Brazil’s Lula in a wilderness of mirrors

Brazil’s Lula in a wilderness of mirrors

March 17, 2021

Still in the legal woods and not daring to project as a revolutionary leader, Lula should nonetheless never be underestimated

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times

A surprising Supreme Court decision that, while not definitive, restores Lula’s political rights has hit Brazil like a semiotic bomb and plunged the nation into a reality show being played in a wilderness of shattered mirrors.

At first, it looked like three key variables would remain immutable.

  • The Brazilian military run the show – and that would not change. They maintain total veto power over whether Lula may run for president for a third term in 2022 – or be neutralized, again, via whatever juridical maneuver might be deemed necessary, at the time of their choosing.
  • President Bolsonaro – whose popularity was hovering around 44% – would now have free rein to mobilize all strands of the right against Lula, fully supported by the Brazilian ruling class.
  • Pinochetist Economics Minister Paulo Guedes would continue to have free rein to completely destroy the Brazilian state, industry and society on behalf of the 0.001%.

But then, 48 hours later, came the Lula tour de force: a speech and press conference combo lasting a Proustian three hours – starting with a long thank you list on which, significantly, the first two names were Argentina President Alberto Fernandez and Pope Francis, implying a future Brazil-Argentina strategic axis.

During those three hours, Lula operated a masterful pre-emptive strike. Fully aware he’s still not out of the legal woods, far from it, he could not possibly project himself as a revolutionary leader. In the complex Brazilian matrix, only the evolution of social movements will in the distant future create the political conditions for some possibility of radical revolution.

So Lula opted for the next-best play: he completely changed the narrative by drawing a sharp contrast to the dreadful wasteland presided over by Bolsonaro He emphasized the welfare of Brazilian society; the necessary role of the state, as social provider and development organizer; and the imperative of creating jobs and raising people’s incomes.

“I want the Armed Forces taking care of the nation’s sovereignty,” he stressed. The political message to the Brazilian military – who hold all the cards in the current political charade – was unmistakable.

On the autonomy of the Brazilian Central Bank, he remarked that the only ones who profited from it comprised “the financial system.” And he made it quite clear the main circumstance in which “they should be afraid of me” will be if choice chunks of productive Brazil – as in national energy giant Petrobras – are sold for nothing. So he firmly positioned himself against the ongoing neoliberal privatization drive.

Obama-Biden

Even knowing that Obama-Biden were the (silent) overseers of the slow motion lawfare coup against President Dilma Rousseff from 2013 to 2016, Lula could not afford to be confrontational with Washington.

Refraining from throwing a fragmentation bomb he didn’t mention that then-Vice President Biden spent three days in Brazil in May 2013 and met Dilma – discussing, among other key issues, the fabulous pre-salt oil reserves. One week later, the first installment of a rolling Brazilian color revolution hit the streets.

Lula skirted another potential fragmentation bomb when he said, “I had the intention to build a strong currency with China and Russia so not to be dependent on the U.S. dollar. Obama knew about it.”

That’s correct: but Lula could have stressed that this was arguably the fundamental motivation for the coup – and for the destruction of an emergent Brazil, then 6th largest economy in the world and accumulating vast political capital across the Global South.

Lula is far from secure enough to take the risk of indicting the whole, elaborate Obama-Biden/FBI/Justice Department operation that created the conditions for the Car Wash investigation racket – now totally unmasked. The US deep sate is watching. Watching everything. In real time. And they won’t let their tropical neo-colony slip away without a fight.

Still, the Lula Show was an incantatory, hypnotic invitation to tens of millions of people glued to their smartphones, a society terminally exhausted, appalled and infuriated by a multi-pronged tragedy presided over by Bolsonaro.

Hence the inevitable, subsequent vortex.

What is to be done?

If confirmed as the ultimate comeback kid, Lula faces a Sisyphean task. The unemployment rate is 21.6% nationally, over 30% in the poorer northeastern regions.

It reaches nearly 50% among 18-24-year-olds. The emergency government help in times of pandemic was initially set at a little over $100 – to loud opposition protests. Now that it’s been scaled down to a paltry $64, the opposition is clinging to the previous $100 it rejected.

For 60% of the Brazilian working class monthly wages are less than what was the minimum wage in 2018, at the time valued around $300.

In contrast to relentless impoverishment, a hefty chunk of Brazilian industrialists would like to see the Guedes hardcore neoliberal orchestra keep playing unencumbered. That implies serial super-exploitation of the work force and indiscriminate sell-off of state assets. A large proportion of the pre-salt deposits – in terms of reserves already discovered – is not Brazilian-owned anymore.

The military de facto handed over the nation’s economy to transnational finance. Brazil virtually depends on mercenary agro-business to pay its bills. As soon as China reaches food security, with Russia as a major supplier, this arrangement will vanish – and foreign reserves will dwindle.

To talk about “de-industrialization” in Brazil – as the liberal left does – makes no sense whatsoever, as rapacious industrialists themselves support neoliberalism and rentism.

Add to it a narco-trafficking boom as a direct consequence of the nation’s industrial collapse, coupled with what could be defined as the incremental US-style evangelicalization of social life expressing the predominant anomie, and we have the most graphic case of disaster capitalism ravaging a major Global South economy in the 21st century.

So what is to be done?

No smoking gun

Of course there’s no smoking gun. But all the shadowplay points toward a deal. Now seemingly rallying around him are, with the exception of the military, the same actors who tried to destroy Lula – what is dubbed the “juristocracy,” powerful media interests, the goddess of the market.

After all, Bolsonaro – the incarnation of a military project rolled out since at least 2014 – is not only bad for business: his psychotic inconsequence is downright dangerous.

For instance, if Brasilia cuts off Huawei from 5G in Brazil, sooner rather than later agro-business mercenaries will be eating their own soya beans, as Chinese retaliation will be devastating. China is Brazil’s top trade partner.

Key plot twists remain unanswered. For instance, whether the Supreme Court decision – which may be reverted – was taken only to protect the Car Wash investigation, actually racket, and its crypto Elliott Ness-style superstar, now discredited provincial judge Sergio Moro.

Or whether a new judicial via crucis for Lula may be unleashed if their handlers so decide. After all, the Supreme Court is a cartel. Virtually every one of the 11 justices is compromised to one degree or another.

The paramount variable is what the imperial masters really want. No one inside the Beltway has a conclusive answer. The Pentagon wants a neo-colony – with minimum Russia-China influence, that is, a fractured BRICS. Wall Street wants maximum plunder. As it stands, both the Pentagon and Wall Street never had it so good.

Obama-Biden 3.0 want some continuity: the sophisticated early-to-mid 2010s project of shattering Brazil via Hybrid War developed under their patronage. But now that must proceed under “acceptable” management; for the Dem leadership Bolsonaro, on every level, is irredeemably linked to Trump.

So this is the crucial deal to watch in the long run: Lula/Obama-Biden 3.0.

Brasilia insiders close to the military are spinning that if the deep state/Wall Street consortium gets its new basket of goodies – China out of 5G, increased weapons sales, the privatization of Eletrobras, new Petrobras price policies – the military may discard Lula again anytime.

Always in negotiation mode, Lula had been in action even before the Supreme Court decision. In late 2020, Kirill Dmitriev, head of the Russian Development Investment Fund which financed the Sputnik V vaccine, took a meeting with Lula, after he identified the former president as one of the signatories of a petition by Nobel Economics prize Muhammad Yunus calling for Covid-19 vaccines to be a common good. The meeting was firmly encouraged by Russian President Putin.

This eventually led to tens of millions of doses of Sputnik V being available for a group of Brazilian northeastern states. Lula played a key part in the negotiation. The federal government, initially bowing to heavy American pressure to demonize Sputnik V, but then confronted with a vaccine disaster, was forced to jump on the bandwagon and now is even trying to take the credit for it.

As it stands, this enthralling telenovela political frenzy may be exhibiting all the hallmarks of a psyops crossover between MMA and WWE – starring a few good guys and an abundance of heels.

The (military) house would like to give the impression it is controlling all the bets. But Lula – as the consummate political practitioner of “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” – should never be underestimated.

As soon as the taming of Covid-19 allows it – to a great extent thanks to Sputnik V – Lula’s best bet will be to hit the road. Unleash the battered working masses in the streets, energize them, talk to them, listen to them. Internationalize the Brazilian drama while trying to bridge the gap between Washington and the BRICS.

And act like the true leader of the Global South he never ceased to be.

Pfizer Demanding Bank Reserves, Military Bases And Embassy Buildings As Collateral For COVID-19 Vaccines

Source

I am not sure what you would call this. Attempting to take over a country via drug blackmail maybe. Part of the World Economic Forums Agenda is to take over land. I guess Pfizer wants into the land grab.

They really do not want the vaccine as it is dangerous anyway. As noted over the past two months.

February 27, 2021

Pharma giant Pfizer has been holding sovereign governments to ransom making bizarre demands asking for bank reserves, embassy buildings and military bases as collateral in return for COVID-19 vaccines.

The US-based company Pfizer is holding governments to ransom, interfering with their legislation, and even demanding military bases as guarantee.

pfizer demanding bank reserves, military bases and embassy buildings as collateral for covid 19 vaccines

Pfizer asked the Govt of Argentina to be compensated for the cost of any future civil lawsuitsreported WION.

If someone files a civil lawsuit against Pfizer in Argentina and wins that case, the government of Argentina and not Pfizer would pay the compensation.

So, Argentina’s parliament passed a new law in October 2020, but Pfizer was unhappy with its phrasing.

The law said Pfizer needs to at least pay for negligence, for its own mistakes if it happens to make any in the future.

Pfizer rejected this, after which Argentina offered to amend the law to define negligence more clearly – to include only vaccine distribution and delivery under negligence.

Pfizer was still not happy and demanded the law be amended through a new decree, which Argentina refused.

Pfizer then asked Argentina to buy an international insurance to pay for potential future cases against Pfizer, to which the country agreed.

But that was not enough, in December 2020, Pfizer again came back with more demands.

And this time Pfizer demanded Argentina’s sovereign assets as collateral. Pfizer demanded that Argentina put its bank reserves, military bases and embassy buildings at stake.

Argentina did not agree with Pfizer’s demands.

Another country Pfizer made such bizarre demands is with Brazil. Pfizer told the Govt of Brazil to create a guarantee fund, and deposit money in a foreign bank account.

On January 23, 2021 – Brazil’s Health Ministry put out a statement citing excerpts from Pfizer’s pre-contract clauses.

Here’s a list of Pfizer’s demands:

• Brazil waives the sovereignty of its assets abroad in favour of Pfizer,
• that the rules of the land – be not applied on Pfizer,
• that Brazil take into consideration a delay in delivery,
• that Pfizer is not penalised for a delayed delivery, and
• that in case of any side effects, Pfizer be exempted from all civil liability.

The government of Brazil calls these clauses abusive. The Pfizer deal with Brazil failed too.

Pfizer even wanted India to order its COVID-19 vaccines without any local trials.

According to the co-founder of BioNTech Dr Ugur Sahin, the COVID-19 vaccine he designed for Pfizer was designed in just few hours in a single day on January 25, 2020. No other vaccine in history has been created and manufactured so quickly.

Previously, the fastest vaccine ever developed took more than four years.

As reported by GreatGameIndia earlier, Pfizer has paid $2.3 billion in the largest healthcare fraud settlement in history to resolve criminal and civil liability arising from the illegal promotion of certain pharmaceutical products.

Even, the US government paid over $57 million in compensation for vaccine injuries and deaths till March 2020 alone. Source

Deaths and Injuries due to Covid vaccines.

In Israel it seems the more vaccines they give the more so Called Covid and deaths they are getting. This episode covers a lot. The World is FED UP with Covid19; Testing on Children Begins; Israel’s New Covid Pass; Owner of the Busiest No-Mask Store in FL; Cattle Rancher Exposes Our Fragile Food Supply

https://www.bitchute.com/embed/u4J9vhv7Dhtv/?feature=oembed#?secret=mLUAald4Hs

Reiner Fuellmich With Other German Lawyers Class Action

Ottawa Canada: Parliament Hill Protest Feb 14, 2021

Recently updated. Canada has become a complete insult to human dignity (your friends or relatives could just vanish)

Corona Fake Pandemic: Italy Subjected to a Holy Inquisition of False Science

Message to BC Educators from a Concerned Parent

Experimenting on Babies as young as 6 months old-Wake up People

Metals, Micro- Nanocontamination found in Vaccines

‘In My Heart, I am a Palestinian‘: Palestine Mourns Legendary Footballer Diego Armando Maradona

November 25, 2020

By Palestine Chronicle Staff

The 20th century’s greatest footballer, Diego Armando Maradona, died in San Andrés, Argentina, at the age of 60. The Argentine Football Association reported that the cause of death was cardiac arrest.

Maradona has been struggling with various health crises in recent years, the most recent of which was earlier this month when he reportedly suffered from a brain hemorrhage. 

Maradona’s fans around the world expressed their shock and deep sadness for his passing. Palestinians were not an exception. However, for Palestinian football fans, Maradona represented more than a mere player, arguably the best in the world. He was something else entirely. 

“In Palestine, you cannot hate Maradona. Your only option is to love him and you couldn’t have any negative opinion about him,” Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle Ramzy Baroud said. “Maradona inspired something in us as a collective – a man of small built, from a terribly poor background, brown like us, fiery like us and passionate like us, making his way to the top of the world. For us, it was not about football or sports. It was about hope. It felt as if anything was possible.”

“You can only imagine our excitement when we learned that Maradona cared for Palestine, and made many gestures in support of our struggle. Our joy was complete. Indeed, until the very end, he took moral stances for Palestine, affirming, once more, in July 2018 that ‘In my heart, I am a Palestinian,” Baroud added.

The statement of solidarity was communicated then to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. However, this was not the only instance in which Maradona was vocal in his support of the Palestinian cause.

For example, in 2012, Maradona described himself as “the number one fan of the Palestinian people .. I respect them and sympathize with them.” 

During the Israeli war on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Maradona expressed his outrage. “What Israel is doing to the Palestinians is shameful,” he said in a statement. 

Also, in that same year, media reports spoke of negotiations between the Palestinian Football Association and the Argentinian football legend, who was rumored to be the next coach of the Palestinian national team during the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. 

“Growing up in Gaza, we loved Maradona. In fact, personally, I loved and played football because of him. Whenever he played, whether for Argentina, Napoli or other teams, we would drop everything and gather in front of our small black and white television set to watch him play,” Baroud said. 

In Palestine, we share the struggles of all oppressed, working-class people everywhere, and, in turn, we say ‘In our collective Palestinian heart, we are Argentinians; we Are South Americans,” Baroud added.  

“Thank you, Maradona. You will forever represent something beautiful in all of us.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

Interstate competition swallows Bolsonaro´s Government

February 18, 2020

Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog

When U.S. President Donald Trump announced on December 2 the taxation of Brazilian and Argentine steel, restoring the immediate effect of the “tariffs on all steel and aluminum sent to the United States by these countries,” the amateur members of Bolsonaro´s government were unable to hide their disbelief in their faces of disappointment.

