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  • Over 40 people have died since opposition protests began in April.

The strategic document shows that Venezuela was seen as the main adversary of the United States in the Western Hemisphere.

As opposition sectors are continuing the strategy of destabilization meant to eventually topple the Bolivarian government with violent protests while rejecting dialogue, it seems opportune to recall how U.S. intelligence agencies have targeted Venezuela for at least 10 years, according to an NSA document from 2007 leaked by former CIA employee and NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The strategic document shows that Venezuela was seen as the main adversary of the United States in the Western Hemisphere. The country was listed as one of the top six “enduring targets” for the National Security Agency, along with China, North Korea, Iraq, Iran and Russia.

Two years after late President Hugo Chavez became an explicit supporter of 21st Century Socialism, Washington feared losing more influence in Latin America, actively trying to counter a regional leadership like the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples founded by Venezuela and Cuba in 2004.

WATCH: Young People in Venezuela Seek to Shift the Focus from Violence

The text outlines various missions, including “preventing Venezuela from achieving its regional leadership objectives and pursuing policies that negatively impact U.S. global interests.”

To this purpose, the intelligence service was expected to provide indicators of “regime stability, particularly in the energy sector” and ascertain the scope of Venezuela’s narcotics or organized crime elements and economic stability.

The U.S. Role in the 2002 Venezuelan Coup

The agency spied on several Venezuelan state officials, especially in the finance ministry, hoping to find information that could later be used in foreign policy, according to the leaked documents.

In the past few years, the U.S. government has begun leaking information to media about corruption allegations against top Venezuelan officials, including former PDVSA president Rafael Ramirez; former president of the Venezuelan National Assembly,Diosdado Cabello; Vice President Tarek El Aissami; former director of military intelligence, Hugo Carvajal; and Nestor Reverol, head of the national guard.

While none of these accusations against high-ranking Venezuelan officials has led to any indictments, the charges were made in the court of public opinion rather than a courtroom for example only a couple of months before legislative elections.