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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending April 26, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until May 1, 2002.

This week we present Between The Lines' summary
of under-reported news stories and:

U.S. Fingerprints on Venezuela's Short-lived Coup Attempt
Interview by Scott Harris

For many months, rumors of a planned coup against populist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez had circulated around the hemisphere and the world. Chavez, a former Army paratrooper who had led an aborted coup in the early 1990's, was elected by a large margin in 1998 promising to fight for the nation's poor majority and clean up rampant corruption. His program to remake Venezuela was consistently endorsed by voters in referendums, but Chavez provoked opposition from the wealthy and some unions when he recently attempted to transform the nation's important oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela, the No. 3 supplier of oil to the U.S.

A demonstration by tens of thousands of Chavez opponents in Caracas on April 11th led to violent confrontation between supporters and foes of the government when they exchanged shots resulting in more than a dozen killed. Elements of the armed forces working with business leaders arrested Chavez falsely declaring he had resigned and abolished his government, the legislature and Supreme Court. But, only 48 hours later, after violent street protests in support of Chavez and a mutiny by some sectors of the military, the president was restored to power.

When word of the coup first reached Washington the Bush administration sent unmistakable signals welcoming the overthrow of a Latin American leader who had befriended Cuba's Fidel Castro and met with Saddam Hussein. The White House reaction was in marked contrast to the denunciation of the coup by most South American governments. According to press reports, coup plotters had met several times with senior Bush administration officials in recent months. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Gregory Wilpert, a former Fulbright scholar currently conducting research in Caracas, who provides an eyewitness account of the short-lived Venezuelan coup.

Read Gregory Wilpert's account at (

Jewish American Peace Group Bucking the Tide
of Uncritical Support for Israeli Invasion of West Bank

Interview by Scott Harris

Reacting to the carnage of recent suicide bombings, tens of thousands of mostly Jewish supporters of Israel gathered in Washington D.C. on April 15th to urge the Bush administration to back the Sharon government in its fight against Palestinians and to reject negotiations with Yasir Arafat. The White House sent Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to address the demonstration rally. But when the hard-line Republican reminded the crowd that innocent Palestinians as well as Israelis were suffering in the Middle East conflict, he was roundly booed.

Not all American Jews, however, support Israel's refusal to relinquish their 35-year control over the occupied Palestinian territories nor Prime Minister Sharon's brutal assault of West Bank cities and refugee camps. Rabbi Michael Learner, editor of Tikkun magazine, has for many years been working for peace and justice in the Middle East. He recently co-founded a new organization called the Tikkun Community, with co-chair Harvard professor Cornel West, which will serve as a progressive alternative to conservative Jewish lobby groups that generally back Israel's aggressive policies. To press their demand that the Bush administration lead a U.N.-sponsored multinational force to stop the killing, Rabbi Lerner, West and 18 supporters chose to be arrested in an act of civil disobedience at the State Department April 11th.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Rabbi Lerner about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the disagreements over Middle East policy within the American Jewish community.

Contact Tikkun at (415) 575-1200 or visit their Web site at

Related links:

Grassroots Campaign Launched to Oppose
Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Dump
and Nuclear Industry Expansion

Interview by Melinda Tuhus

There are 103 nuclear power plants currently operating in the U.S., and several more that have been decommissioned. But whether they're on-line or off-line, all these plants are storing high-level radioactive waste on-site, 77,000 tons in all. The waste is sitting mostly in spent fuel pools, with no containment structures to prevent leakage into the environment or protection from terrorist attack.

The federal government has for many years proposed that the nation's radioactive waste be sent to an underground storage facility at Yucca Mountain, located on Native American land in Nevada just a few hours from Las Vegas, one of America's fastest-growing cities. President George W. Bush recently authorized Yucca Mountain as the only designated high-level nuclear waste site in the U.S. But Nevada's elected officials and citizens solidly oppose the plan and hope to overturn it in Congress. Grassroots anti-nuke activists recently convened a national conference at Connecticut's Wesleyan University, April 12-14, to hammer out a unified position from which to oppose the Yucca Mountain repository, the continued operation of existing nuclear power plants and a White House proposal to build new plants.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Deborah Katz, executive director of the Citizens Awareness Network, which organized the Wesleyan conference. Katz helped shut down the Yankee Rowe nuclear plant in her hometown in Massachusetts. She describes the impact of Yankee Rowe and another nearby plant on the health of people in her community, other options for waste storage, and what activists are doing to fight the Yucca Mountain project.

For more information, call the Citizens Awareness Network at (413) 339-5781 or visit their Web site at

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Europe's social democratic parties under attack. ("Europe's Right Turn," In These Times, March 18, 2002)
  • Root of Middle East conflict stems from Israelis' and Palestinians' refusal to treat each other as equals. ("Home is Where the Hurt Is," New Internationalist, March 2002)
  • Oklahoma's government opposes coalition's fight for reparations for the 1921 Tulsa race riot that killed 300 blacks and left 10,000 homeless. ("Tulsa's Shame," The Nation, March 18, 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Nigel Rees
News reader: Denise Manzari
Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Stop the War March on Washington, D.C. April 20th, 2002

Between The Lines Special Report interviews with Rev. Billy and John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies on Washington, D.C. Indymedia Web site April 20 Stop the War at Home and Abroad March on Washington. Independent Progressive Politics Network

Depleted uranium weapons use in Afghan War

U.S. Uses Unprecedented Quantities of Depleted Uranium Weapons in Afghan War Between The Lines interview with journalist Robert James Parsons, Week Ending March 22, 2002

"America's big dirty secret,"by Robert James Parsons, Le Monde Diplomatique, March 2002 (English translation)

Barcelona EU Protests, March 15-16, 2002

500,000 Protest in Barcelona, Spain Against European Union's March Toward U.S.-Style "Cowboy" Capitalism

Hundreds of Thousands Challenge EU in Barcelona

World Economic Forum Protests, Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2002

Between The Lines Report, Week Ending 2/15/02. With more related audio files.

Billionaires for Bush, at Columbus Circle, NYC preparing for Feb. 2 march against the elite World Economic Forum. Links to page with MP3 file.

John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO addresses a "Working Families Economic Forum" in NYC as activists prepare for protests against the elite World Economic Forum. 9MB in MP3.

Scott Harris reports on AFL-CIO Workers Forum in NYC for Free Speech Radio News 2/1/02

Global Justice's New Face, AlterNet's series on the World Social Forum, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, World Economic Forum Conference and National Student Mobilization, Jan. 31 to Feb. 3, Columbia University, New York City. See conference schedule.

Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch

Another World is Possible Coalition

Anti-Capitalist Convergence

New York Independent Media Center

Globalize This!

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues and particularly in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

"The Fight for Everything" A series of interviews with activists and leaders of grassroots, progressive groups analyzing the goals, strategy and tactics of the global social justice movement

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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