Even with reality falling on their heads, the blindness of the upper echelons of the government regarding the current geopolitical moment is so great that the only character who has perhaps given any hint of understanding was Vice President General Hamilton Mourão, by drawing a parallel between what happened and what, according to his words, he would say about a “characteristic of this geopolitical tension that we are experiencing, which generates protectionism (and) is an anti-cyclical movement in relation to globalization.

Even if his words make sense, what seems to escape the understanding of the vice-president of the Republic and the members of the current government as a whole is the deepest reality of the multipolar world that has been gradually unveiling itself since the beginning of the new century and that, according to the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro(UFRJ) professor José Luís Fiori, intensified between the years 2012 and 2013 with the election of Vladimir Putin and the arrival to power of Xi Jinping.

It should be noted, however, that this multipolar world misunderstood by the strategists of the current Brazilian government (if they exist…), is in no way accepted by the current hegemonic power.

The comfortable hegemony in a unipolar world, conquered by the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union, is now challenged by new actors that, as a consequence, tension and intensify interstate competition.

Demonstrating the total mismatch of the current Brazilian government with the reality of the international system at the beginning of the 21st century, the reaction of members of the team of the Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, to Trump’s words is symptomatic.

In the words of one of Guedes’ assistants, “Trump has always been clear in saying that Brazil is very closed. You need something like: ‘Brazil has come up with a better plan for American companies, so I’m going to go back on the decision to raise the rates’”.

In the logic, at the very least, naive of Mr. Guedes’ team, it would therefore suffice to present the US authorities with a well-developed plan for trade opening, and then Trump would retreat.

The concrete fact is that the Brazilian government seems lost and without understanding the new configuration of the multipolar world order, not being aware of the depth of the fierce interstate competition between what, in the words of Professor Fiori, would be “the three great powers fighting for global power at the beginning of the 21st century.

The last meeting of Brics, held in Brasilia in November, was symptomatic of the unpreparedness of the Brazilian authorities in dealing with the current scenario of global dispute.

Symptomatic and worrying, because the events that permeated that summit and the reaction (or non-reaction) of guest presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin to those events demonstrated the subtlety and care with which Russia and China sought to place themselves in this “minefield” that is South America today. A territory so complex and essential to their expansionist interests.

Just three days before the Brics meeting began on Nov. 10, a coup d’état took place in Bolivia, one of the few countries in the region that still had a strategic relationship with the Eurasian axis, and especially Russia, which had planned with former ousted president Evo Morales the construction of a sophisticated nuclear plant in the Bolivian altiplano, as well as plans for lithium exploration and the development of local agriculture. The documents relating to the ambitious projects had been signed in July when Morales made a diplomatic visit to Moscow.

This could be mere coincidence, if the release of former President Lula had not occurred just two days earlier, on November 8.

In addition to being the biggest opponent of Jair Bolsonaro’s far-right government, Lula is directly responsible for the creation and success of Brics and the strengthening of relations among South American nations.

In short, former President Lula, besides remaining very popular among the less favored classes in Brazil, which automatically turns him into a threat, was directly responsible for raising the country to the status of a global player beyond its region and at the same time for articulating, from Brics, a more consistent entry of the Eurasian powers in the South American scenario.

On 13 November, the official opening of the Brics summit took place in the presence of Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Narendra Modi and Cyril Ramaphosa, who were received at the Itamaraty Palace by President Bolsonaro.

On the morning of that same day, November 13, the Venezuelan embassy in Brasilia would be invaded by a group linked to self-proclaimed President Juan Guaidó. This would somehow overshadow the beginning of the Brics summit.

In Brazil, some more hasty analysts even suggested that that invasion would have the tentacles of fundamentalist sectors of Bolsonaro´s government installed in the Brazilian chancellery, headed by the unbelievable Minister Ernesto Araújo.

However, when connecting the dots, we could suppose that there would be some connection between the events that occurred during that hectic month of November, even if this connection does not necessarily follow a linear logic or if the absence of one of the events annulled the occurrence of another.

From the perspective of the dispute for global power between competing states – which often takes off from economic logic itself – the events of November would make sense if looked at in a systemic way.

The new national security strategy of the United States – announced on December 18, 2017 – would make official what had been happening in practice since the emerging Russia, China, India and even Lula’s Brazil began the expansionist onslaughts in Africa and Latin America, and intensified when Russia, in an unprecedented show of force, decided in 2015 to intervene in Syria, defining the course of the war. For the United States it was necessary to put a brake on that. Whatever the cost.

Therefore, both the “classic” and undisguised military coup in Bolivia, the invasion of the Venezuelan embassy and even Trump’s announcement of steel taxation would be a message and would have the same subliminal message: either you move away from our opponents and align yourselves with our strategy or you will suffer the consequences.

Brazil is now at a serious historical crossroads. One of the most delicate issues in the current scenario is the technological warfare (disguised as a trade war) involving the Chinese giant Huawei.

The most visible representation of the advancement of competition in what could be called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the dispute over 5G technology has become one of the spearheads of the expansive forces that clash as power and influence disputes in the world system intensify.

After having already missed the opportunity to participate in important markets such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Taiwan, which closed their doors due to restrictions imposed by the Americans, the auction for the introduction of 5G technology in Brazil, originally scheduled for the year 2020, would be a golden opportunity for the Chinese to put into practice, and in a large and important market, all their know-how for the construction of a vast network of fifth generation mobile Internet.

As the Chinese Ambassador to Brazil, Yang Wanming, rightly said last November: “I am confident in the sense of cooperation between China and Brazil in 5G technology. Brazil will take into account the interest in the country’s development”.

The Chinese rationality expressed in Ambassador Wanming’s words would fit perfectly if we were living in a period of normality in international relations; but we are not, and the technological war that has the 5G prominence race as its backdrop hides the challenging moment of transition between long cycles of international politics. This is a moment in which the world power, no longer fully capable of exercising leadership in the world political system, finds itself challenged by one or more emerging powers.

This has been the case since when, around 1560, the hegemonic power of the time, Portugal, was challenged by Spain, who then took the lead in the newborn world system, to be challenged by the Netherlands and so on until the present day.

In the midst of the tug-of-war between the Chinese and Americans, Brazil will have no choice but to invent a good technical excuse and postpone the 5G auction until, probably, 2021. The National Agency of Telecommunications (Anatel) has already been rehearsing the postponement by claiming that the 5G network would interfere with the signal of open TV in rural areas, because the transmission is made by satellite dish.

In the end, the pressure that the brazilian government is probably suffering behind the scenes from the Trump administration makes us feel that the announcement of the taxing of brazilian steel via Twitter would have a retaliatory bias with regard specifically to the 5G issue. This possibility is even admitted by the unsuspected brazilian economist linked to the financial market André Perfeito.

The fact is that the Brics meeting revealed a much more docile and receptive Bolsonaro to the presence of Eurasian powers than one could have imagined. Facing a serious recession, the brazilian government had no choice but to take advantage of that moment to seek investments from Brics’ partners.

As old and experienced players on the global board, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping were able to position their pawns strategically from their arrival in Brasilia until the last minute on Brazilian soil.

Even with the not friendly invasion of the Venezuelan embassy (a strategic ally of Russia and China) on the day they would be received by Bolsonaro at the Itamaraty Palace, the not at all naive Eurasian heads of state skillfully did not comment on what had happened and tried to reconcile, throughout the summit, the convergent positions among all the partners.

The clear attempt to sabotage the meeting, in the end, only served to highlight the extreme care with which Xi and Putin sewed the treaties, trying to avoid displeasing Bolsonaro on delicate issues such as the Venezuelan issue – which he did until they accepted that the traditional parallel meeting with countries in the region would not occur.

This posture is in line with what Professor Alexander Zhebit of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) said about a fundamental characteristic of Brics since its creation. According to Zhebit, the elements of agreement would be essential for the maintenance of the internal harmony of the group. In this way, the differences would be smoothed out by the constant negotiation of common points.

Not by chance, in the final declaration of the meeting, besides the fact that the Venezuelan question was not touched, any mention of support for Iran (also a strategic Sino-Russian ally in the Eurasian context) was even avoided.

China and Russia are fully aware of the role of subservience to the United States that the Bolsonaro´s Government plays and, as good old players, have the wisdom to understand the relationship with Brazil as a long-term one.

Old countries know that diplomacy and patience live together, and in a way – as researcher Oliver Stuenkel rightly said – Xi and Putin, strategically, know that the more isolated Brazil is on the international scene, the more important they will be.

Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor of laws ( LL.B), writer and geopolitical analyst. He is currently a columnist in international politics for the printed version of the centennial brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil

Message for my Latin American friends (in the form of a song)

The Saker

Dear friends,

I have to admit that I am absolutely heartbroken at the news coming out of Latin America.  Brazil, Venezuela, Cuba, Colombia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Bolivia – everywhere the people are struggling against what has been known as “Yankee imperialism” for decades.  The pendulum of history has swung back and forth many times in Latin America.  I remember the civil war in Argentina just before the coup of 1976, I was still a kid, but I remember it all.  Then the coup, the vicious and ugly “dirty war”, the disaster of the (just!) war for the Malvinas, then the years of “democracy”.  Rivers of blood, and still the new era of freedom and peace everybody kept hoping for did not come.  Now, four or five decades later, the people of Latin America are still dying and suffering under the yoke of a CIA-installed and CIA-controlled comprador class which would gladly sell their mothers and daughters to Uncle Shmuel for a few bucks.

And yet.

And yet 40 or 50 years are short when seen from the point of view of history, other struggles in history have lasted much longer.  So, as a poignant reminder that we will never lose hope, nor will we ever accept oppression, here is a song by Pedro Aznar whose beautiful lyrics will be understood by everyone from Patagonia to Mexico’s northern border (including my Brazilian friends) and which beautifully expresses the hope common to all of us!

Venceremos!

The Saker

PS: if somebody had the time to translate these lyrics into English, I would be most grateful.

Militarization of South America, Coup in Bolivia and Argentina’s rapprochement with the Eurasian powers

Militarization of South America, Coup in Bolivia and Argentina’s rapprochement with the Eurasian powers

By Fabio Reis Vianna for The Saker Blog

On October 29th, the Cycle of Seminars on World Economy Analysis, organized by professors Monica Bruckmann and Franklin Trein, received in the Noble Hall of the IFCS-UFRJ, in Rio de Janeiro, the illustrious presence of the former vice-president of the BRICS Development Bank, Professor Paulo Nogueira Batista.

In the midst of the peculiar moment of social upheavals that are spreading throughout the world, the New Silk Road was discussed, a major Chinese project of geo-economic integration of Eurasia through vast road networks, high-speed trains, gas pipelines, fiber optic cables and ports, and that will benefit millions of people (including Western Europe, and incidentally, the African continent and Latin America itself).

To this end, three institutions created in the orbit of this project would play a key role: the Silk Road Fund, the AIIB (Asian Investment and Infrastructure Bank), and the NBD (BRICS Development Bank).

As the Brazilian State is a shareholder and founder of the NDB, many financing projects from this global institution could already have been approved and would be very welcome to the staggering Brazilian economy. However, despite the fact that in recent years, specifically from 2003 to June 2018, Chinese companies have invested almost 54 billion dollars in more than 100 projects, according to data from the Brazilian government itself, as of 2017, investments have fallen sharply.

According to a study by the Brazil-China Business Council (CBBC), Chinese investments in Brazil totaled 8.8 billion dollars in 2017 and no more than 3 billion dollars in 2018. A drop of 66%.

The deepening of the Brazilian framing of the US imperial orbit says a lot about this.

With the institutionalization of the New Defense Strategy of the United States, enacted on December 18, 2017, what had been happening in practice since mid-2012 was made official, with the acceleration of the interstate dispute and the escalation of global competition: the American repositioning in global geopolitical chess in an increasingly aggressive and unilateral manner.

Leaving aside the multilateralist rhetoric promoted over the last century, the Americans, faced with the strengthening of the “revisionist” powers Russia and China – questioners of the American centrality in the use of the rules and institutions created and managed unilaterally throughout the 20th century -, now seek to impose their will, without concessions, on the countries of the so-called Western Hemisphere. This is a region to which the United States rightfully attributes itself to the full exercise of sovereignty, for considering its zone of direct influence, thus inadmitting any contestation to its supremacy, not even any strategic alliance of countries that can create an alternative pole of power; much less in the Southern Cone of the continent.

Thus, the position of total alignment of the current Brazilian government with the interests of the Trump administration is very much related to this framing of the Western Hemisphere to the strategy of containing the expansionism of Eurasian actors.

If the deepening of the Eurasian project and the Sino-Russian strategic partnership – within Mackinder’s theory of heartland control – would already be inadmissible on its own, then the participation of a large Western Hemisphere country as a protagonist of an institution contesting old rules established and regulated by the hegemon would be too much: Brazil had to be separated from Russia and China at all costs, even if for this the country had to bear the price of seeing its institutions destroyed and involved in the labyrinth of a near military closure of the regime.

The last few months have been very hectic in many different parts of the world, particularly in South America.

Even if for not exactly similar reasons, especially in the specific cases of Peru and Bolivia, the popular protests that took place in Ecuador and Chile would have in common the characteristics of an almost natural reaction of self-protection of these societies to neoliberal restrictive policies.

As if it were an old irony of history, at the very moment when we are experiencing the shredding of interstate competition, there emerges a transmission belt spreading over several countries, as distant as they are disparate among themselves, the spark of social protests.

Curiously, this powerful and dangerous combination of social dissatisfaction and the escalation of conflicts between countries, in other periods of history, would end up being configured in that period of transition between the final cycles and of reconfiguration of the great board of the world system.

In view of this, it is important to highlight the risk of a characteristic in common that is gradually emerging in some South American countries: militarization.

With the escalation of global conflicts, the framing of South America to the North American strategy of containment of Eurasian adversaries and in the face of popular agitations to the deterioration of living standards, the lamentable option for the imposition of naked and crude order arises, bringing back to the political scenario of these countries the presence of the military as guarantors of institutional stability.

The region is moving towards a scenario in which elected governments, facing growing internal unrest, would depend on the military to survive.

The recent events in Peru, Ecuador and Chile do not allow us to lie. Apart from the fact that Brazil already lives under the shadow of a veiled military tutelage of its institutions.

The off-curve point of this story is Argentina and the impressive electoral victory of the Peronist opposition (at a time when the use of destabilizing tools has been frequent to interfere in electoral results, as in the case of the mass spread of fake news via Whatsapp in favor of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil).

Against all odds, in a region harassed by increasingly aggressive interference from the United States, Argentina is heading towards the resumption of a project of an autonomous and sovereign nation.

Faced with the successful destruction of the Brazil-Argentina strategic alliance, which had been strengthening since the re-democratization of the two nations in the mid-1980s, Argentina will face the complex challenge of seeking to expand its international insertion without its former Mercosur partner.

