Archive for the 'south america' Category

Chemical Warfare

January 19, 2007

From COHA

Throughout December of 2006, tensions began to flare between Ecuador and Colombia over the latter’s continued policy of sanctioning aerially-dispersed defoliants as a means to destroy narcotic crops along the two countries’ shared border. Ecuador, along with several other nations and non-governmental organizations, has repeatedly asserted that the powerful chemicals and the purported reckless methods of their dispersal pose a serious danger to the environment, essential crops, and human health in areas where they are used.

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Serious accusations concerning the jeopardy to those living in areas which are being fumigated have become commonplace. These have been underlined by claims made by scientific, humanitarian, and environmental groups that exposure to the defoliants employed in such sprayings may lead to “gastrointestinal disorders (e.g. severe bleeding, nausea, and vomiting), testicular inflammation, high fevers, dizziness, respiratory ailments, skin rashes, …severe eye irritation” and possible birth defects or miscarriages. These dangers have been anecdotally corroborated by copious complaints filed by affected populations.

In addition to the risks of direct exposure, recent studies have posited that the consumption of food exposed to or grown in fields that had earlier been sprayed with the chemicals under discussion may also be leading to considerable health problems. This comes as a result of a propensity of the fumigants to linger in agricultural soil and leave measurable residues on crops . These leftover deposits and the herbicide’s indiscriminate destruction of plant life can also have a widespread effect on the local environment. In addition to the plausible fears that drift or accidental sprayings may adulterate fresh water sources, there are good grounds to be apprehensive over the grievous impacts on animal species relying upon certain plants or levels of biodiversity .

In addition to concerns over the defoliant’s active ingredient, glyphosate, repeated accusations have been made regarding the additives with which it is mixed. Though there have been credible concerns voiced that the concentrations of glyphosate used in Colombia are dangerously potent, glyphosate has been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency as well as by its manufacturer and has been shown to cause little harm to people when properly applied. However, the surfactant Cosmo-Flux 411f, which in Colombia is routinely added to the glyphosate-based herbicide, has only had its ingredients speculatively examined and remains unregistered with the EPA. In fact, the EPA was not even provided with and did not study concentrations in the spray mixture as a whole. As Dr. Milton Guzman, the Public Health Director in the provincial capital of Popayán, describes, the danger is that Cosmo-Flux 411f is used for its highly corrosive properties that help the glyphosate penetrate the waxy protective coating on plant leaves. But, as Guzman asserts, this property potentially gives the defoliant the same ability to adversely affect human skin . Concern over the possible dangers of Cosmo-Flux 411f prompted the British multinational Imperial Chemical Industries, a supplier of one of Cosmo-Flux 411f’s ingredients, to announce in 2001 that it would terminate its involvement in the chemical’s manufacture as a precaution against being associated with U.S./Colombian fumigation campaigns.

More here and here. And some related goodies from previous posts. This is chemical warfare pure and simple. Which, I thought, was illegal.

(a) Unlawful Conduct.— Except as provided in subsection (b), it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly—
(1) to develop, produce, otherwise acquire, transfer directly or indirectly, receive, stockpile, retain, own, possess, or use, or threaten to use, any chemical weapon; or
(2) to assist or induce, in any way, any person to violate paragraph (1), or to attempt or conspire to violate paragraph (1).

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First Post of the New Year

January 1, 2007

Hope everyone had a great time last night. Me and the wife visited good friends and drank way too much of the bubbly. Good times.

Anyhow, I read this article from COHA this morning and it really got me thinking. I can’t remember any dems mentioning South America at all during the election run up. Really the only time we hear about our southern neighbors is when discussing either immigration (Mexico), our hatred of communism (Cuba and Venezuela) or drugs (Columbia, Bolivia).

Generally, the Democratic leadership has either ignored or all too often trivialized the importance of regional relations, numbly accepting an obsolescent and grossly sterile manner of relating to Cuba. It might be useful to prescribe a more simple approach to the Democrats on how to make amends – simply do everything opposite of what was done yesterday when it comes to U.S.-Latin American strategies. Meanwhile, the combative rhetoric borrowed from a Republican lexicon will soon be handed over to Democratic counterparts. The question is whether the Democrats will make use of it or unlikely enough decide to go their own way. For example, presidential contender John Kerry, during his last presidential race, found that Hugo Chávez’s “close relationship with Fidel Castro has raised serious questions about his commitment to leading a truly democratic government.” Could they not say the same about Kazakhstan or thirty or forty other countries, some of them close allies of the U.S.? This relatively unlettered remark may have been one of the few occasions that Kerry has referred to the region at all.

