Fact-finding trip to Venezuela by VIO personnel $68,26
Oct. 24-Nov. 1, 2003 Bev Hoffman San Francisco, CA Public relations trip with Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez and Press Counselor Andres Izarra $313
Oct. 24-Nov. 1, 2003 Bev Hoffman Los Angeles, CA Public relations trip with Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez and Press Counselor Andres Izarra $172
Oct. 24-Nov. 1, 2003 Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez Los Angeles, CA Public relations trip with Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez and Press Counselor Andres Izarra $106
Oct. 24-Nov. 1, 2003 Press Counselor Andres Izarra Los Angeles, CA Public relations trip with Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez and Press Counselor Andres Izarra $106
Nov. 17-Dec. 1, 2003 Bev Hoffman Miami, FL Public Relations trip to Miami, FL and Atlanta, GA $424
Nov. 7-9, 2003 Nathan Converse Madison, WI Attend Conference on Media Reform $388
Nov. 7-9, 2003 Eva Golinger Madison, WI Attend Conference on Media Reform $380
Jan. 5-16, 2003* Press Counselor Andres Izarra (Venezuelan Embassy) Caracas, Venezuela Fact-finding trip to Venezuela in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King $989,50
October 2003 Venezuelan Embassy personnel Caracas, Venezuela Embassy Business $665

*Year may be 2004                                                                                                          Total       $5.374,98

Details of Bev Hoffman's and Jennifer Russell's contracts have been provided already (I will scan and post the VIO file in its entirety). However missionary Glenn Rabut, Press Counselor Andres Izarra and Eva Golinger merit some comments. Mr Rabut has been involved in social work in Venezuela for quite some time now. In a note dated September 2001 Rabut cites“we and our two children have been serving for the past three years as Maryknoll lay missioners in Venezuela.” This excerpt describes his mission “Glenn works with a small Christian community of some 20 families, who meet regularly to read the Bible and apply the Word of God to their daily lives.” Apart from his role as paterfamilias Rabut had other noble tasks in Barquisimeto such as encouraging people to “get involved in local affairs, such as cleaning up the neighbourhood or pressuring the municipality to provide better services. He also works with a youth group, teaching the kids to work together on local projects.” This statement of his “public schools and health care are now totally free and exempt from “collaboration fees.” Increased percentages of the national budget have been given to health, education and housing, and for the first time we have spacious and attractive schools, hospitals, community centres and sports complexes in our own very poor communities” of January 30, 2003, coupled with his record in the social field, must have drawn the attention of Venezuelan officials who contracted his services, at a rate of $35.000, for a period spanning from September 2003 to June 2004 according to a Short Form Registration Statement filled on September 17, 2003.

Press Counselor Andres Izarra

This high flyer is one of the ‘impartial’ interviewees with a leading performance in Bartley’s and O’Brien’s film The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. His views have been echoed all over the accurate outlets informing about Venezuela from Vheadline and Venezuelanalysis to Third World Traveler. The son of one of the ideologues of the Bolivarian Revolution, Mr Izarra allegedly resigned in disgust from one of Venezuela’s main TV channels (RCTV) owing to the lack of objective coverage given to the events that led to the coup of April 11, 2002. In spite of the fact that his ‘objectivity concept’ was not shared by his employer, Izarra has definitely been immortalised by the Irish spinmeisters. His tranquil and detailed account of the massacre of Puente Llaguno in the film was so convincing that it was duly compensated by Chavez who signposted him to the press office of the most important Embassy in the Foreign Service.

Eva Golinger

Only one entry for Ms Golinger can be found in the chart above, nonetheless in a message sent to El Universal, claiming a right to reply, she admittedly acknowledged having received less than $10.000 for legal services. In a newsletter of the National Lawyers Guild [page 5] dated December 2002 corresponding to New York’s chapter one can find this reference “Our pride swelled when Eve Golinger, CUNY 2L, mounted the stage to address the crowd regarding U.S. Policy in Venezuela”. City University of New York's administrative staff commented upon the meaning of "CUNY 2L" as students of law in their second year; the law degree lasts normally three years. The comment referred to occurred on October 26, 2002 and year end examinations are held generally at the end of May. Ms Golinger sent me a message recently containing a link to the New York Bar examination web site with which she demonstrates that she sat, and passed, the Bar exam in February 2004. Conversely the monies that the VIO paid her for legal services were received in 2003 --purportedly prior to a media conference in Madison, WI between November 7 – 9--, her 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization Venezuela Solidarity Committee urges people to write letters to US representatives or Senators. The IRS provides a very interesting description of what constitutes acceptable political activities for such non-profit entities. As a matter of fact they outline the following:

"An organization will be regarded as attempting to influence legislation if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, members or employees of a legislative body for the purpose of proposing, supporting, or opposing legislation, or if the organization advocates the adoption or rejection of legislation."

The Foreign Agent Registration Unit has no record of Ms Golinger, however she seems to devote a lot of her time to advocate for Hugo Chavez in the USA.

On a lighter note I would like to comment about the web site of the VIO. Jennifer Russell, a.k.a. Jenny Russell, filled a Registration Statement to the FARA Unit on July 11, 2003. A quick WHOIS search for that domain provides the following details:

Domain ID:D98508334-LROR
Created On:18-Jul-2003 23:55:25 UTC
Last Updated On:07-Oct-2003 22:44:03 UTC
Expiration Date:18-Jul-2004 23:55:25 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:R11-LROR
Registrant ID:tuw5VuUPS0SrnrOj
Registrant Name:Jenny Russell
Registrant Organization:Jenny Russell
Registrant Street1:1227 Walter St SE
Registrant City:Washington
Registrant State/Province:DC
Registrant Postal Code:20003
Registrant Country:US
Registrant Phone:+1.2027376637
Registrant Phone Ext.:23
Admin ID:tuw5VuUPS0SrnrOj
Admin Name:Jenny Russell
Admin Organization:Jenny Russell
Admin Street1:1227 Walter St SE
Admin City:Washington
Admin State/Province:DC
Admin Postal Code:20003
Admin Country:US
Admin Phone:+1.2027376637
Admin Phone Ext.:23
Tech ID:tuBERpnyT6zg8JWU
Tech Name:Maximiliam Andersen
Tech Organization:Lunarpages
Tech Street1:14730 Beach Blvd. Suite 102
Tech City:La Mirada
Tech State/Province:California
Tech Postal Code:90638
Tech Country:US
Tech Phone:+1.7145218150

Can anyone provide a reasonable and coherent explanation with respect to the registrant and administrative emails provided by Jenny Russell? Why would someone from CEPR.NET be put in charge of registering or administering a website with the aim of informing about the ‘official’ Venezuelan situation??

To Be Continued...

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