If you are sick and tired of war in the Middle East you may be cringing at the prospect of new military operations in Latin America. In case you haven't noticed, there appears to be an impending attack against the people of Venezuela. Obama is increasing the Pentagon's budget and is spending approximately one billion dollars in its Latin American military operations this year according to Eva Gollinger, a well respected American/Venezuelan journalist.
The problem, in a nutshell, is that the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, is steadfastly independent from Washington's directives and desires. Worse, Chavez is widely popular throughout Latin America and his vision of the Bolivarian revolution is spreading. Most importantly, the spreading defiance against Washington in Latin America compromises future control of vast stores of oil reserves.
History shows that America has a pathological need to control every nation on the planet. There is no way to tally the numbers that have died due to that need.
Common Intervention Strategies
John Perkins (author of ``Confessions of an Economic Hitman`` and an ex-economic hitman himself) in the book and in an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, points out the strata of strategies the American Empire usually employs to gain control of a given country. First, they use economic leverage with the help of the World Bank and the IMF. Perkins points out that American economic hit-men went in to Saudi Arabia in the early 70s to work out a deal where the Saudis would send most of their petro dollars back to the USA and invest them in US government securities. The interest from the securities would employ American firms to build infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and the Saudis would keep oil prices at a level acceptable to the USA.
Perkins goes on to say that if the economic hit-men fail, which is a non starter in the case of Chavez, then other strategies are used. The next step is to foment a coup or a revolution which has been tried and has failed. And if that doesn't work, they assassinate the leader or people that are causing the problems. Perkins points out that in the case of Saddam, he was too clever to assassinate. Then the last strategy is used and that strategy is to sacrifice young men and women to invade the uncontrolled country.
Oil is important to the USA and so is strategic placement of its chess pieces on the globe.
Venezuela is important for both reasons.
The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, has been a problem for the Americans and for the wealthy in Venezuela since he became President. Venezuela and Colombia have been rattling sabres at each other recently. This level of agitation is precipitated by America`s plans to open military bases in Colombia. Chavez is convinced that the bases will be used as a staging point to invade Venezuela and is responding by purchasing military equipment to counter the threat.
Chavez is showing ways and means for Latin American countries to escape the grasp of America and its large corporations. One example of this is The Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America (ALBA). It is a socially oriented trade block that has been created and developed through South America. It aims to address human needs as opposed to profit as the motivation for trade; the latter being the goal of the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas. In a nutshell, the FTAA is patently capitalistic while the ALBA is socialist.
This initiative by Hugo Chavez and his audacity at standing up to large corporations and the mighty American state naturally raises the ire of the large corporations and their puppets, the politicians.
Obama appears to setting his covert sights squarely on the head of Chavez. Watch for an increase in anti-Chavez/Venezuela propaganda throughout the mainstream media. Watch also for de-stabilization efforts of other countries and leaders in the area that are friendly to Chavez.
Riots have erupted recently against the suspension of cable channels that violated media social responsibility laws in Venezuela. One pro-government and one opposition student have been killed and more than twenty police have been injured. Peaceful prortests have taken place in other parts of Venezuela. Students from the right-wing organization known as the M-13 have unleashed furious riots in the city throwing molotov cocktails and stones at police. This is in response to the closure of RCTV, the same station that had taken part in the 2002 coup where the President was kidnapped and almost killed.
It is worth contemplating the treatment of those same plotters if the same thing were to happen in Canada, the USA or the UK. In either of these countries they would be declared terrorists and locked away at Gitmo or some other prison.
Perhaps second on the hit list is Evo Marales. Prior to Morales, the CIA actually ran its operations from the Bolivian Presidential Palace. Morales kicked the CIA out of the palace. History shows that this will set CIA sights on Morales head.
Bolivia is no blip on the American screen. The Americans send over 120 million tax dollars a year in aid to Bolivia. 70% of that money goes to CHEMONICS, a large American consulting firm whose executives are paid large salaries to carry out subversive activities in Bolivia.
According to Eva Gollinger, " USAID-Chemonics in Bolivia are everywhere. They run 6 official programs in the areas of Democracy (HA!), Alternative Integral Development, Environmental Issues, Healthcare and Economic Opportunities (capitalism). On top of that, USAID set up an Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI), just like it did in Venezuela after the failed coup d'etat against Chávez in April 2002, that manages an additional $13.3 million budget and contracts military industrial complex corporation, Casals & Associates, to "promote democracy" and "stabilize" the nation."