In general, mainstream Democratic speechmakers consistently used dismissive language when it came to references to Chávez, let alone Castro. Anti-Chávez rants peaked with his recent “devil” speech delivered at the UN on the occasion of the duel between the U.S. and Venezuela, over who would fill the two-year Latin American seat on the UN’s Security Council. For Nancy Pelosi, “Hugo Chávez fancies himself a modern day Simon Bolivar but all he is an everyday thug,” while the venerable House Democrat and Black Caucus leader, New York’s Charles Rangel, contributed the shameless piece of puffery that “You don’t come into my country; you don’t come into my congressional district and you don’t condemn my president.”

U.S.-Venezuelan and Cuban relations deserve better than that, especially because there are a number of knowledgeable senators, which would include Kennedy, Leahy, Dodd and Harkin, who readily come to mind, as well as Congressman Delahunt of Massachusetts.

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The issues of immigration, terrorism, drugs, energy questions and incipient rivalries with China over resources and new investments in Cuba, should afford a lively time for U.S.-Latin America relations in the near future, even though it is likely to generate more heat than light. It is not too much to say that the incoming Democratic leadership remains sadly under-equipped to coherently debate a range of serious issues that deserve to be ventilated beyond sound bites and canned quips.

So how will the Democrats work with our southern neighbors? Good question. Trade issues hit home because of the Trans Texas Land Grab. I guess we will have to wait and see how this all plays out under a Democratic congress.

And this ties in with US relations with China because China has been proactive in its relations with Venezuela concerning oil contracts. This country can either accept our southern neighbors as equals and work collectively and constructively with them, or we can loose all of our influence in the region to China.

Personally I doubt the Democrats do much to address the issues raised in the COHA article. The misguided adventure in Iraq is too all consuming to allow any other issues any real attention. Nothing else can get done, either here at home or abroad, until we bring the troops home.

The power of elections

February 2, 2006

Found this great article on the elections in South America. I don’t want to post the whole thing, and its all worth a read. But here are some tidbits:

As he stood among the admiring hordes at this shrine to pre-Incan civilization, his hat tugged down to his eyes, the old man appeared to have been drawn to this Andean summit for his last gasps on this Earth.

But one topic animated his hooded eyes, despite the 3,840-metre altitude and suddenly punishing sun.

“They have taken our resources and given them away to the evil rats,” he said. “They have stolen our riches and given them to the United States.

“These riches are here for us. We need them in Bolivia for the poor.”

Luis Atarapi Aiphana has lived through Bolivia’s military coups, corruption, the “Black February” of 2003 when 34 died in street confrontations, the ever-changing governments. And now he has made the long trek to Tiwanaku to witness a rare spectacle — a ceremony in which incoming Bolivian President Evo Morales is stressing hope, respect and, most of all, change.

Such rituals of transition are happening across South America.

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As North America has focused on wars and occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the unfolding drama in the Middle East, a revolution has occurred under its nose.

This Latin American revolution has been waged with ballots, not blood, but that does not lessen the sting of its repudiation of made-in-Washington policies, including the so-called “neo-liberal” agenda of free trade and fiscal policy in the region, and the unilateralism of the Bush administration.

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One Washington-based diplomat called this year the “perfect storm” in Latin America, with no fewer than 10 presidential elections scheduled.

“This next year will shape the region as a whole over the next six years,” the diplomat said.

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Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs, says Latin America is in the first 10 miles of a 1,000-mile journey but the region is beginning to talk “about the unthinkable.”

“It has broken out of the ghetto of being alone in the hemisphere … They are now global nations. It means that Washington has less of that mantle of tyranny of geography. This could conceivably mushroom into a historic transformation in the region.”

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“You see those 20-year-olds running around denouncing the Americans and you realize that it is passed on down from generation to generation.”

And anti-American rhetoric plays so well in 2006 because of the spate of elections against a backdrop of Republican neglect of the region.

For the first time, Washington could not install its choice as head of the Organization of American States — then failed in its bid to promote its second choice. But there were signs of waning influence in 2003, at the OAS general assembly in Chile, when for the first time the U.S. was not elected to the body’s human rights commission.

Go read the whole article. I find what is going on to our south fascinating. While the US media focuses on the Middle East, a revolution is happening and no one in this country seems to be paying attention. This is the real spread of democracy and it is happening without, and against, the US. No wonder Bush failed to even mention South America in the SOTU speech. He can’t claim any of this as his doing, so its not worth mentioning.

