December 5, 2005 -- Venezuelan oil pipeline suspiciously sabotaged shortly before election boycotted by U.S.-backed opposition. In what clearly has the marks of a U.S. neocon destabilization campaign, a pipeline to Venezuela's Amuay-Cardon oil refinery was blown up by terrorists on December 3, on the eve of Sunday elections that returned President Hugo Chavez's Fifth Republic Movement to the National Assembly with well over a two-thirds majority, a majority that will enable the constitution to be changed to allow Chavez to run for a third term in 2012. Chavez will run for re-election to a second six year term next year.
Working with local right-wing groups, the Bush administration supported a right-wing boycott of the legislative elections. Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel and Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez confirmed the explosion was sabotage. In October, another pipeline was sabotaged in Zulia state.
Venezuelan oil infrastructure: latest target of the neocons? Venezuela suspects terrorism in pre-election sabotage
WMR reported on Nov. 9 that Vatang Agrunov (aka Bhatang Agranouve, Dahtang Mik Agarunov, and Bathan Agranouve), an Israeli national, was arrested in nearby Trinidad for suspicion that he was involved in July 11, August 10, September 10, and November 3 bombings in Port of Spain. The bombings injured 28 people. Agrunov was also caught with possessing a stolen Trinidad and Tobago immigration visa extension stamp.
Israelis are not required to have a visa to enter Trinidad but they are required to have one to enter Venezuela. An extended Trinidad visa would, however, permit easy entry into Venezuela from Trinidad, especially on small boats that ferry people between the seven- mile Gulf of Paria strait that separates the two nations.
WMR speculated at the time of his arrest for possible involvement in bombings in Trinidad that Agrunov may have been involved in a "false flag" plot to engage in anti-Chavez sabotage in Venezuela.
Prior to the April 2002 abortive U.S.-backed coup against Chavez, US Special Operations personnel on loan to the CIA attempted to foment disruption of the state-owned PDVSA oil infrastructure.
The Trinidad police believed Agrunov was going to falsify his passport to remain in the country illegally. The Israeli embassy in Caracas intervened in the Agrunov arrest as did, suspiciously, the FBI. Caribbean law enforcement agencies possess intelligence that Agrunov is a suspected terrorist. Agrunov was deported from Trinidad to Israel on November 15 after the Israeli Consulate in Port of Spain paid his $TT 2,500 bail.