Something interesting said by Professor Paulo Nogueira Batista, in the Cycle of Seminars on Analysis of the World Economy, concerns the current Chinese position in the face of the aggressiveness and truculence of the Trump administration: paradoxically, such aggressiveness would be containing the Chinese expansionist impetus of recent years in South America, which, according to the professor, could open great opportunities for the countries of the region to bargain more favorable agreements for the Chinese. With the paralysis of Brazil and its blind alignment with the New Defense Strategy of the United States, Argentina has the opportunity not only to bargain for favorable trade agreements, but also to occupy the space left vacant by Brazil in the Eurasian integration project.

As Professor Paulo Nogueira Batista rightly said, the BRICS, and especially their development bank (NBD), would be heading toward a process of expansion of their participants.

In the new global geopolitical configuration, in which the intensification of the dispute increases the need of competing powers to guarantee their energy security, South America is already seen by many analysts as the new center of gravity of world oil production, replacing the Middle East. The Coup d’état in Bolivia is a very clear sign that the game will tend to be heavier from now on.

As Professor José Luís Fiori, Brazil’s leading expert on geopolitical issues, warned, “Oil is not the cause of all the conflicts in the international system. There is no doubt, however, that the great centralization of power that is underway in the interstate system is also transforming the permanent struggle for energy security of national states into a war between the great powers for the control of the new energy reserves that are being discovered in recent years. A war that is developing hand in hand, and in any corner of the world, be it in the tropical territory of Black Africa or in the icy lands of the Arctic Circle; be it in the turbulent waters of the mouth of the Amazon or in the inhospitable Kamchatka Peninsula”. https://jornalggn.com.br/geopolitica/geopolitica-e-fe-por-jose-luis-fiori/?fbclid=IwAR1IEPB6xbYL9BOpClmpyeUbonPPsIRPP-BQS7L_dqxZI0sr05jTHQ1Av64

Curiously, shortly before the violent classic coup d’état against President Evo Morales, the government of that country had announced plans to nationalize its production of Lithium.

Global demand for Lithium, essential in the production of cell phone batteries, laptops and electric cars, is expected to triple in the next 15 years.

Not coincidentally, Lithium’s world’s largest reserves are in Bolivia.

If this trend is confirmed, there is no other alternative for whale countries like Brazil and Argentina than to take over the South American strategic project at the risk of ending their days fragmented and swallowed up by the interests and disputes of powers outside the region.

For now, it is up to Argentina to walk alone and out of necessity, to expand economic and geopolitical ties with China and Russia because the tendency is for the country to become the target of the next destabilizing campaigns, “fourth generation” wars and economic suffocation caused by the hegemon.

Fabio Reis Vianna, lives in Rio de Janeiro, is a bachelor in law, writer and geopolitical analyst. He is currently a columnist in international politics for the printed version of the centennial Brazilian newspaper Monitor Mercantil.

 

Jeffrey Zwi Epstein Migdal

zwi migdal.jpg

By Gilad Atzmon

The story of Jeffrey Epstein has lost its mystery as more and more commentators allow themselves to express the thought that it is a strong possibility that Epstein was connected to a crime syndicate affiliated with a Zionist political organisation or Israel and/or at least a few compromised intelligence agencies. Whitney Web and others have produced superb studies of possible scenarios, I would instead like to attack the topic from a cultural perspective. Epstein wasn’t the first Jewish sex trafficker. This seems like a good time to look back at Zwi Migdal, a Jewish global crime syndicate that operated a century ago and trafficked tens of thousands of Jewish women and under age girls as sex slaves. According to contemporary Jewish writer Giulia Morpurgo the Zwi Migdal had turned Argentina, “into a nightmare of prostitution and exploitation.”

During the first three decades of the 20th century Argentina was a rich country. It outgrew Canada and Australia in population, total income, and per capita income. Just before the first world war Argentina was the world’s 10th wealthiest state per capita. When Argentina was a rich country, large parts of its economy, culture and politics were controlled by crime syndicates and particularly a Jewish organised crime apparatus named ‘Zwi Migdal.’

In 2009 The International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault (JCACA) published a comprehensive article about the Zwi Migdal titled Understanding the Zwi Migdal Society which I am about to quote from extensively.

The Zwi Migdal, was an association of Jewish mobsters who were involved in the “sexual exploitation of Jewish women and children, which operated globally.” Apparently the Zwi Migdal originally picked a pretty innocent sounding name: “Warsaw Jewish Mutual Aid Society.” It does indeed sound almost as innocent, humane and charitable as ‘Anti Defamation League,’ ‘Jews against Breast Cancer,’ or even ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’  but the Warsaw Jewish Mutual Aid Society wasn’t innocent at all. It forced thousands of women and girls to become sex slaves and destroyed their lives.

On May 7, 1906, the Jewish syndicate had to change its title after the Polish ambassador to Argentina filed an official complaint to the Argentine authorities regarding the use of the name ‘Warsaw.’ Clearly, the Polish government did not want to be associated with a Jewish crime syndicate. In that line, it would be appropriate to ask how long is it going to take before the American government  and its politicians insist that AIPAC drop its first ‘A’ or before The Neocon Project of the New American Century are ordered to drop American from their title.

“Zwi Migdal means ‘strong power’ in Yiddish and it also honoured Zvi Migdal, known as Luis Migdal, one of the founders of the crime organization.”

The Zwi Migdal organization operated from the 1860s to 1939. In its heyday, after the First World War, it had four hundred members in Argentina alone. Its annual turnover was fifty million dollars in the early 1900s.

Unlike Epstein and Maxwell who allegedly recruited non-Jewish underage women, the Zwi Migdal specialised in trafficking Jewish women. “Most of the Jewish women and children who were kidnapped were taken from impoverished shtetls (Jewish small towns) and brought to Buenos Aires.”

The recently released documents related to the Jeffrey Epstein affair suggest that Epstein and Maxwell were to be charged with child sex trafficking, and as the alleged procurer of underage girls. It seems none of that is really novel in the Jewish world: “The Zwi Migdal Society lured decent girls and young women from Europe in many inventive and deceitful ways.  A very well-mannered and elegant-looking man would appear in a poor Jewish village in places such as Poland or Russia.  He would advertise his search for young women to work in the homes of wealthy Jews in Argentina by posting an ad in the local synagogue.  Fearful of pogroms and often in desperate economic circumstances, the trusting parents would send their naïve daughters away with these men, hoping to give them a fresh start.”

The last line recalls Virginia Giuffre’s account of her encounter with the elegant British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell  who allegedly lured her victims to ‘escape’ their misery.

The JCACA continues “The girls, aged mostly 13 to 16, packed a small bag, bade their families farewell and boarded ships to Argentina, believing that they were on their way toward a better future. However, they soon learned the bitter truth. Their period of training as sex slaves, which began on the ship, was cruel and brutal. The young virgins were “broken in” ~ raped, beaten, starved and locked in cages.”

The Zwi Migdal Organization reached its peak in the 1920s when some 430 rufianos, or pimps, controlled 2,000 brothels trafficking around 30.000 Jewish women and girls in Argentina alone. “The largest brothels of Buenos Aires housed 60 to 80 female sex slaves. There were brothels all over Argentina, but most of them were in the big city, in the Jewish quarter, on Junin Street.”

Apparently “Prostitutes who failed to satisfy their clients were beaten, fined, or taken to work in provincial houses. Every business transaction was logged. The rufianos ‘held a meat market’ where newly arrived girls were paraded naked in front of traders in places such as Hotel Palestina or Cafe Parisienne.”

One may wonder how all of that fit with Judaic tradition and Talmudic law. “In one brothel,” the ACACA reports,  “the Madam, an observant Jewish woman, would not let her women work on Fridays but instructed them herself in the art of lovemaking.”

Many commentators on the Epstein affair are amazed by the incapacity of America’s law enforcement, legal system and federal agencies to bring justice to Epstein’s victims and its failure to lock him away. Once again, that is not new.   The JCACA writes of the Zwi Migdal criminality: “These activities went on undisturbed because they were frequented by government officials, judges, and reporters. City officials, politicians, and police officers were paid off. The pimps had powerful connections everywhere.”

The Jewish community didn’t rush to save their abused daughters. “The prostitutes, who were mostly illiterate, destitute and despised by the mainstream Jewish community, banded together to form their own mutual-aid societies.” However, rarely, some Jewish ethnic activists stood for the abused women and girls. “One night Nahum Sorkin, a well-known Zionist activist, stood outside the theatre and physically stopped the rufianos (Jewish pimps) from entering. Next, they were banned from the synagogues, and to top it all, they were refused burial in the Jewish cemetery.”


From Rachel  (Raquel) Lieberman to Virginia Roberts Giuffre 

 We learn that the rufianos’ audacity eventually led to their demise. “It happened when they refused to forgo their income from the work of one woman, Rachel Lieberman from Lódž, Poland. She, like so many others, was tempted to travel to Buenos Aires answering a matrimonial ad, but was taken to Jonin Street where she was forced to prostitute.”

“After five years she had enough money to go into the antique furniture business to support herself and her sons but the rufianos made it impossible for her. They did not want her to set an example for their other slaves. But this woman had not been broken.”

As was the case for Virginia Giuffre, it needed brave Rachel to come forward.

 https://vimeo.com/124652938

In desperation, Rachel Lieberman “contacted Superintendent Julio Elsogray. She had heard his name mentioned on the street as one who would not take Zwi Migdal’s money and was actually looking for ways to destroy the organization. She slipped into his office one day and gave a detailed account of the connections among the various pimps in the organization management.

 Her testimony led to an extensive investigation. The findings reached Dr. Rodriguez Ocampo, a judge who would not take Zwi Migdal bribes either.

The lengthy trial ended in September 1930, with 108 detainees. “The very existence of the Zwi Migdal Organization directly threatens our society,” the judge wrote in his verdict, handing down long prison terms.”

As with Epstein and his mobsters friends, things changed quickly and not in favour of justice let alone guided by ethical principles. The Zwi Migdal mobsters were at least as well connected as Epstein to politicians, judges and prosecutors. “While in prison, the pimps pulled some old strings, appealed their sentences in January 1931, and senior Justice Ministry officials left only three of the convicts in jail, discharging the rest.”

As was the case with The Miami Herald’s Julie Brown and many of us in the alternative media who didn’t allow the rottenEpstein  and his pedophile ring’s crimes to be shoved under the carpet, the 1930s Argentinian media didn’t agree to turn a blind eye to the Jewish syndicate’s impunity.

When the media reported the release of the Zwi Migdal’s mobsters from jail, “the public was very upset and pressured the authorities to reverse the discharge decision. Thereafter, hundreds of pimps were deported to Uruguay. “Over the years, they slowly returned one by one, but the era of the huge brothels ended.”

The JCACA sums up the Zwi Migdal saga by stating that the Jewish crime syndicate was “an organization that traded in women while its members wore tefillin (a Jewish religious garment)  and built themselves a synagogue.” I guess the same can be said about Epstein’s ring. They may not be religious, they may not wear Tefillin but they are self identified Jewish Zionists who donate to Israel and vocally support Israel’s criminal  politics.

The JCACA proclaims that the Zwi Migdal’s “history is an embarrassment to all decent Jews. It involved loads of money, corrupt politicians, violent sex, international women trade, hard brutality, rape, and cheating, all lightly spiced with yiddishkeit and God-fearing traditions. Among those traditions, according to Jewish beliefs as expressed in the Torah, is that it is perfectly fine to keep slaves so long as they are not Jewish. Yet these Zwi Migdal also enslaved Jewish girls and a great many who ran the bordellos were Jewish women.” 

I find myself admitting that except for Benjamin Netanyahu who denounced Ehud Barak for his ties with Epstein for political opportunist reasons, I have yet to see a single Jewish organisation express any embarrassment in regard to Epstein and his sex trafficking operation. On the contrary, Epstein’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz, announced that he is actually a victim of the #metoo movement. He  also occasionally insists that Jews should never apologise for using their strength. Maxwell has kept quiet. Wexner has yet to apologise. Like Dershowitz, he adopted the victim path announcing that Epstein ‘misappropriated’ a few shekels from his family and he regret being associated with the sex trafficker. JVP that cares so much for Palestinians must be slightly less bothered by Guiffre’s plight.  I am left wondering, is it the fact that Zwi Migdal abused Jewish women and girls that provoked Jewish discomfiture? I guess that, at least for the time being, it seems as if Jews do not posses the cultural or psychological means to look refectively into Epstein and his ring. The only question left open is whether the FBI has the cojones to do its job.


My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal and security services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me and others.

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Electoral Defeat for Ruling Argentinian Neo-Liberal Regime

Global Research, August 12, 2019

Since taking office in December 2015, President Mauricio Macri created socio-economic crisis conditions by serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of the public welfare.

He slashed social benefits at the behest of internal monied interests, Wall Street and the IMF. Real unemployment way exceeds the official 10% level. Underemployment affects most working Argentinians.

Inflation at over 50% destroyed purchasing power for most people. Most Argentinians are impoverished or bordering it.

Macri’s force-fed neoliberal harshness worsened after getting June 2018 $57 billion in IMF financing — the largest amount ever by the notorious loan shark of last resort agency to any nation, what no responsible leader should have anything to do with.

Its predatory lending practices come with unacceptable strings, demanding privatization of state enterprises, mass layoffs, deregulation, deep social spending cuts, wage freezes or cuts, other corporate friendly policies, marginalizing trade unions, and harsh crackdowns on resisters.

It’s all about letting bankers and other corporate predators strip mine countries of their material wealth and resources, shift them from public to private hands, crush democratic values, hollow out nations into backwaters, destroy middle class societies, and turn ordinary people able to find work into serfs earning poverty wages.

For nations getting into bed with the IMF, it’s perpetual debt bondage, obligating them to go deeper into debt to service existing obligations – at the expense of eroding and eliminating vital public services.

Macri is widely despised for his economic strangulation policies, Argentina’s contraction severest in over a decade, most people experiencing Depression conditions.

The country faces possible economic and financial meltdown, conditions exacerbated by growing global economic weakness. Its currency was in free-fall earlier, contributing greatly to eroding purchasing power.

Public anger over deplorable conditions showed up in Sunday’s primary elections, Macri admitting he had a bad night.

Opposition candidate Alberto Fernandez and his running mate/former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner handed him a stunning defeat — suggesting he’s unlikely to be reelected in October.

Fernandez/de Kirchner got 47.22% support from voters compared to 32.36% for Macri, a crushing defeat by any standard. Center-right Roberto Lavagna came in third with 8.39% support.

“We are here to create a new Argentina, not to continue the past model, but to end this time of lies and give a new horizon…Argentinians realized we are the change, not them,” Fernandez told supporters in post-election remarks.

De Kirchner said

“(w)e know of the difficult moment that the country is going through, of millions of Argentines who have lost their jobs.”

“We have talked with so many. We know what it is. This gives us the responsibility that we have to reach everyone to give them absolute peace of mind.”

Telesur explained that to win in October, “a candidate needs at least 45 percent of the vote or 40 percent and a difference of 10 percentage points over the second-place runner.”

“If there’s no clear winner, voters will return for a run-off on Nov. 24” between the top two vote-getting candidates.