South America Today

November 6, 2005

So Bush is tripping around South America. We all know that the Argentinians were less than thrilled to have him in their country: (subscription required-use lostinspace and password “balls”)

MAR DEL PLATA � Anti-US demonstrators who marched peacefully against the Summit of the Americas declared their weeklong efforts a triumph yesterday, saying their protests helped delay US plans for a region-wide free trade deal.

Bush failed in his efforts to push the FTAA through. Given his wonderful personality, I can’t for the life of me understand why the South American leaders didn’t fall to their knees and praise him. Oh, wait, he’s probably only seen as the second coming here. Anyway, things did not go swimmingly:

MAR DEL PLATA � Leaders from around the Americas failed yesterday to resolve key differences over how to create a US-sponsored regional free trade zone during a summit in Argentina overshadowed by violent anti-US protests. Talks on creating a Free Trade Area of the Americas, or FTAA, have been stalled. The Bush administration had hoped to jump-start discussions here to establish the world�s most populous free trade bloc.

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“We are not going to negotiate something that is harmful to the interests of our people,” said Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa, summarizing the stance of Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay � Argentina�s partners in the Mercosur trade bloc � and Venezuela.

The five dissenting countries stated, “The conditions do not exist to attain a hemispheric free trade accord that is balanced and fair with access to markets that is free of subsidies and distorting practices.”

Bummer. Oh well, off to Brazil!

Lula added that it was �not opportune� to discuss FTAA before a crucial WTO meeting next month in Hong Kong where subsidies would be a key issue.

Bush � who travelled to the region to mend fences in Latin America � left for Brazil in the second part of a regional trip.

He will likely continue looking for support today in Brazil, where he will be Lula�s guest at a barbecue. He will then visit Panama on Monday before returning to the US.

The US president�s visit to Brazil is aimed at strengthening relations with Lula, who was mistrusted by Washington after becoming the first elected leftist leader of Latin America�s largest economy in 2003.

Before departing for Brazil, Bush said �it would be concerning if there is no consensus� to include the stances of the two blocs of countries in the final communique.

My favorite quote:

In comments to reporters, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos suggested that the talks between regional leaders had at times been tense.

“Something happened here that rarely happened in other meetings: the call to speak out loud was taken up by everyone,” Lagos said.

“At times, we all talked out loud, perhaps too loud, but it made the meeting that more interesting,” he added.

I bet Georgie got all red in the face and threatened to take his toys and go home more than once. As for the reception he is getting in Brazil, its about normal:

The Federal Police and Army are mounting the tightest security plan ever, declaring Brasilia’s airspace an exclusion zone, effecting anti-bomb raids at the places Bush will visit, use of canines and mobilization of hundreds of police agents and soldiers.

But the local social movement announces protests in at least eight cities under the slogan “Bush Out”, starting on Friday 4 in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Belem and Mato Grosso do Sul, on the border with Paraguay, where the US plans to build a military base.

And this:

Bush will meet privately with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, followed by a bilateral delegation session, which sources leaked will concern agricultural subsidies.

He will have the greatest security ever mounted in a Brazilian city with 1,200 military police, 500 police, and 100 soldiers, in addition to an undisclosed number of US secret service and Brazilian intelligence operatives, Federal Police agent Wilson Salles Damazio announced.

He said that all airports are on alert and will be closed for the Bush landing and take-off, while two helicopters and four launches will patrol Lake Brasilia.

It’s like a bad traveling circus. And Bush is the freak. As for his Panama trip, there will probably be less protests:

Anti-Americanism is not an important aspect of Panamanian political life these days, as it was when the US hold on the former Canal Zone was still in dispute. Nevertheless, polls suggest that by an overwhelming margin Panamanians are against the Iraq War and by lesser majorities tend to frown on such key US policies in the region as Plan Colombia and attempts to oust Hugo Ch�vez as Venezuela’s president. Free trade with the United States, however, probably has the support in principle of a plurality of Panamanians and whether an agreement would be supported or opposed by most citizens would depend on how the contents of any specific deal are perceived.

Cross posted at annatopia.

Just A Couple Of Posts To Share

November 5, 2005

Been following the diaries concerning Venezuela, the Summit of the Americas and Chavez. Here are a few to check out.