Then there is the recent overthrow of the democratically elected government of Honduras by the Honduran military to replace Zelaya with dictator Roberto Micheletti. The dictatorship has employed "top notch Democrat lobbyists" and according to the New York Times, Lanny Davis, a right hand man for both Bill and Hillary Clinton, has been hired by the Latin American Business Council to increase support for the dictatorship in congress.
The situation in Honduras is bleak and is showing indications of a return to the bad old days where right wing thugs kill leftists with impunity.
Colombia - USA
The USA is building a significant military presence in Colombia. Colombian and US negotiators are close to finalising a deal that would give the US three air bases, two military bases, and two naval bases, one each on Colombia’s Atlantic and Pacific coasts. As Brasil`s foreign Minister, Celso Amorim recently stated regarding the bases proposed for Colombia, a strong military presence whose objective and capacity go much further than Colombia’s internal needs.”
Rafael Correa, the leftist President of Ecuador has refused to extend the American lease on its only current military base in Latin America is perhaps another contributing factor to the American urgency to militarize Colombia.
It's hard not to be reminded of the interventions in Latin America through the 1970s and 80s where deaths quads, assassinations, war and massacres were common. This period is a very dark chapter in the annals of American interventionism.
The pretext for the installations is to have bases to operate a war against drugs. To actually invade Venezuela, the Americans will have to develop another scenario. That scenario may be a return to cold war rhetoric and the need to put down dictators in Latin America. The fact that these `dictators` are elected doesn`t matter in the propaganda machine. Washington has supported dictators all over the planet and rid nations of elected leaders. To the Americans, anybody that stands up to American power is a dictator, a strongman, a rouge state or some other pejorative newspeak.
Watch for much more of this. As it stands there is no way the Americans can interfere in Venezuela without raising the ire of citizens and leaders across the globe. They will hype up a propaganda campaign against Chavez and the other left leaning leaders in Latin countries.
As shown above, there are a series of strategies the Americans typically use to get rid of an uncontrolled nation. First, there is the economic hit men gambit. Obviously, that won`t work in Venezuela. Secondly, they may attempt to overthrow Chavez through a coup or revolution. This has been tried but failed. The following two strategies are the most likely at this point. An assassination or a military invasion.
The latter scenario is the most likely and it is most likely that it will be Colombia, as an American proxy, that will commence and wage war against Venezuela. The activity has already started. A trigger, an incident between Colombia and Venezuela, will be easy to stage at this point. Watch for mainstream media lining up against Venezuela.
Considering of all the factors; the history of American interference in Latin America, Chavez and other ALBA members refusal to be controlled by Washington, and the fact that Chavez has commenced a socialist revolution in Venezuela and is followed by others, the probability that the USA will invade is very high. The timing of this impending slaughter may be soon. The recent increase in activity in the region is telling. The Americans are not holding a smoking gun after the coup in Hondurans but again, considering American history of involvement in the region, the onus of proof of NOT being behind it is more on the Americans than the onus being on the accusers that they are behind it.
If there is one thing history does show it is that Washington operates covertly, that is as highly interested in Latin America - as much as the Soviets have been in Eastern Europe, and that Washington rarely tells the truth about covert operations. They may be monsters but they are not stupid.
Venezuela has a popular and charismatic leader in Hugo Chavez. Venezuela today captures the appeal and optimism that the Sandinistas held in the 1980s. Washington made it virtually impossible for Ortega`s government to succeed. Military operations and a myriad of strategies of interference eventually crushed the fledgling revolution. The same type of scenario is playing out today in Venezuela.
The Empire has spent enormous sums of tax dollars on the invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The next big project appears to be Latin America and most pointedly, the government of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Venezuela has enormous oil reserves and it is a strategic problem for the Americans throughout Latin America. The old domino effect pretext that past American presidents used to invade and slaughter millions of people over the past half century has some obvious merit. If uncontrolled governments show a better example in terms of providing human needs than the American client states, the people will naturally support and strive for the overthrow of puppet leaders within the Washington Bloc.
We can hope that Venezuela will not be another Iraq or Afghanistan. We can hope that Latin America will not return to the massive slaughters and dirty politics of the 1970s and 80s. But we can do more than hope. Today, there is an element that was not in place in the 70s and 80s. It is this machine and the internet it is connected to. Information and interest are the key components that we have at our disposal to ensure that war does not happen in Latin America. Opposition to war can be powerful and it can save many lives.
It is in all our interests to ensure that history does not repeat itself in Latin America.
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|Allen L. Jasson|