With most Argentinians suffering greatly from economic harshness under the neoliberal/fascist Macri regime, a change of the guard is likely in October.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Russia Gives US Red Line on Venezuela

Russia Gives US Red Line on Venezuela

FINIAN CUNNINGHAM | 22.03.2019 | WORLD / | FEATURED STORY

Russia Gives US Red Line on Venezuela

At a high-level meeting in Rome this week, it seems that Russia reiterated a grave warning to the US – Moscow will not tolerate American military intervention to topple the Venezuelan government with whom it is allied.

Meanwhile, back in Washington DC, President Donald Trump was again bragging that the military option was still on the table, in his press conference with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro. Trump is bluffing or not yet up to speed with being apprised of Russia’s red line.

The meeting in the Italian capital between US “special envoy” on Venezuelan affairs Elliot Abrams and Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov had an air of urgency in its arrangement. The US State Department announced the tête-à-tête only three days beforehand. The two officials also reportedly held their two-hour discussions in a Rome hotel, a venue indicating ad hoc arrangement.

Abrams is no ordinary diplomat. He is a regime-change specialist with a criminal record for sponsoring terrorist operations, specifically the infamous Iran-Contra affair to destabilize Nicaragua during the 1980s. His appointment by President Trump to the “Venezuela file” only underscores the serious intent in Washington for regime change in Caracas. Whether it gets away with that intent is another matter.

Moscow’s interlocutor, Sergei Ryabkov, is known to not mince his words, having earlier castigated Washington for seeking global military domination. He calls a spade a spade, and presumably a criminal a criminal.

The encounter in Rome this week was described as “frank” and “serious” – which is diplomatic code for a blazing exchange. The timing comes at a high-stakes moment, after Venezuela having been thrown into chaos last week from civilian power blackouts that many observers, including the Kremlin, blame on American cyber sabotage. The power grid outage followed a failed attempt by Washington to stage a provocation with the Venezuelan military over humanitarian aid deliveries last month from neighboring Colombia.

The fact that Washington’s efforts to overthrow the elected President Nicolas Maduro have so far floundered, might suggest that the Americans are intensifying their campaign to destabilize the country, with the objective of installing US-backed opposition figure Juan Guaido. He declared himself “acting president” in January with Washington’s imprimatur.

Given that the nationwide power blackouts seem to have failed in fomenting a revolt by the civilian population or the military against Maduro, the next option tempting Washington could be the military one.

It seems significant that Washington has recently evacuated its last remaining diplomats from the South American country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented on the evacuation by saying that having US personnel on the ground “was limiting” Washington’s scope for action. Also, American Airlines reportedly cancelled all its services to Venezuela in the past week. Again, suggesting that the US was considering a military intervention, either directly with its troops or covertly by weaponizing local proxies. The latter certainly falls under Abrams’ purview.

After the Rome meeting, Ryabkov said bluntly: “We assume that Washington treats our priorities seriously, our approach and warnings.”

One of those warnings delivered by Ryabkov is understood to have been that no American military intervention in Venezuela will be tolerated by Moscow.

For his part, Abrams sounded as if he had emerged from the meeting after having been given a severe reprimand. “No, we did not come to a meeting of minds, but I think the talks were positive in the sense that both sides emerged with a better understanding of the other’s views,” he told reporters.

“A better understanding of the other’s views,” means that the American side was given a red line to back off.

The arrogance of the Americans is staggering. Abrams seems, according to US reporting, to have flown to Rome with the expectation of working out with Ryabkov a “transition” or “compromise” on who gets the “title of president” of Venezuela.

That’s what he no doubt meant when he said after the meeting “there was not a meeting of minds”, but rather he got “a better understanding” of Russia’s position.

Washington’s gambit is a replay of Syria. During the eight-year war in that country, the US continually proffered the demand of a “political transition” which at the end would see President Bashar al Assad standing down. By contrast, Russia’s unflinching position on Syria has always been that it’s not up to any external power to decide Syria’s politics. It is a sovereign matter for the Syrian people to determine independently.

Nearly three years after Russia intervened militarily in Syria to salvage the Arab country from a US-backed covert war for regime change, the American side has manifestly given up on its erstwhile imperious demands for “political transition”. The principle of Syrian sovereignty has prevailed, in large part because of Russia’s trenchant defense of its Arab ally.

Likewise, Washington, in its incorrigible arrogance, is getting another lesson from Russia – this time in its own presumed “back yard” of Latin America.

It’s not a question of Russia being inveigled by Washington’s regime-change schemers about who should be president of Venezuela and “how we can manage a transition”. Moscow has reiterated countless times that the legitimate president of Venezuela is Nicolas Maduro whom the people voted for last year by an overwhelming majority in a free and fair election – albeit boycotted by the US-orchestrated opposition.

The framework Washington is attempting to set up of choosing between their desired “interim president” and incumbent Maduro is an entirely spurious one. It is not even worthy to be discussed because it is a gross violation of Venezuela’s sovereignty. Who is Washington to even dare try to impose its false choice?

On Venezuela, Russia is having to remind the criminal American rulers – again – about international law and respect for national sovereignty, as Moscow earlier did with regard to Syria.

And in case Washington gets into a huff and tries the military option, Moscow this week told regime-change henchman Abrams that that’s a red line. If Washington has any sense of rationale left, it will know from its Syria fiasco that Russia has Venezuela’s back covered.

Political force is out. Military force is out. Respect international law and Venezuela’s sovereignty. That’s Russia’s eminently reasonable ultimatum to Washington.

Now, the desperate Americans could still try more sabotage, cyber or financial. But their options are limited, contrary to what Trump thinks.

How the days of American imperialist swagger are numbered. There was a time when it could rampage all over Latin America. Not any more, evidently. Thanks in part to Russia’s global standing and military power.

The Planning of a Coup against Venezuela: Chile, September 11, 1973: The Ingredients of a Military Coup. The Imposition of a Neoliberal Agenda

Chicago Economics: Neoliberal Dress Rehearsal of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)

Global Research, February 20, 2019
Global Research 11 September 2003

 

The main objective of the US-supported military coup in Chile was to impose the neoliberal economic agenda. “Regime change” was enforced through a covert military intelligence operation. Sweeping macro-economic reforms (including privatization, price liberalization and the freeze of wages) were implemented in early October 1973.

Barely a few weeks after the military takeover, the military Junta headed by General Augusto Pinochet ordered a hike in the price of bread from 11 to 40 escudos, a hefty overnight increase of 264%. This “economic shock treatment” had been designed by a group of economists called the “Chicago Boys.” “While food prices had skyrocketed, wages had been frozen.  From one day to the next, an entire country had been precipitated into abysmal poverty.

In 1973, I was teaching economics at the Catholic University of Chile. I lived through two of the most brutal US sponsored military coups in Latin America’s history: Chile, September 11, 1973 and less than three years later, Argentina, March 24, 1976 under Operation Condor, which initiated Argentina’s Dirty War: “La Guerra Sucia”.

And today, the Trump administration is threatening to invade Venezuela with a view to “restoring democracy”, replacing an elected president (casually described by the Western media as a “dictator”) by a US proxy, speaker of Venezuela’s National Assembly.

***

Author’s Introduction

More than forty-five years ago on September 11, 1973, the Chilean military led by General Augusto Pinochet, crushed the democratically elected Unidad Popular government of Salvador Allende.

The objective was to replace a progressive, democratically elected government by a brutal military dictatorship.

The military coup was supported by the CIA. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger played a direct role in the military plot.   

Is Washington’s ongoing initiative directed against Venezuela modelled on Chile?

In early 1970s, in a note to the CIA in relation to Chile, Henry Kissinger recommended “Make the economy scream.” Visibly the same concept has been applied to Venezuela, with advanced techniques of financial warfare, which were not available in the 1970s.

Today it’s Mike Pompeo and John Bolton who are calling the shots, in tandem with the CIA.

Bolton has gone far beyond the Nixon-Kissinger agenda formulated at the height of the Cold War. Bolton refers to “The Troika of Tyranny”. The US sponsored coup against Venezuela is also directed against Cuba. And from Washington’s standpoint “after Venezuela, Cuba is next”.

The troika of tyranny in this hemisphere—Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua—has finally met its match. In Venezuela, the United States is acting against the dictator Maduro, who uses the same oppressive tactics that have been employed in Cuba for decades.”  (John Bolton)

The model of US intervention against Venezuela nonetheless bears some striking similarities with Chile 1973:

  • A reshuffle within Chile’s Armed Forces occurred barely one month before the military coup followed by the resignation of General Carlos Prats
  • It should be emphasized that in 1973, the US did not have the support of its European allies. There was a firm and cohesive movement both in North America and Western Europe against the US sponsored coup d’Etat under the  helm of General Augusto Pinochet.
  • In contrast to Chile in the month preceding the September 1973 coup, the Venezuelan military is firmly committed to the Maduro government and the possibilities of coopting the top brass are “limited” in comparison to Chile in 1973. But this situation could evolve. Washington is currently involved in an ongoing process seeking to create divisions within Venezuela’s armed forces.
  • Linked to the Venezuelan Armed Forces, the National Bolivarian Militia, a civilian grassroots force created by Chavez in 2009 is slated to play a key role in the case of a Military Coup. In contrast, in Chile in 1973, the grassroots civilian militia linked to the cordones industriales were disarmed in August 1973.

The US sponsored Pinochet dictatorship prevailed during a period of 16 years. During this period, there was no initiative on the part of the US to call for the replacement of the dictatorship by a duly elected government.

In 1989, elections were held and parliamentary democracy was restored. Continuity prevails. Patricio Aylwin of the Christian Democratic Party (DC) who was elected president in 1989 had endorsed a “military solution” in 1973. He was largely instrumental in the breakdown of the “Dialogue” between the Unidad Popular government and the Christian Democrats (DC). In August 1973, Patricio Aylwin provided a Green Light to the Chilean Armed Forces led by Augusto Pinochet on behalf of the DC.

The following texts shed light on the Chilean Coup d’Etat. The first text first published in 2003 serves as an introduction to the text I wrote in Chile in the month following the September 11 1973 military coup, which describes the chronology of the 1973 military coup.

Chile, September 11, 1973: The Ingredients of a Military Coup. The Imposition of a Neoliberal Agenda, 

Global Research, Montreal, 20o3

The Ingredients of a Military Coup

Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, September 1973

Today our thoughts are with the people of Venezuela.

Michel Chossudovsky, February 11, 2019

****

Chile, September 11, 1973: The Ingredients of a Military Coup. The Imposition of a Neoliberal Agenda

Introduction

In the weeks leading up the 1973 coup, US Ambassador Nathaniel Davis and members of the CIA held meetings with Chile’s top military brass together with the leaders of the National Party and the ultra-right nationalist front Patria y Libertad.  While the undercover role of the Nixon administration is amply documented,  what is rarely mentioned in media reports is the fact that the military coup was also supported by a sector of the Christian Democratic Party.

(Nixon and Kissinger, image right)

For details see:

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/KOR309A.html

and references below.

Patricio Aylwin, who became Chile’s president in 1989,  became head of the DC party in the months leading up to the September 1973 military coup (March through September 1973). Aylwin was largely instrumental in the break down of the “Dialogue” between the Unidad Popular government and the Christian Democrats. His predecessor Renan Fuentealba, who represented the moderate wing of the Christian Democratic (PDC), was firmly against military intervention. Fuentealba favored a dialogue with Allende (la salida democratica). He was displaced from the leadership of the Party in May 1973 in favor of Patricio Aylwin.

The DC Party was split down the middle, between those who favored “the salida democratica”, and the dominant Aylwin-Frei faction, which favored “a military solution”.

See Interview with Renan Fuentealba,

http://www.finisterrae.cl/cidoc/citahistoria/emol/emol_22092002.htm )

On 23 August 1973, the Chilean Camera de Diputados drafted a motion,  to the effect that the Allende government “sought to impose a totalitarian regime”. Patricio Aylwin was a member of the drafting team of this motion. Patricio Aylwin believed that a temporary military dictatorship was “the lesser of two evils.”

See http://www.fjguzman.cl/interiores/noticias/tema_se/2003/julio/Patricio%20Aylwin%20y%20la%20dictadura%20transitoria.pdf ,

See also: El acuerdo que anticipó el golpe, http://www.quepasa.cl/revista/2003/08/22/t-22.08.QP.NAC.ACUERDO.html

This motion was adopted almost unanimously by the opposition parties, including the DC, the Partido Nacional and the PIR (Radical Left).

The leadership of the Christian Democratic Party including former Chilean president Eduardo Frei,had given a green light to the Military.

And continuity in the “Chilean Model” heralded as “economic success story” was ensured when, 16 years later, Patricio Aylwin was elected president of Chile in the so-called transition to democracy in 1989.

At the time of the September 11, 1973 military coup, I was Visiting Professor of Economics at the Catholic University of Chile. In the hours following the bombing of the Presidential Palace of La Moneda, the new military rulers imposed a 72-hour curfew.

Salvador Allende in the defense of the Palacio de la Moneda, September 11, 1973 (left)

When the university reopened several days later, I started patching together the history of the coup from written notes. I had lived through the tragic events of September 11, 1973 as well as the failed June 29th coup. Several of my students at the Universidad Catolica had been arrested by the military Junta.

In the days following the military takeover,  I started going through piles of documents and newspaper clippings, which I had collected on a daily basis since my arrival in Chile in early 1973. Some of this material, however, was lost and destroyed in the days following the coup.

This unpublished article (below) was written forty-five years ago. It was drafted on an old typewriter in the weeks following the September 11, 1973.

This original draft article plus two carbon copies were circulated among a few close friends and colleagues at the Catholic University. It was never published. For 30 years it lay in a box of documents at the bottom of a filing cabinet.

I have transcribed the text from the yellowed carbon copy draft. Apart from minor editing, I have made no changes to the original article.

The history of this period has since then been amply documented including the role of the Nixon administration and of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the plot to assassinate Allende and install a military regime.

Chicago Economics: Neoliberal Dress Rehearsal of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)

The main objective of the US-supported military coup in Chile was ultimately to  impose the neoliberal economic agenda.  The latter, in the case of Chile, was not imposed by external creditors under the guidance of IMF. “Regime change” was enforced  through a covert military intelligence operation, which laid the groundwork for the military coup. Sweeping macro-economic reforms (including privatization, price liberalization and the freeze of wages) were implemented in early October 1973.

Augusto Pinochet, 1973

Barely a few weeks after the military takeover, the military Junta headed by General Augusto Pinochet ordered a hike in the price of bread from 11 to 40 escudos, a hefty overnight increase of 264%. This “economic shock treatment” had been designed by a group of economists called the “Chicago Boys.”

While food prices had skyrocketed, wages had been frozen to ensure “economic stability and stave off inflationary pressures.” From one day to the next, an entire country had been precipitated into abysmal poverty; in less than a year the price of bread in Chile increased thirty-six fold (3700%). Eighty-five percent of the Chilean population had been driven below the poverty line.

I completed my work on the “unpublished paper’ entitled “The Ingredients of a Military Coup” (see text below) in late September.