From DKos, this one:

The Most Dangerous Man in the World

Communism and socialism has floundered worldwide, and not just because Ronald Reagan said mean things to them. Though “from each according to their ability, too each according to their need” is a beautiful motto, it ignores the innate selfishness of most people. Traditional communism would make a great government for angels; it’s not so hot with fallible people.

Even so, Chavez seems on a path to avoid the pitfalls that have brought down communist governments worldwide and turned China into the home of dictatorial capitalism.

1) Efficiency — without as much incentive for individual gain, people just don’t seem to work “according to their ability.” More like, according to their ability to get away with it. If nothing else, capitalist systems are fiercely good at milking worker productivity to obscene levels.

So how can Chavez hope to compete? First, unlike most governments, Chavez appears to be plowing the bulk of his resources into the health and education of the citizens. And it’s working. Already literacy rates have soared, and the health care system is garnering praise from around the world. Chavez might just be able to improve his work force enough to more than overcome losses in efficiency.

2) Religion — anyone on the winning side of the Cold War should be very glad Marx was an atheist (not that there’s anything wrong with that). By setting himself and his movement in opposition to religion, Marx cut many people off from their traditions, left his movement feeling stale and artificial, and generated a ready source for internal strife. If Marx had been a nice Catholic boy, we might all be humming along today like a nice little hive of Mormon bees (no offense, Senator Reid).

Chavez is not an atheist, or at least he has gone out of his way not to attack religion. He’s met with Catholic leaders — even though several had sided with the coup plotters — in efforts to reassure them he doesn’t want to become a dictator, he’s kept his hands off church property, and he frequently uses references to God or biblical themes in his speeches. Chavez emphasizes the call for community action and community property among Christians. This alone should make him an ultimate boogeyman to anyone who fears commies under the bed.

3) Corruption — The real downfall of every communist government so far has been the home-grown worms that always show up to consume the apple. The idea of a single party state ruled by a strict hierarchy makes it just too tempting for members of the apparatchik to gather in more power and loot. Single party systems have to either constantly sit on their own populace, or distract them with external threats. Combine this with the efficiency factor, and the attacks on traditional religion, and you get dispirited, disgruntled, disappointed workers. That is not a long term formula for success.

Though Chavez’ party now has a majority control at all levels, Chavez has at least said the right things about maintaining a competitive, open democracy. So long as they follow through, the forces that have crumbled previous states may be held at bay. Should Chavez start bringing more powers into his own office (and he’s already done so to some extent), it’ll be a bad sign. Should he decide to stay past the time limit he helped pass, it’ll be the death knell.

And this:

Chavez wins the first half of the match.

Chavez walks around without a single bodyguard. Who appears in control?

And from the Booman Tribune:

Re: The Summit

Bush has just arrived to Argentina to take part of the Americas Summit. I am sure you will be hearing of this all over the news, so I decided to write about what you wont probably hear: the Security for the Summit, and the Peoples Summit.

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Bush�s intention is to sign the FTAA agreement. My opinion is that this is crucial because if he does, he will earn some political capital, which we all know is so desperately needs when his image bottoming down. During his trip to Argentina, Condoleezza Rice and her argentine counterpart, Rafael Bielsa had a phone conversation that lasted about half hour. Those conversations have been described as tense. Apparently, Bielsa explained her The Mercosur�s position and what is blocking the advance of the treaty. Apparently Rice was not to understanding, and said that the US wants that some concrete advance in these negotiations. According to some versions, Bielsa had accepted some points. According to others, he said that it was a matter for the Mercosur, and that it was out of his hands. Apparently, there might be two different documents, which would be a first: One would express the majority version, and the other the Mercosur�s positions. This would be very unusual, because it would indicate the strong division of the continent. And Bush, with all the problems that he has at home, has to present himself as a leader of the group. What the Latin-American opposition is looking for is an end to American subsidies of agricultural products, so they can have a chance of introducing their products into the US. If he does, he will face strong opposition of those red states, which are the agricultural zones. After maintaining his arrival in secret, due to security reasons Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived to Mar del Plata . His first comments were against the FTAA, He will be staying in a hotel OUTSIDE the exclusion zone. For him, the FTAA is dead and �we are going to bury it here,� and pointed out that the American empire is weakened and that proof of that is that the Presidents will sign a document that will not mention the FTAA. He also said: �only the peoples union will save this land.�

There is much more in these diaries, their comment threads, and in other diaries. Since I am still reading, I will update this post as I go.

What A World (Update)

November 2, 2005

First, from VHeadline, we get this:

Writing on National and Homeland Security in today’s Washington Post, William M. Arkin says that the Pentagon has begun contingency planning for potential military conflict with Venezuela as part of a broad post-Iraq evaluation of strategic threats to the United States.

