SOUTH AMERICA WATCH….Via Crooked Timber, Spain’s El Mundo is claiming that the CIA has some pretty unconventional ideas about the upcoming referendum in Venezuela, which they expect to be won by incumbent strongman Hugo Chavez:

Madrid’s El Mundo is reporting that the CIA has developed contingency plans to counteract Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez winning the Aug. 15 recall referendum….The CIA’s undersecretary for southern hemispherical affairs, William Spencer, is in Santiago, Chile, to brainstorm the “Venezuelan situation” with CIA country directors from Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru. Spencer is reportedly convinced that following his victory Chavez, intends to overthrow Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez and Bolivian President Carlos Mesa. According to Spencer’s “domino theory,” Chavez will then use corruption scandals to force Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo from office.

Wow. I guess the CIA is taking that “failure of imagination” criticism seriously.

Either that or El Mundo is full of shit. Hard to say which.

POSTSCRIPT: A more complete translation of El Mundo’s story is here.

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