In October and November, following the dramatic hikes in the price of food,  I drafted in Spanish an initial “technical” assessment of the Junta’s deadly macro-economic reforms. Fearing censorship, I limited my analysis to the collapse of living standards in the wake of the Junta’s reforms, resulting from the price hikes of food and fuel, without making any kind of political analysis.

The Economics Institute of the Catholic University was initially reluctant to publish the report. They sent it to the Military Junta prior to its release.

I left Chile for Peru  in December 1973. The report was released as a working paper (200 copies) by the Catholic University a few days before my departure. In Peru, where I joined the Economics Department of the Catholic University of Peru, I was able to write up a more detailed study of the Junta’s neoliberal reforms and its ideological underpinnings. This study was published in 1975 in English and Spanish.

Needless to say, the events of September 11 1973 also marked me profoundly in my work as an economist. Through the tampering of prices, wages and interest rates, people’s lives had been destroyed; an entire national economy had been destabilized. Macro-economic reform was neither “neutral” –as claimed by the academic mainstream– nor separate from the broader process of social and political transformation.

I also started to understand the role of military-intelligence operations in support of what is usually described as a process of “economic restructuring”. In my earlier writings on the Chilean military Junta, I looked upon the so-called “free market” reform as a well-organized instrument of “economic repression.”

Two years later, I returned to Latin America as a visiting professor at the National University of Cordoba in the northern industrial heartland of Argentina. My stay coincided with the 1976 military coup d’État. Tens of thousands of people were arrested; the “Desaparecidos” were assassinated. The military takeover in Argentina was “a carbon copy” of the CIA-led coup in Chile. And behind the massacres and human rights violations, “free market” reforms had also been prescribed, this time under the supervision of Argentina’s New York creditors.

original

Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order by Michel Chossudovsky (click image to order)

The IMF’s deadly economic prescriptions under the “structural adjustment program” had not yet been officially launched. The experience of Chile and Argentina under the “Chicago boys” was “a dress rehearsal” of things to come.

In due course, the economic bullets of the free market system were hitting country after country.

Since the onslaught of the debt crisis of the 1980s, the same IMF economic medicine has routinely been applied in more than 100 developing countries. From my earlier work in Chile, Argentina and Peru, I started to investigate the global impacts of these reforms. Relentlessly feeding on poverty and economic dislocation, a New World Order was taking shape.

(For further details, see Michel Chossudovsky,The Globalisation of Poverty and the New World Order, Second Edition, Global Research, Montreal, 2003.

I should mention that the ongoing US-led economic destabilization of Venezuela including the manipulation of the foreign exchange market, leading to the collapse of the national currency the Bolivar  and the dramatic hikes in the prices of essential consumer goods, bears a canny resemblance to the months preceding the September 1973 military coup in Chile.

 

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 11 September 2003, updated 11 September 2018

*        *         *

The Ingredients of a Military Coup

by Michel Chossudovsky

Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago

September 1973 

Original 1973 draft: click to enlarge

The transition to a right-wing military regime in Chile on September 11 [1973] has resulted after a lengthy and drawn-out process of economic boycott, subversion within the Armed Forces and political opposition to Allende’s Popular unity government.

In October 1970, General René Schneider was assassinated in a plot of the ultra-right together with seditious elements of the Armed Forces led by General Roberto Viaux. The assassination of General Schneider was part of a coordinated plan to prevent Parliament from ratifying Allende’s victory in the September 1970 presidential elections.

Last year’s [1972] October strike which paralyzed the economy for over a month, was organized by the gremios (employers’ organizations together with opposition labor and self employed organizations), the Partido Nacional and the ultra-right nationalist front Patria y Libertad. Some sectors of the Christian Democratic Party were also involved.

The October Strike had initially been planned for September 1972. “Plan Septiembre”  was apparently postponed due to the sudden dismissal of General Alfredo Canales from the Armed Forces. Canales together with Air Force General Herrera Latoja had earlier been in touch with Miguel Ubilla Torrealba of the nationalist front Patria y Libertad. Ubilla Torrealba was said to have been closely connected to the CIA. Despite General Canales premature retirement from the Armed Forces, Plan Septiembre was implemented in October beginning with a transport strike. The Right was hoping that those elements of the Armed forces, which had been inspired by General Canales would intervene against Allende. The October “Patronal” strike (employers and self-employed) failed due to the support of the Armed Forces headed by General Carlos Prats, who had integrated Allende’s cabinet as Minister of the Interior.

The June Failed Coup

On June 29, 1973, Coronal Roberto Souper led his tank division in an isolated attack on La Moneda, the Presidential Palace, in the hope that other units of the armed forces would join in. The June coup had initially been planned for the morning of September 27 by Patria y Libertad as well as by several high ranking military officers. The plans were found out by Military Intelligence and the coup was called off at 6pm on the 26th. A warrant for the arrest of Coronal Souper had been issued. Confronted with knowledge of his impending arrest, Colonel Souper in consultation with the officers under his command, decided to act in a most improvised fashion. At 9 am, amidst morning rush hour traffic, Tank Division Number Two drove down Bernardo O’Higgins, Santiago’s main down-town avenue towards the Presidential Palace.

While the aborted June Coup had the appearance of an insolated and uncoordinated initiative, there was evidence of considerable support in various sectors of the Navy as well as from Air Force General Gustovo Leigh, now [September 1973] member of the military junta [on 11 September General Leigh integrated the military Junta headed by General Pinochet]. According to well-informed sources, several high ranking officers in the aero-naval base of Quintero near Valparaiso had proposed the bombing of State enterprises controlled by militant left wing groups, as well as the setting up of an air corridor to transport navy troops. The latter were slated to join up with the forces of Colonel Souper in Santiago.

The June trial coup was «useful» indicating to the seditious elements within the Chilean Armed Forces that an isolated and uncoordinated effort would fail. After June 29, the right-wing elements in the Navy and the Air Force were involved in a process of consolidation aimed at gaining political support among officers and sub-officers. The Army, however, was still under the control of Commander in Chief General Carols Prats, who had previously integrated Allende’s cabinet and who was a firm supporter of constitutional government.

Meanwhile in the political arena, the Christian Democrats were pressuring Allende to bring in members of the Military into the Cabinet as well as significantly revise the programme and platform of the Unidad Popular. Party leaders of the government coalition considered this alternative [proposed by the Christian democrats] as a « legalized military coup» (golpe legal) and advised Allende to turn it down. Carlos Altamirano, leader of the Socialist Party had demanded that an endorsement of the programme of the Popular Unity coalition by the military be a sina qua non condition for their entry into the Cabinet. Upon the impossibility of bringing in the Military into the Cabinet on acceptable terms, Allende envisaged the formation of a so-called “Cabinet of Consolidation” composed of well known personalities. Fernando Castillo, rector of the Catholic University and a member of the Christian Democratic Party, Felipe Herrera, President of the Inter-|American Development Bank and other prominent personalities were approached but declined.

“The Dialogue”

Pressured by economic deadlock and the transport strike, inflation of more than 15 percent per month and mounting political opposition, Allende sought in the course of July [1973] to resume the political dialogue with the Christian Democratic Party.  After the March [1973] parliamentary elections, Patricio Aylwin had replaced Renan Fuentealba [May 1973] as leader of the Christian Democratic Party (PDC). Fuentealba, who represented the progressive wing of the Christian Democratic (PDC), was known to be in favor of a rapprochement with Allende. In other words, this rightward shift and hardening of the Christian Democrats in relation to the Unidad Popular, contributed to reinforcing their tacit alliance with the ring wing National Party. This alliance was initially intended as an electoral pact in the March [1973] parliamentary elections in which the Unidad Popular obtained 43 percent of the popular vote.

The Dialogue between Allende and Alwyin was a failure. Aylwin stated :

I have no trust in the democratic loyalty of the Marxist parties because they do not believe in Democracy. They have an inherent totalitarian conception. We are convinced that the democratic path will not solve the underlying economic problems…

The Communist Party Senator and prominent intellectual Volodia Teitelbaum response was:

The Christian Democrats are not that innocent. Basically they are in favor of a coup d’Etat because it constitutes a means to conveniently obtaining political power. The Christian Democrats have moved to the Right. They are not interested a Dialogue which implies a consolidation of revolutionary changes

While the Right was becoming more cohesive, a political split of the Left was imminent. The Communist Part sided with Allende’s constitutional strategy while a section of the Socialist Party (Allende’s own Party) led by Carlos Altamirano and the MAPU (Movimiento de Accion Popular Unitaria -initially a group of Christian Democrats which joined the Unidad Popular in 1969) led by Oscar Garreton, signified their distrust in “bourgeois legality” and the constitutional process and moved increasingly closer to the leftist revolutionary front Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR). MIR maintained ideological and strategic relations with Cuban revolutionary groups as well as with the Bolivian and Uruguayan Tupamaros. While endorsing many features the programme of the Unidad Popular, the MIR rejected Allende’s “Chilean Road to Socialism” :

We must create popular power (poder popular) based on the industrial belts (cordones industriales).

The cordones industriales were organized and politicized labor groups. Together with MAPU, MIR was in the process of developing the Grupos de Accion Urbana (Urban Action Groups), with the task of educating and preparing the masses for armed resistance in the case of a military coup.

Purges in the Armed Forces

In August [1973], the Armed forces initiated a series of violent search and arrests directed against the MIR and state enterprises integrated by the industrial belts (cordones industriales). These searches were conducted in accordance with the Fire Arms control Act, adopted by [the Chilean] Congress after the October [1992 employers] strike and which empowered the Armed Forces [bypassing the civilian police authorities] to implement (by Military Law) the control of fire arms. [The objective of this measure was to confiscate automatic weapons in the members of the industrial belts and curb armed resistance by civilians to a military coup]. Meanwhile, right-wing elements in the Navy and Air Force were involved in actively eliminating Allende supporters by a well organized operation of anti-government propaganda, purges and torture. On August 7 [1973], the Navy announced that a “subversive left wing group” integrated by MIR had been found out. Meanwhile, according to reliable sources, a seditious plan of the Right with the intent to bring down Allende’s government, using the Navy to control the entry of supplies into the country, had been discovered. Sailors and officers [within the Navy], who knew about these plans, were tortured and beaten.

The Role of the Political Right

[In August 1973], high ranking military officers and members of Patria y Libertad, met with Senator Bulnes Sanfuentes of the National Party. Admiral Merino now [September 1973] a member of the Junta participated in meetings with members of National Party, senators of the Christian Democratic Party and staff of the US embassy. In fact towards mid-August [1973], In FACT, towards mid-August, a motion declaring US ambassador Nathaniel Davis as persona non grata was drafted by a parliamentary committee of the Unidad Popular. Furthermore, the Armed Forces were colluding with the Ultra-Right by setting up a so-called Base operacional de Fuerzas especiales (BOFE) (Operational Base of Special Forces). BOFE units were integrated by member of the nationalist front Patria y Libertad.

BOFE units were paramilitary divisions receiving material and financial support from the Armed forces. They were intended to undertake subversive and terrorist activities, which the Armed Forces could not openly undertake. BOFE was responsible for the many bomb attacks on pipelines, bridges and electric installations in the months preceding the military coup of September 11 [1973].

General Prats’ Resignation from the Armed Forces

On August 9, Allende reorganized his cabinet and brought in the three joint chiefs of staff, Carlos Prats (Army), Cesar Ruis Danyau (Air force) and Raul Montero (Navy) into a so-called “National Security Cabinet”. Allende was only intent upon resolving the Transport Strike, which was paralyzing the country’s economy, he was anxious to gain whatever support was left within the Armed Forces.

The situation was not ripe for a military coup as long as General Carol Prats was member of the cabinet, commander in Chief of the Army and Chairman of the Council of Generals. Towards mid-August, the armed forces pressured Allende and demanded Prats’ resignation and retirement ” due to basic disagreements between Prats and the Council of Generals”. Allende made a final attempt to retain |Prats and invited General Prats, Pinochet (now [September 1973] head of the Military Junta), Bonilla now Minister of the Interior), and others for dinner at his private residence. Prats resigned officially on August 23, both from the Cabinet and from the Armed Forces: “I did not want to be a factor which would threaten institutional discipline.. or serve as a pretext to those who want to overthrow the constitutional government”

The Generals’ Secret Meeting

With General Carlos Prats out of the way, the road was clear for a consolidated action by the Army, Navy and Air Force. Prats successor General Augusto Pinochet convened the Council of 24 generals in a secret meeting on August 28. The purpose and discussion of this meeting were not made public. In all likelihood, it was instrumental in the planning of the September 11 military coup. The reshuffle of Allende’s National Security Cabinet took place on the same day (28 August). It resulted after drawn out discussions with party leaders of the Unidad Popular coalition, and in particular with Socialist Party leader Carlos Altamirano.

The following day, August 29, Altamirano in a major policy speech made the following statement:

We hope that our Armed Forces have not abandoned their historical tradition, the Schneider Doctrine … and that they could follow a course leading to the installation of a reactionary Brazilian style [military] dictatorship … We are convinced that our armed forces are not prepared to be instrumental in the restoration of the privileges of the financial and industrial elites and landed aristocracy. We are convinced that if the Right wing golpe (coup) were to succeed, Chile would become a new Vietnam.

On the weekend preceding the military coup, leaders of the National Party and Christian Democratic Party made major political statements, declaring Allende’s government illegal and unconstitutional. Sergio Onofre Jarpa of the National Party declared:

After the Marxist downfall, the rebirth of Chile! … We will continue our struggle until we see out of office those who failed to fulfill their obligations. From this struggle, a new solidarity and a new institutional framework (institucionalidad) will emerge.

A few days later, the Presidential Palace was bombed and Allende was assassinated. The “rebirth” of Chile, and a new institutional framework had emerged.

Michel Chossudovsky

Santiago de Chile, September 1973

Selected References on the Role of Henry Kissinger in the 1973 military coup

Articles

Christopher Hitchens, The Case against Henry Kissinger, Harpers Magazine, February 2001,  http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/m1111/1809_302/69839383/p1/article.jhtml?term=kissinger

Henry Kissinger, US Involved in 1970 Chilean Plot, AP, 9 Sept 2001,  http://www.globalpolicy.org/intljustice/general/2001/0909cbskiss.htm

Kissinger May Face Extradition to Chile, Guardian,  June 12, 2002, http://www.globalpolicy.org/intljustice/wanted/2002/0614kiss.htm

Marcus Gee, Is Henry Kissinger a War Criminal? Globe and Mail, 11 June 2002,  http://www.commondreams.org/views02/0611-03.htm

Jonathan Franklin, Kissinger may face extradition to Chile, Guardian, 12 June 2002,  http://www.guardian.co.uk/pinochet/Story/0,11993,735920,00.html

Kissinger’s Back…As 9/11 Truth-Seeker, The Nation, 2003, http://www.thenation.com/capitalgames/index.mhtml?bid=3&pid=176

Chile and the United States: Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup, September 11, 1973, http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/nsaebb8i.htm

30th anniversary of Chile coup; Calls for justice, scrutiny of United States role, Santiago. 11 Sep 2003, http://www.newsahead.com/NewWNF/ChileCoup.htm

USA Regrets Role in Chile’s September 11 Tragedy: US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, admitted Washington’s participation in Chile coup of 1973, Pravda, 17 March 2003,http://english.pravda.ru/world/20/91/368/9766_chile.html     [this statement was made barely a week after the military occupation of Iraq by US and British troops.]