The planning has been precipitated by general and specific directives issued by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his civilian policy assistants.

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Military sources ascribe Venezuela’s emergence on a list of actual military threats as a reflection of an important post 9/11 war reality: The events themselves of September 11 provide justification … and perceived need … to take risks in thinking about unanticipated threats. “The Global War on Terror is rightfully our near-term focus, but we certainly don�t want to be caught flat-footed by a series of other possibilities,” says one Defense Department planning document.

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There is another bureaucratic reality of Venezuela as the pop up threat and recipient of contingency planner attention: US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), which is responsible for Latin America, needs something to do. Since 9/11, the Miami-based command has been robbed of much of its responsibilities for homeland and maritime security, relegated to doing little more than fighting the war on drugs. The al Qaeda terrorist threat in Latin America, which Rumsfeld’s office was trumpeting in 2001 and 2002, has also proven to be a bust.

And then this, from BBC:

President Hugo Chavez has warned the US he could give some of his country’s F-16 fighter jets to Cuba or China.

Mr Chavez accused the US of breaking a contract to supply spare parts for the jets it sold to Venezuela in the 1980s.

He suggested that Washington would be less than pleased if military rivals gained access to the advanced planes.

The F-16s were sold to previous governments that had better relations with the White House. The US sees Mr Chavez as an unfriendly head of state.

All of which is leading up to this:

Shouting “Yankee, get out!” and singing protest songs, thousands opposed to President Bush held a massive rally at a basketball arena just days before Bush arrives at this seaside resort for the Summit of the Americas.

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On Tuesday, organizers of the so-called “People’s Summit” gave fiery anti-Bush speeches that echoed through a drab concrete stadium several miles from the site where leaders of 34 Western Hemisphere nations will meet Friday and Saturday.

The protesters included Argentine Adolfo Perez Esquivel, who won the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for opposing his country’s military regime.

“We’ve had enough of Mr. Bush, who has committed crimes against humanity,” Perez told reporters. He called Bush a “murderer” for his actions in Iraq and elsewhere.

Activists say they not only will protest Bush’s actions in the Middle East but also free trade policies they say enslave Latin America workers. They are hoping to draw 50,000 people for their highlight event _ a protest Friday.

The main subject of the Summit of the Americas is the poverty reduction, but for Bush its really about the failed FTAA.

In response to the 1980s debt crisis, many Latin American countries adopted far-flung economic reforms centered on trade liberalization. The capstone of their efforts occurred in 1994 when 34 Western Hemisphere nations met at the first Summit of the Americas in Miami. There, under U.S. leadership, they proposed a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) to integrate the economies of the Americas, and planned on signing it by January 1, 2005. Since 1994, however, there have been four summits and eight trade ministerial meetings, during which the shape of the proposed FTAA has advanced gradually through rounds of practical negotiations. As a result, three versions have since been created. In 2002, a second text was drafted at the Quito Ministerial Meeting which created a clause whereby the United States and Brazil would become the new, permanent co-chairs of the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC). The third and most recent draft FTAA text was completed at the 2003 ministerial meeting in Miami.

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In his address at the United Nations, President Bush declared that �The United States is ready to eliminate all tariffs, subsidies and other barriers to free flow of goods and services as other nations do the same.� In another venue, the U.S. has offered to slash its agricultural subsidies by 50%. However Washington must go through the difficult task of resolving the agricultural subsidy question in Congress and by engaging U.S. public opinion, if it is to have a prayer of a chance of challenging the current standoff over the issue. Statements by President Bush will continue to reek of hypocrisy until that issue is frontally addressed with no secret agenda using substitute para-subsidy methods near at hand. By continually insisting on equal terms for such controversial issues as the service trade, IPR, and government procurement, while remaining unwilling to eliminate up front its farm subsidy programs, the U.S. stymies the one predictable trade area where Latin America otherwise might have a comparative advantage.

Ok, so far we have covered contingency war plans, weapons trade, protests and free trade. Something is missing. Oh, wait, here it is:

Chavez recently said he is interested in working with Iran to explore peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Chavez has insisted Iran has the right to develop nuclear energy despite opposition from the U.S. government, which fears Tehran may be developing a nuclear weapons program.

Venezuela has asked for technical help from Argentina to develop nuclear energy….

Bush’s response:

Despite tense relations with Venezuela, President Bush says it might be OK for the South American nation to have a nuclear reactor for peaceful energy uses.