Larry Rohter, NYT, 13 Feb 2000, http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/COLDallende.htm

Websites

ICAI, Kissinger Watch, http://www.icai-online.org/45365,45370.html

The Kissinger Page, Third World Traveler, http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Kissinger/HKissinger.html

Wanted for War Crimes, http://www.zpub.com/un/wanted-hkiss.html

Remember Chile.org,  http://www.remember-chile.org.uk/

War Crimes Bio of Augusto Pinochet http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/pinochet.htm

Chile Information Project — “Santiago Times” http://ssdc.ucsd.edu/news/chip/h98/chip.19981116.html

Salvador Allende and Patricio Aylwin

Carta de Salvador Allende al presidente del Partido Demócrata Cristiano, señor Patricio Aylwin, publicada el día 23 de agosto de 1973
en el diario La Nación de Santiago. http://www.salvador-allende.cl/Textos/Documentos/cartaAylwin.pdf

Andrés Zaldívar, presidente del Senado: “Allende no divide a la Concertación”, Mercurio, 13 August 2003 http://www.mercuriovalpo.cl/site/apg/reportajes/pags/20030831030907.html

Salvador Allende Archive http://www.salvador-allende.cl/

Authors Writings on the Chilean Military Junta’s Economic Reforms

Capital Accumulation in Chile and Latin America”, Yale University Lecture Series on Post-Allende Chile, North South, Canadian Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. IV, vol. XIII, no. 23, 1978, also published in Economic and Political Weekly.

“Acumulación de Capital en Chile”, Comercio Exterior, vol. 28, no. 2, 1978 (Spanish version of above article)

“Chicago Economics, Chilean Style”, Monthly Review, vol. 26, no. 11, 1975, in Spanish in a book published in Lima, Peru,

“Hacia el Nuevo Modelo Economico Chileno, Inflación y Redistribución del Ingreso, 1973-1974”, Cuadernos de CISEPA, no. 19, Catholic University of Peru, 1974, Trimestre Economico, no. 166, 1975, 311-347.

“The Neo-Liberal Model and the Mechanisms of Economic Repression: The Chilean Case”, Co-existence, vol. 12, no. 1, 1975, 34-57.

La Medición del Ingreso Minimo de Subsistencia y la Politica de Ingresos para 1974, documento de trabajo no. 19, Institute of Economics, Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, 1973, p. 37. (Initial  text on the economic reforms of the Chilean Military Junta published in December 1973)

 

Fascism on the March

October 30, 2018

by Peter Koenig for The Saker BlogFascism on the March

Latin America is re-converting into Washington’s backyard and as a sideline is returning to fascist rule, similar but worse than the sixties seventies and eighties, which stood under the spell of the CIA-led Operation or Plan Condor. Many call the current right-wing trend Operation Condor II which is probably as close to the truth as can be. It is all Washington / CIA fabricated, just with more rigor and more sophistication than Plan Condor of 40 and 50 years ago. As much as it hurts to say, after all the glory and laurels sent out to Latin America – with Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, Rafael Correa, Evo Morales, Lula, the Kirchners, José Mujica, Michelle Bachelet – more than 80% of the population of Latin America were living for some 15 to 20 years under democratically elected mostly left-leaning governments, really progressive. – Within no time, in less than 3 years the wheels have turned.

Latin America was for about 20 years the only western part of the world, that was fully detached from the fangs of the empire. It has succumbed again to the forces of evil, to the forces of money, the forces of utter corruption and greed. The people of Latin America have betrayed their own principles. They did it again. Humans remain reduced as in ancient times, to the unfailing powers of reproduction and ego cum greed. It seems in the end, ego and greed always win over the forces of light, of good, peace and harmony. That’s why even the World Bank calls corruption the single most hindrance to development. They mean economic development; I mean conscientious development. This time the trick is false and fraudulent election campaigns; bought elections; Washington induced parliamentary coups – which in Brazil brought unelected President Temer to power, a prelude to much worse to come, the fascist, misogynist, racist, and self-styled military man, Jair Bolsonaro.

The 2015 presidential election in Argentina brought a cleverly Washington manufactured win for Mauricio Macri, a friend and one-time business associate of Donald Trump’s, as it were. The election was manipulated by the by now well-known Machiavellian Cambridge Analytica method of cheating the voters by individualized messages spread throughout the social media into believing all sorts of lies about the candidates. Voters were, thus, hit on the head by surprise, as Macri’s opponent, the left-leaning Daniel Scioli of the Peronist Victory Front, the leader in the polls, was defeated.

Today Macri has adopted a fascist economic agenda, indebted the country with IMF austerity packages, increased unemployment and poverty from12% before his election in 2015 to close to 40 % in 2018. He is leading Argentina towards a déjà-vu scenario of the 80s and especially 1990’s when under pressure from the US, IMF and World Bank, the country was to adopt the US dollar as their local currency, or to be exact, Argentina was allowed to keep their peso, but had to commit to a one-to-one parity with the US dollar. The official explanation for this, in economic terms, criminal move (to impose the use of the currency of one country for the economy of another country is not only insane, its outright criminal), was to stop skyrocketing inflation – which temporarily it did, but to the detriment of the working class, for whom common staple and goods became unaffordable.

Disaster was preprogrammed. And the collapse of Argentine’s economy happened in 2000 and 2001. Finally, in January 2002, President Eduardo Duhalde ended the notorious peso-dollar parity. The peso was first devalued by 40% – then it floated towards a 70% devaluation and gradually pegged itself to other international trading currencies, like the euro, the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan. Eventually, the newly floating currency allowed the Argentine economy to get a new boost and recovered rapidly. Perhaps too rapidly, for Argentina’s own good.

The economy grew substantially under the left, fully democratically elected Kirchner Governments. Not only did the economy grow rapidly, it also grew in a widely ‘distributive’ mode, meaning reducing poverty, assessed at almost two thirds of the population in 2001, cutting it to about 12%, just a month before Macri was catapulted into office, by Washington and Cambridge Analytica in December 2015. Argentina has become rich again; she can now be milked again and sucked dry by the banking sector, and international corporatism, all protected by three to be newly established US military bases in the provinces of Neuquen, Misiones and Tierra del Fuego. They will initially be under the US Southern Command, but most likely soon to be converted into NATO bases. NATO is already in Colombia and may soon spread into Bolsonaro’s Brazil.

Though nobody really understands what the North Atlantic Treaty Organization has to do in South America – the answer is unimportant. The empire suits itself with whatever fits the purpose. No rules, no ethics, no laws – everything goes under neoliberalism. NATO is to become a world military attack force under Washington’s control and directed by those few “enlightened”, pulling the strings from behind the curtains, form the deep dark state.

Macri marked the beginning of Latin America’s new fascism. South America struggled for 15 -20 years to become independent from the neoliberal masters of the north. It has now been reabsorbed into the northern elite’s, the empire’s backyard — yes, sadly, that’s what Latin America has become for the major part, a mere backyard of Washington.

Argentina’s Washington imposed right-wing dictatorship was preceded by Paraguay’s 2012 parliamentary coup that in April 2013 brought Horacio Cartes of the right-extreme Colorado party to power. The Colorado Party was also the party of Alfredo Stroessner, the fascist brutal military dictator, who ruled Paraguay from 1954 to 1989.

In Chile on 9/11 of 1973 a democratically elected socialist, Salvador Allende, a was overthrown under the guidance of the CIA and a brutal military dictator, Augusto Pinochet installed for almost 30 years. After a brief spring of center and left-leaning governments, Chile, in December 2017, has returned to right-wing, neoliberal politics with Sebastian Piñera, a former associate of Pinochet’s. With the surroundings of his neoliberal friends and close accomplices in Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Peru and even Ecuador, to be sure, he will move to extreme right, neo-fascist economic rules and, thus, please Washington’s banks and their instruments, the IMF and the World Bank.

Fascism is on the march. And this despite the fact that 99.99% of the population, not just in Latin America, worldwide, want nothing to do with fascism – so where is the fraud? Why is nobody investigating the scam and swindle in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia? – and then putting the results up for everyone to see?

In the meantime, we have learned about Cambridge / Oxford Analytica (CA & OA). How they operate and cheat the electorate. They themselves have finally admitted to the methods within which they operate and influence voters with lies – and with data stealing or buying from social media, mainly facebook; millions and millions of personal data to target electronically special groups of people – bombarding them with lies to promote or denigrate the one or the other candidate.

And precisely this happened in Brazil. A week before the run-off election that took place this past Sunday, 28 October, Fernando Haddad, (PT), launched a criminal investigation precisely for that reason against Bolsonaro’s campaign. Of course, nothing happened. All the judges, courts and lawyers are under control of the unelected corrupt right-wing Temer Government – which came to power by a foreign directed ruthless parliamentary coup, impeaching under totally false pretenses democratically elected Dilma Rousseff.

And now – there is nobody investigating what happened in Brazil, bringing a military boy, Jair Bolsonaro to power? The left is dead? Flabbergasted into oblivion -indeed? – How come? With all the lessons to be learned around the world, and not last in Argentina, the neighbor – why can the Brazilian left be so blind, outright naive, as to not understand that following the criminally legalized system in their country is following the path to their own demise and eventually to shovel their own grave?

From day One, the US firmly counts on Bolsonaro to encircle Venezuela, together with Colombia. President Trump has already expressed his expectations to work ‘closely together’ with the new Bolsonaro Government in “matters of trade, military – and earthing else.” Bolsonaro has already met with Mike Pompeo, the US Foreign Secretary, who told him that the situation in Venezuela is a “priority’ for Brazil. There you go; Washington dictates foreign leaders their priorities. Bolsonaro will oblige, for sure.

Wake up – LEFT! – not just in Latin America, but around the world.

Today, it’s the mainstream media which have learned the tricks and cheats, and they have perfected the Cambridge and Oxford Analyticas; they are doing it non-stop. They have all the fake and fiat money in the world to pay for these false and deceit-campaigns – they are owned by the corporate military and financial elite, by the CIA, MI6/5, Mossad – they are owned and directed by the western all-overarching neoliberalism cum fascism. The rich elite groups have free access to the fake and fiat money supply – its government supplied in the US as well as in Europe; debt is no problem for them, as long as they ‘behave’.

Yes. The accent is on behaving. Dictatorial trends are also omni-present in the EU, and especially in the non-elected European Commission (EC) which calls the shots on all important matters. Italy’s Fife-Star Eurosceptic Government presented its 2019 budget to Brussels. Not only was the government scolded and reprimanded for overstretching its accounts with a deficit exceeding the 3% EU imposed debt margin, but the government had to present a new budget within 3 weeks. That is how a not-so-well behaving EU government is treated. What a stretch of authoritarian EU rule vis-à-vis a sovereign government. And ‘sovereignty’ is – the EU boasts – the key to a coherent European Union.

On the other hand, France has for years been infringing on the (in)famous 3% rule. And again, for the 2019 budget. However, the French government received a friendly drafted note saying, would you please reconsider your budget deficit for the next year. No scolding. One does not reprimand a Rothchild Child. Double standards, corruption, nepotism, are among the attributes of fascism. It’s growing fast, everywhere in the west. It has taken on a life of itself. And the military is prepared. Everywhere. – If only they, the military, would wake up and stand with the people instead of the ruling elite that treats them like their peons. Yet, they are part of the people; they belong to the most common of the people. In the end, they get the same shaft treatment as the people – they are tortured and shot when they are no longer needed, or if they don’t behave as the neocon-fascists want.

So, Dear Military Men and Women – why not pre-empt such risks and stand with the people from the very beginning? – The entire fake and criminal system would collapse if it wouldn’t have the protection of the police and the military. You, dear Men and Women form the Police and Military, you have the power and the moral obligation to stand by the people, not defending the ruthless, brutal elitist and criminal rulers – à la Macri, Bolsonaro, Piñera, Duque, Macron, May and Merkel. And there are many more of the same blood.
———-

One of the first signs for what was to happen throughout Latin America and spreading through the western world, was the “fake election” of Macri, in 2015 in Argentina. Some of us saw it coming and wrote about it. We were ignored, even laughed at. We were told – we didn’t understand the democratic process. Yes, right. In the meantime, the trend towards the right, towards a permanent state of Emergency, a de facto Martial Rule has become irreversible. France has incorporated the permanent state of emergency in her Constitution. Armed police and military are a steady presence throughout Paris and France’s major cities.

There are only a few, very few exceptions left in Latin America, indeed in the western world.

And let’s do whatever we can to save them from the bulldozer of fascism.

—–
Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, the New Eastern Outlook (NEO); and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

What Really Happens to Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ecuador

August 13, 2018

by Peter Koenig for The Saker BlogWhat Really Happens to Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ecuador

Stories about corruption and internally government-generated violence concerning most unaligned countries abound in the MSM. These lies fuel hatred. And the public at large start a malicious rumor circuit. Which, in turn is taken over by the MSM, so that their lies are pushing in open doors. The war drums start beating. The populace wants foreign imposed order, they want blood and ‘regime change’. The consensus for war has once more worked. And the blood may flow. Instigated by outside forces, such as the NED (National Endowment for Democracy) and USAID, which train and fund nationals clandestinely in-and outside the country where eventually they have to operate. They are commandeered by Washington and other western powers and act so as to blame the “non-obedient” governments, whose regime must be changed. They constitute part of the Fifth Column.

Fifth Column is a group of people, who undermine the government of a country in support of the enemy. They can be both covert and open. The term Fifth Column originates from the Spanish Civil War, when in October 1936 nationalist rebel General Mola initiated the coup d’état against the legitimate Republican Government. This marked the beginning of the Spanish Civil War. General Mola besieged Madrid with four “columns” of troops and claimed he had a “Fifth Column”, hiding inside the city. The term was henceforth used for infiltrated enemies within a legitimate government. Mola, the mastermind behind the coup died in a 1937 plane crash, and General Francisco Franco became Spain’s dictator for the next almost 40 years. He prevailed over the Republican resistance thanks to Hitler’s and Mussolini’s air support.

Now what’s the true story behind the violence-plagued Nicaragua and Venezuela, and the treacherous new Moreno government in Ecuador?

Take Nicaragua – it all started with the Board of Directors of the Nicaragua Social Security Institute (INSS) on 16 April 2018 approving an IMF-imposed social security reform, modified and then supported by President Ortega. The reform maintained social security at its current level, but would increasing employer contributions by 3.5% to pension and health funds, while only slightly increasing worker contributions by 0.75% and shifting 5% of pensioners’ cash transfer into their healthcare fund. These reforms triggered the coup attempt initiated by the business lobby and backed by the Nicaraguan oligarchy.

Student protests were already ongoing in different university cities in connection with university elections. These protests were re-directed against the Ortega government with the help of US-funded NGOs and the Catholic Church, an ally of the wealthy in most of Latin America. Some of the students involved in ‘re-directing’ the protests were brought to the US for training by the Freedom House, a long-time associate of the CIA. USAID announced an additional US$ 1.5 million to build opposition to the Ortega Government. These funds along with financing from the NED will be channeled to NGOs to support anti-government protests. For more details, see also http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49933.htm .

Summarizing, in the course of the weeks following the coup, violence increased leaving a total of more than 300 dead by early August. Even though Ortega reversed the pension measures, unrests continued, now demanding the resignation of the President and Vice-President, his wife Rosario Murillo Zambrana. Daniel Ortega, a Sandinista and former guerilla leader, was first elected President in 1985. It is clear that the US and the dark forces behind the empire were preparing Fifth Column-type groups to intervene and take advantage of any social upheaval in the country to bring about regime change. What could have and would have been contained, continued as US inspired violent protests eventually aiming at the overthrow of Ortega’s government. That would bring Central America, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua – and Panama – in line with US policies. Will Washington succeed?

On Venezuela – In mid-June 2018, I was privileged to be invited to Caracas as one of several international economists to participate in a Presidential Economic Advisory Commission – to discuss internal and external economic issues. Without going into details of the commission’s deliberations – it is absolutely clear who is behind the food and medicine boycotts (empty supermarket shelves), and the induced internal violence. It is a carbon copy of what the CIA under Kissinger’s command did in Chile in 1973 which led to the murder of the legitimate and democratically elected President Allende and to the Pinochet military coup; except, Venezuela has 19 years of revolutionary experience, and built up some tough resistance.

To understand the context ‘Venezuela’, we may have to look at the country’s history.

Before the fully democratically and internationally observed election of Hugo Chavez in 1998, Venezuela was governed for at least 100 years by dictators and violent despots which were directed by and served only the United States. The country, extremely rich in natural resources, was exploited by the US and Venezuelan oligarchs to the point that the population of one of the richest Latin-American countries remained poor instead of improving its standard of living according to country’s natural riches. The people were literally enslaved by Washington controlled regimes.

A first coup attempt by Comandante Hugo Chavez in 1992 was oppressed by the Government of Carlos Andrés Pérez and Chavez was sent to prison along with his co-golpistas. After two years, he was freed by the Government of Rafael Caldera.

During Peréz’ first term in office (1974-1979) and his predecessors, Venezuela attained a high economic growth based on almost exclusive oil exports. Though, hardly anything of this growth stayed in the country and was distributed to the people. The situation was pretty much the same as it is in today’s Peru which before the 2008 crisis and shortly thereafter had phenomenal growth rates – between 5% and 8% – of which 80% went to 5% of the population oligarchs and foreign investors, and 20% was to be distributed to 95% of the population – and that on a very uneven keel. The result was and is a growing gap between rich and poor, increasing unemployment and delinquency.

Venezuela before Chavez lived practically on a monoculture economy based on petrol. There was no effort towards economic diversification. To the contrary, diversification could eventually help free Venezuela from the despot’s fangs, as the US was the key recipient of Venezuela’s petrol and other riches. Influenced by the 1989 Washington Consensus, Peréz made a drastic turn in his second mandate (1989-1993) towards neoliberal reforms, i.e. privatization of public services, restructuring the little social safety benefits laborers had achieved, and contracting debt by the IMF and the World Bank. He became a model child of neoliberalism, to the detriment of Venezuelans. Resulting protests under Peréz’ successor, Rafael Caldera, became unmanageable. New elections were called and Hugo Chavez won in a first round with more than 56%. Despite an ugly Washington inspired coup attempt (“The Revolution will Not be Televised”, 2003 documentary about the attempted 2002 coup), Hugo Chavez stayed in power until his untimely death 2013. Comandante Chavez and his Government reached spectacular social achievements for his country.

Washington will not let go easily – or at all, to re-conquer Venezuela into the new Monroe Doctrine, i.e. becoming re-integrated into Washington’s backyard. Imagine this oil-rich country, with the world’s largest hydrocarbon reserves, on the doorsteps of the United Sates’ key refineries in Texas, just about 3 to 4 days away for a tanker from Venezuela, as compared to 40 to 45 days from the Gulf, where the US currently gets about 60% of its petrol imports. An enormous difference in costs and risks, i.e. each shipment has to sail through the Iran-controlled Strait of Hormuz.

In addition, another socialist revolution as one of Washington’s southern neighbor – in addition to Cuba – is not convenient. Therefore, the US and her secret forces will do everything to bring about regime change, by constant economic aggressions, blockades, sanctions, boycotts of imports and their internal distribution – as well as outrights military threats. The recent assassination attempt of President Maduro falls into the same category.

And let’s not forget, Venezuela’s neighbor Colombia, fully under Washington’s control, has just recently become a NATO country. How absurd, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, stationed in a South American country. But then, NATO is also in Afghanistan, Syria, in the Balkans and wherever US-instigated conflicts need to be fought. Colombian and Venezuela share a border of some 2,200 km of which about 1,500 are difficult to control ‘porous’ jungle, from where clandestine as well as overt military infiltrations are relatively easy. They may also spread to other South American countries. It’s already happening into countries with open doors for US military, like Peru, Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

Less than 5 years ago, 80% of Latin American populations lived under democratically elected, left-leaning governments. It took South America some 20-25 years to free themselves from the fangs of the Monroe Doctrine. Now in the course of a few years the trend has been reversed, through US intervention with election manipulations – Argentina, Ecuador, Chile – and parliamentary coups – Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay. – Venezuela, together with Bolivia and Cuba, today is Latin America’s last holdout ad hope.

Back to the present – Washington’s goal is “regime change” with the help of a strong Fifth Column, infiltrated in key financial institutions and all the support that comes with it, NED, CIA et al. However, President Maduro has a solid block of 6 million voters behind him, and is embarking with full integrity on a path of “Resistance Economy”. In fact, the recent introduction of the hydrocarbon-backed Petro, and the new just announced Petro-backed Bolivar – are first steps in the right direction; an attempt to de-dollarize Venezuela’s economy. Other measures, like massive efforts to become autonomous in food and industrial goods, à la Russia, rebuild the agricultural sector and industrial parks, are measures to regain economic sovereignty.

On Ecuador – President Rafael Correa has worked with Lenin Moreno, who was his Vice-President and close ally during many years. It is therefore a bit strange that Correa apparently did not know Moreno is a traitor, what he clearly has become soon after taking office. Correa’s internal support was still strong, despite his decline among indigenous people after his (US forced) Amazon petroleum concessions. Though incited by many of the people at large to change the Constitution and run for a third term, he was warned by Washington not to do so, and instead, to promote Moreno as his successor. Correa knows what such warnings mean. He was almost killed in a 2010 Washington inspired police coup, widely thought being linked to his attempt to abandon the US dollar as the Ecuadorian currency and return to the Sucre; and Correa’s memory is still fresh enough to recall the ‘accidental airplane’ death of one of his predecessor’s, President Roldo, who changed the rules for (mostly US) hydrocarbon corporations in 1981.

What lays ahead for Ecuador does not look bright. Several IMF inspired reforms – yes, Ecuador returned to the IMF and World Bank – might reverse social gains achieved under the Correa Regime for the working and indigenous people. Also, a breach on free speech by Moreno is imminent: He announced already a while ago that Julian Assange’s days in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London are counted. If and when Assange has to leave the Embassy, he will likely be arrested by UK police and eventually handed over to the US – where he may expect a very uncertain, but possibly violent future.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; RT; Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; TeleSUR; The Vineyard of The Saker Blog; and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

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Paul Craig Roberts: “The United States Is The Only Remaining Colonial Power”

30.07.2018

Written by Paul Craig Roberts; Originally appeared on paulcraigroberts.org

The United States government has never allowed independent governments in Latin America. Every time people elect a government that represents them instead of US economic interests, Washington overthrows the elected government. Marine General Smedley Butler told us this as have many others. There is no doubt about it.

Currently Washington is trying to overthrow the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua and has bought off the Ecuadorian government with oil purchases and the usual personal bribes. Evo Morales government in Bolivia is also targeted by Washington. The Obama regime succeeded in removing the reform governments in Honduras, Argentina, and Brazil.

Paul Craig Roberts: "The United States Is The Only Remaining Colonial Power"

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 41 prepares for take off from the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean. (David A. Brandenburg/Navy)

Reform governments in Latin America, except for Castro’s Cuba, always leave themselves set-up to be overthrown. They foolishly or impotently permit Washington’s agents, such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the US Agency for International Development, and various so-called NGOs, whose purpose is to maintain Washington’s control and overthrow every government that escapes control, to organize and fund opposition groups and media that work hand-in-hand with Washington to reinstall a Washington-compliant government.

As Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Pol Pot understood, you cannot overthrow an oppressor class if you leave them unmolested. Whether from weakness or stupidity, Latin American reform governments always leave the electorally defeated oppressor class and its economic and media power unmolested. When Washington reinstalls the oppressor class, the same tolerance is never shown to the overthrown reformers who usually pay with their lives.

All Latin American reform efforts have made the foolsh mistake of leaving the oppressor class with their newspapers and their traitorous connections to Washington in place, including the government of President Ortega in Nicaragua. One would think that Ortega would know better. Washington has been trying to get rid of Ortega and the Sandinistas since the Reagan administration. His government has survived the latest Washington-led coup attempt, but Washington is pouring more money into the effort. Read Kevin Zeese’s report here: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49933.htm

Hugo Chavez made the same mistake in Venezuela, and his successor has repeated the mistake. The post-Castro Cuban government is now also falling into the trap of becoming an American vassal as it was under Fulgencio Batista.

The Monroe Doctrine has always been glorified in US textbooks as warning European colonialists away from Latin America. The Americans intended it for themselves and succeeded in keeping Latin America as a colony. The Organization of American States has always been in Washington’s pocket and remains there today. Latin America accepts its colonized existence and does not come to the aid of those democratic governments that Washington targets for overthrow. Latin America is impotent, because its leaders are paid off, blackmailed, or threatened by Washington.

Washington has pretended forever to be the great friend and protector of democracy, but every time an independent government comes into existence in Latin America, Washington overthrows it.

In 2015 President Barack Obama, America’s first Black President and “great friend of the oppressed,” citing “the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States posed by Venezuela,” signed an executive order and imposed sanctions. Obama’s excuse was the Washington-incited violence that led to the arrest of some of those committing acts of violence. Washington quickly termed the criminals Washington had incited “political prisoners” and called for “dialogue” instead of “silencing critics with arrests.” Washington declared the arrests of those commiting acts of violence to be “human rights violations by the Venezuelan government.” http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama-declares-venezuela-national-security-threat-imposes-sanctions

In other words, the Venezuelan government was violating Washington’s human rights to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

The presstitutes reported this with a straight face.

A government that has no shame whatsoever in telling the most transparent lies while actively trying to overthrow a democratically elected government is a government that deserves universal condemnation. Yet the world is too well paid off or scared to open its mouth.

Rabbi Warns that Jews May Be Headed for a ‘Cataclysmic Disaster’

Posted on 

Is Patagonia to Become the New ‘Promised Land’?

By Richard Edmondson

Bible scholars have pointed out that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke appear to have been written with two different audiences in mind. The Gospel of Matthew seems to have been directed at a Jewish audience, while the Gospel of Luke would appear to have been written with a primarily Gentile audience in mind.

One passage in Matthew where we can see the intended audience was Jewish is in the story of Jesus’ birth. Here we encounter a reference to the Old Testament book of Micah–a citation which not only  prophesies the birth of Christ but which clearly  presents the Israelites as divinely chosen. The passage in question is Matthew 2:1-6. The setting is Herod’s court in Jerusalem, where the three wise men from the east have just stopped off in their quest to find the newborn Christ child:

In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” 3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; 4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet:

6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who is to shepherd[d] my people Israel.’”

The quote in verse 6 containing the words “my people Israel” is a cross reference to Micah 5:2. It’s rather amazing that the gospel writer supplies us with these words in the story of Jesus’ birth…but then later goes on to give us the following passage in the account of his death:

24 So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 Then the people as a whole answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!”

It is almost as if the Jews have gone from being divinely blessed in the early part of the gospel…to divinely cursed in the gospel’s closing chapters.

The reason I make mention of the birth story from Matthew is not solely because we’re in the Christmas season, but for a couple of other reasons as well. One has to do with a commentary published recently by a rabbi by the name of Brant Rosen; the other in regard to some interesting information presented recently by Thierry Meyssan of Voltairenet.org. Let’s take Rosen’s commentary first.

Rabbi Brant Rosen is an advocate of justice for Palestinians as well as the founder of Tzedek Chicago, a “non-Zionist” synagogue in Chicago. He also maintains a blog, Shalom Rav, where he recently published an article entitled “Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem.” In the article he discusses the intersection of Zionism with Jewish messianism, this in the context of Trump’s recent decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem–and he comments that “Zionism has always been, in its way, a kind of false messiah.”

He also warns that Jews today may be headed for a “cataclysmic disaster,” and he quotes Gershom Scholem, a Jewish scholar of the 20th century who authored a biography of Sabbatai Zevi, a Jewish false messiah who gained a huge following in the 1600s. Scholem’s perspective on the subject, written in 1928, reads in part:

The messianic phraseology of Zionism, especially in its decisive moments, is not the least of those Sabbatian temptations which could bring disaster to the renewal of Judaism.

Rosen then goes on to comment:

I genuinely believe that the disaster Scholem wrote of has already come to pass. This zealous drive for political sovereignty and control over Jerusalem as the “eternal undivided capitol of the Jewish people” is a form of idolatry that has all but highjacked a venerable spiritual tradition. Now I fear a much more cataclysmic disaster is waiting in the wings.

Perhaps Rosen isn’t the only Jew worried about a cataclysmic disaster at this point–and this brings me to Meyssen’s article.

Entitled “What is Israel’s Project in Argentina?“, the piece was posted December 12 at Meyssen’s Voltaire blog. In it the author discusses Jewish billionaire Joe Lewis of Britain, who has purchased vast amounts of land in the region of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego in southern Argentina. Meyssen notes that the properties Lewis has acquired “cover areas several times larger than the State of Israel”; that hundreds of thousands of houses have been built upon them, as well as a private airport capable of handling military aircraft; and that 8,000-10,000 Israeli soldiers journey there every year for “holiday camps.”

A  few other interesting points Meyssen makes are:

  • Google Earth has neutralized satellite photographs of the region just as it does with NATO military installations
  • Israel has now secured a submarine base in the area courtesy of neighboring Chile, while “tunnels have been dug in order to survive the polar winter”
  • George Soros is now believed by some inhabitants of the region to be financing a secessionist movement, presumably to “liberate” Patagonia from Argentina

Meyssen comments that it is “impossible for the moment to determine if Israel is engaged in a programme for the exploitation of Antarctica, or if it is building a rear base in case of defeat in Palestine.” Of course if nuclear war breaks out between the US and Russia, Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego would probably be among the less severely impacted parts of the planet–so that might be a factor in the thinking as well. I don’t know.