Not up for a fight I guess what with the summit coming up. Still, the Iran connection is interesting. Let’s see, we already have the nuclear issue. War plans, check. Weapons trade, check, although flipped since Iran was our “enemy” at the time. Protests, check. And free trade issues, check.*

Which brings us to what this is really about, oil. Plain and simple. They have it, we want it, and this shit will continue until we get these folks out of Washington AND Americans learn to conserve.

Both of which require the truth coming out. Good luck on that happening.

Update- Well, things are heating up.

Chavez, who often spars with the United States, claimed the American delegation is trying to “to revive the FTAA.”

“They aren’t going to revive it even if they produce a 100,000-page document,” he told the Caracas-based television channel Telesur.

I will be watching the news for new developments. In the mean time, check out the Summit website for more info and history.

* Oh, and I almost forgot to add that our government has been “involved” in the electoral processes of both Venezuela and Iran.

An Interesting Comparison

August 27, 2005

I have read the comparisons of Iraq to Vietnam, but until now I had never read a comparison of Vietnam to what is going on with Venezuela.

So the question becomes: why is Robertson (and those who share his views) so frustrated with the president of Venezuela? Is he frustrated with Chavez’s attempts at building agricultural cooperatives through the implementation of land reform? Is Robertson frustrated with Venezuela using its oil revenue to promote literacy, health and other social programs? Or is it Chavez’s call to review all natural resource extraction contracts to make sure that Venezuela is being properly compensated for such assets?

Whatever Robertson’s frustrations with Chavez, they seem to be eerily reminiscent of the unwarranted frustrations the US had with the late Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam. The US was unnecessarily frustrated with the probability of having democratically held elections won by a socialist leader in the mid 1950s.

These were frustrations that did not allow the US to support the land reform efforts of Ho, that were then just as valid and necessary to Vietnam as the land reform efforts are now to Venezuela. These frustrations led to the demonization and conceptualization of Ho and his supporters. They became part of the feared “red menace” and “the domino theory” – just as Chavez and Venezuela have become Latin America’s premier “rogue nation” and leader in the eyes of the US.

That view of Ho blinded the US from helping Vietnam with its deep and historical security concerns with China, against which it had fought several wars of independence, which made it impractical for communist Vietnam to walk lockstep with communist China in the realm of foreign and domestic policy. Similarly, Chavez and Venezuela are erroneously viewed as following the same “revolutionary socialist” path as Fidel Castro in Cuba.

Such parallels between Ho and Chavez – or even Castro – seem to suggest that the frustrations that Robertson has with the Venezuelan president have little to do with his desire for democracy and social justice and more to do with the promotion of imperialism and empire. Therefore, just as the frustrations that led the US to go to war with Ho and North Vietnam were unwarranted, so, too, are the frustrations that led Robertson to voice such inflammatory rhetoric towards Chavez of Venezuela.

Wow. Makes a lot of sense. I just hope we don’t make the same mistake we made in Vietnam when we helped get the democratically elected president of South Vietnem assassinated. I mean, we already tried to get Chavez ousted and tried to rig the referendum election that re-elected him. America is in the wrong once again, saying we are spreading freedom (what ever the fuck that means anymore) while in reality becoming the new empire builders.

You’re either with us or………..

February 19, 2005

Ah, that famous line, “You are either with us or against us.” It seems America has a love for it. This attitude that permeates the war on terror is the same one our government had during the Cold War. And they are playing by the same rules they did then. Just look at how this administration handles its foriegn policy. We invaded Iraq “to bring democracy” to the Iraqi people (or has the reason changed again, it’s so hard to keep up) while we support brutal dictators in countries like Uzbekistan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Neglected (updated)

January 19, 2005

Apparently I have been neglecting Venezualian news as of late. Thankfully LondonYank over at DKos put it all together in one convenient post. Prepare yourself, it’s ugly.

Below the fold is a long list of links related to Venezuela and its neighbors. I figured why let these links just sit in my Bookmarks folder, when others may be interested as well. So feel free to slide down the rabbit hole.

With all the focus on Iraq and the ejaculation, I mean inauguration, little attention is being payed to events in South America.

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Gotta Love the U.S.(or we will kill you)

January 11, 2005

First off, let me just say that Billmon posted again! Ah, death squads, gotta love ‘um.

Our government wants to bring back death squads like we used in central America during the 1980’s, this time in the middle east. Lovely. Annatopia has more.

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