In any event, I suggest people read Meyssen’s article in its entirety, because there’s a lot of interesting information in it that I haven’t covered here. As for Rosen’s article, while I look somewhat askance at a comment he supplies about “Christian supremacy,” I do note that the remark is made in regard to Christian Zionist pastor John Hagee, and while I confess I find Rosen’s characterization of Judaism as a “venerable spiritual tradition” a tad puzzling, I’ll go out on a limb and guess that he has passages like Exodus 23:9 (“you shall not oppress a stranger…” etc.) more so in mind than the exhortations to blood and genocide. I’m guessing he does not include Talmudic supremacy as part of that “venerable spiritual tradition.” And I’m also guessing he would take strong exception to comments of such as Rabbi Saadya Grama:

Jewish success in the world is completely contingent upon the failure of other peoples. Jews experience good fortune only when gentiles experience catastrophe…The difference between Jews and gentiles is not historical or cultural, but rather genetic and unalterable.

But the fact is that numerous other rabbis, despite this ‘venerable’ spiritual tradition, hold views similar to Grama’s. Whether theirs is a theological ideology or a political ideology, it is an ideology nonetheless that has brought “catastrophe” upon Syrians for the past seven years–and upon Palestinians for the past seventy years.

It may at some point bring catastrophe upon others as well, including Americans. Given the unemployment rate and the totally unprecedented degree of wealth disparity we’re seeing, some might say it already has.

If Jews who subscribe to Talmudic precepts should continue in their endeavors at foisting these catastrophes, the result is going to be a “cataclysmic disaster” upon Jews themselves–if that is the point Rosen is trying to make, then I agree with him and I think his prediction is correct.

What I would say to Jews in general is that moving to Patagonia is not going to save you. Unless you change your ways, you’re going to be hated and resented there just as you are presently hated and resented in Palestine, and just as you have been hated and resented most everywhere else you have settled and lived for the past two millennia, going all the way back to the riots of Alexandria in 38 A.D.–or even earlier.

The only way to break this cycle is by learning to act with kindness, to treat others with love and compassion–which of course were the precise teachings of your messiah–that is to say your true messiah–Jesus.

Doing this would not only save you, it potentially would save humanity as a whole, for the entire planet is teetering on the edge of the abyss right now.

What is israël’s project in Argentina?

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Owner of 175 companies, including restaurant chains and Tottenham Hotspur football club – whose fans call themselves the « Yid Army » – the very discreet billionaire Joe Lewis speculates on the exchange market in partnership with his friend George Soros.

In the 19th century, the British government were undecided as to where they should settle Israël – either in what is now Uganda, in Argentina or in Palestine. In fact, Argentina was at that time controlled by the United Kingdom and, on the initiative of French baron Maurice de Hirsch, had become a land of refuge for Jews who were fleeing the pogroms in central Europe.

In the 20th century, after the military coup d’Etat against democratically elected President General Juan Perón, a current of antisemitism developed within the armed forces. A brochure was distributed accusing the new State of Israël of preparing an invasion of Patagonia, the « Andinia Plan ».

It has become apparent today that even though the Argentinian extreme right had exaggerated the facts in the 1970’s, there was indeed a project for implantation (and not invasion) in Patagonia.

Everything changed with the Falklands War in 1982. At that time, the Argentinian military junta attempted to recuperate the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, which from their point of view had been occupied by the British for a century and a half. The UNO recognised the legitimacy of the Argentinian claim, but the Security Council condemned the use of force to recover these territories. The stakes are considerable, since the territorial waters of these archipelagos offer access to all the riches of the Antarctic continent.

At the end of this war, which cost more than a thousand lives (official British figures are largely understated), London imposed a particularly severe Peace Treaty on Buenos Aires – Argentinian armed forces are limited to their most simple expression. Above all, the control of their Southern and Antarctic air space is confiscated for the profit of the Royal Air Force, and they are obliged to inform the United Kingdom about all their operations.

In 1992 and 1994, two particularly devastating, murderous and mysterious attacks successively destroyed the Israëli embassy and the headquarters of the Israëli association AMIA. The first attack took place when the station chiefs of Israëli Intelligence had just left the building. The second occurred in the context of joint Egypt-Argentinian research for the development of Condor ballistic missiles. In the same period, the main Condor factory exploded, and the sons of Presidents Carlos Menem and Hafez el-Assad died accidentally. The various enquiries gave rise to a succession of manipulations.

After having blamed Syria, prosecutor Alberto Nisman turned on Iran, whom he accused of having ordered the two attacks, and Hezbollah, who he claimed had carried them out. The ex- Peronist President Cristina Kirchner was accused of having negotiated the end of the legal proceedings against Iran in exchange for advantageous oil prices. Prosecutor Nisman was found dead at his home, and President Kirchner was found guilty of high treason. However, last week, a coup de theâtre destroyed everything we though we knew – the United States FBI handed over DNA analyses which attest to the absence of the presumed terrorist among the victims, and the presence of a body which has never been identified. 25 years later, we know nothing more about these attacks.

In the 21st century, benefitting from the advantages offered them by the Falklands War Treaty, the United Kingdom and Israël are now setting up a new project Patagonia.

British billionaire Joe Lewis has acquired immense territories in the South of Argentina and even neighbouring Chile. His properties cover areas several times larger than the State of Israël. They are situated in Tierra del Fuego, at the extreme Southern point of the continent. In particular, they surround the Lago Escondido, which effectively denies access to the entire region, despite a legal injunction.

The billionaire has built a private airport with a two kilometre landing strip, in order to be able to receive civil and military aircraft.

Since the Falklands War, the Israëli army has been organising « holiday camps » (sic) in Patagonia for its soldiers. Between 8,000 and 10,000 of them now come every year to spend two weeks on Joe Lewis’ land.

While in the 1970’s, the Argentinian army noted the construction of 25,000 empty houses, which gave rise to the myth of the Andinia Plan, hundreds of thousands have been built today.

It is impossible to verify the state of the construction work, since these are private lands, and Google Earth has neutralised the satellite photographs of the area, just as it does with NATO’s military installations.

Neighbouring Chile has handed over a submarine base to Israël. Tunnels have been dug in order to survive the polar winter.

The Mapuche Indians who inhabit both Argentinian and Chilean Patagonia were surprised to learn that the Resistencia Ancestral Mapuche (RAM) had been reactivated in London. This is a mysterious organisation which fights for independence. First accused of being an old association recuperated by the Argentinian secret services, the RAM is today considered by the left as a legitimate secessionist movement, but by the Mapuche leaders as an initiative financed by George Soros.

On 15 November 2017, the Navy lost all contact with the submarine ARA San Juan, which was finally declared lost at sea. It was one of the TR 1700 class diesel-electric submarines which were the flagships of the reduced Argentinian army. The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) has announced that it has recorded an unusual acoustic phenomenon in the Atlantic, close to the area from which the San Juan sent its last signal. The government finally admitted that the submarine was on a non-specified « secret mission », of which London had been informed. The USA began a search, while the Russian Navy deployed a drone capable of exploring the ocean to a depth of 6,000 metres, but found nothing. The San Juan probably exploded. The Argentinian Press is convinced that the submarine had either collided with a mine, or was destroyed by an enemy torpedo.

It is impossible for the moment to determine if Israël is engaged in a programme for the exploitation of Antarctica, or if it is building a rear base in case of defeat in Palestine.

Obama’s Legacy In Latin America: Militarization, Right-Wing Coups, & The Rule Of Wall St.

Obama’s Legacy In Latin America: Militarization, Right-Wing Coups, & The Rule Of Wall St.

It seems we have arrived at the witching hour of Obama’s presidency, when corporate media ghouls continue to breathe out the infectious contagion of liberal lies and half-truths about the Great Dissimulator and his accomplishments.

Whether it’s The New York Times’ opinion pages hailing Dr. Changelove as “The Most Successful Democrat Since F.D.R.,” or the noxious nostalgia for the present injected into the public discourse like so many palliatives into the bloodstream of a terminal patient, the true history of Obama’s presidency is being veiled behind a mask of delusion.

Maybe it’s the Orange-Headed Hydra assuming power in Washington that gives the outgoing administration that air of dignity and grace. Maybe it’s the desire to craft a narrative in which “Hope” and “Change” were something other than hollow campaign slogans deftly employed by a charlatan of the first order. Or maybe it’s just business as usual in the heart of the U.S. Empire. No matter the reason, Barack Obama’s media-induced sainthood is now all but complete in liberal America’s collective psyche.

But the United States is not the only “America.”

Indeed, crossing the southern border and entering into that mysterious place called “Latin America,” one encounters a very different Obama legacy, one that is defined by the same policies that Yankee imperialists have employed for more than a century: destabilization, militarization, and exploitation.

Yes We Can!…continue to pursue a neocolonial agenda in Central and South America.

 

Obama’s love affair with the right wing

An artist who prefers to remain anonymous for security reasons pastes up one of his "interventions" that shows President Barack Obama at a podium surrounded by Honduran politician in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. (AP/Eduardo Verdugo)

An artist who prefers to remain anonymous for security reasons pastes up one of his “interventions” that shows President Barack Obama at a podium surrounded by Honduran politician in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. (AP/Eduardo Verdugo)

A mural in Lithuania depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin and President-elect Donald Trump embracing in a passionate kiss has gone viral. The meaning of the image is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the skull, but it is no less perspicacious for its lack of subtlety. And while Russia has indeed tacitly, and rather shamefully, supported far-right candidates and causes for its own coldly pragmatic political reasons — Brexit, Trump, Le Pen, etc. — the truth is that Obama’s administration has also backed right-wing reactionaries and extremists where it has suited its interests.

Throughout Latin America, President Obama has been a driving force behind the resurgence of right-wing forces that have rolled back the gains of socialist and social democratic governments, targeted indigenous and African diaspora communities, assassinated activists, and toppled governments where they could.

So, yes, let’s talk about “legacy.”

In Honduras, Obama’s legacy was cemented from the very beginning of his presidency. In the summer of 2009, Manuel Zelaya, the country’s democratically-elected left-wing president, was removed from power in a midnight coup orchestrated by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her cronies in Washington and in Tegucigalpa. And while Obama’s tepid condemnation of the coup elicited cheers from many liberals in its contrast to the Bush administration’s loving embrace of the coup against Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 2002, the reality is that, as with all things Obama, it was mere words. The support of the president and his henchwoman was the driving force behind the coup.

Clinton is never one to shy away from an opportunity to boast about the amount of blood on her hands. In a passage which removed from later editions of her book “Hard Choices,” she rather brazenly admitted:

“In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico. We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot and give the Honduran people a chance to choose their own future.”

Obama’s top diplomat was instrumental in installing a right-wing government backed by the wealthiest business interests in Honduras and powerful players in Washington. As Clinton bagman Lanny Davis openly stated in an interview just weeks after the coup:

“My clients represent the CEAL, the [Honduras Chapter of] Business Council of Latin America. … I do not represent the government and do not talk to [interim] President [Roberto] Micheletti. My main contacts are [billionaires] Camilo Atala and Jorge Canahuati. I’m proud to represent businessmen who are committed to the rule of law.”

Indeed, Davis quite candidly exposed himself as an agent of powerful oligarch financiers and landowners who, until the election of Zelaya, had always maintained firm control of the reins of government in Honduras. These are precisely the people, backed by the Obama administration, wielding power in Honduras today through a violent right-wing government that assassinates indigenous leaders and human rights defenders such as Berta Cáceres, Margarita Murillo, and many others for the sake of investors who seek to develop indigenous, Afro-Caribbean, and peasant lands for massive profits.

Student protesters clash with police over the president's decision to run for re-election in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a year after a controversial Supreme Court ruling voided a longtime constitutional ban on presidential re-election, Thursday Nov. 10, 2016. (AP/Fernando Antonio)

Student protesters clash with police over the president’s decision to run for re-election in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a year after a controversial Supreme Court ruling voided a longtime constitutional ban on presidential re-election, Thursday Nov. 10, 2016. (AP/Fernando Antonio)

Beyond the killings of activists and the political backing of a right-wing coup government, Obama’s legacy in Honduras is also one of militarization. In 2014, The North American Congress on Latin America reported:

“The steady increase of U.S. assistance to [Honduran] national armed forces has, if anything, been an indicator of tacit U.S. support. But the U.S. role in militarization of national police forces has been direct as well. In 2011 and 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team (FAST)—which had previously carried out military-style missions in Afghanistan—set up camp in Honduras to train a local counternarcotics police unit and help plan and execute drug interdiction operations …

Supported by U.S. helicopters mounted with high caliber machine guns, these operations were nearly indistinguishable from military missions, and locals routinely referred to the DEA and Honduran police agents as “soldados” (soldiers).”

The NACLA report further noted that the Obama administration deployed at least five “commando style squads” of FAST teams across Central America. It added that, in Honduras, U.S. and Colombian special forces units have been training, equipping, and deploying with a new “elite” police unit called the Intelligence Troop and Special Security Group, or TIGRES (Spanish for “tigers”), which human rights groups argue is military in nature.

Ultimately, the man who rode the crest of a wave of “Hope” and “Change” not only brought more of the same to Honduras, and Latin America generally, he actually accelerated the re-conquest of the region by the forces of the military-industrial complex and finance capital.

 

Obama’s rightward push in South America

Demonstrators march with a sign that says in Portuguese "Get out Temer" and a drawing of Cuba's late President Fidel Castro, as they demand the impeachment of Brazil's President Michel Temer in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 27, 2016. (AP/Andre Penner)

Demonstrators march with a sign that says in Portuguese “Get out Temer” and a drawing of Cuba’s late President Fidel Castro, as they demand the impeachment of Brazil’s President Michel Temer in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Nov. 27, 2016. (AP/Andre Penner)

Another example of this confluence between Obama’s right-wing fetish and Wall Street’s boot on the neck of Latin America came last year in Brazil, when Dilma Rousseff’s democratically-elected government was removed from office in what can only be described as a parliamentary coup.

In mid-April of 2016, Reuters published a story exposing Michel Temer, the right-wing vice president at the time and the current president, as preparing the shortlist of his presumptive cabinet months before the Rousseff government had been toppled.

Temer tapped Paulo Leme to serve as either finance minister or head of the Central Bank. Leme is the chairman of Goldman Sachs’s operations in Brazil, making him perhaps the preeminent representative of Wall Street in the country. While his appointment may have been perceived as too brazen, the trend of Wall Street representatives steering the ship of Brazil’s economic and political life is impossible to ignore.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the Obama administration, too, has been dominated from the beginning by the same types of financiers — often from the very same companies such as Goldman Sachs — that control the coup government in Brazil. The not-so-invisible hand of finance capital is now tightly coiled around the neck of Brazil. Another feather in Obama’s legacy cap.

Of course, there’s Obama’s graceful tango with the new right-wing government in Argentina led by Wall Street darling Mauricio Macri. While Obama was wining and dining the neoliberal reactionary, Macri was busy loading his new government with Wall Street insiders and representatives of Big Oil and other major industries.

This was the real Obama, the one who will not be paraded before Americans as the revered dear leader already missed before he’s left the stage. Rather, this was the man who, without conscience or compunction, ushered in a wave of right-wing reaction throughout the Western hemisphere.

And he did it with a smile.

 

Obama’s quiet militarization of Latin America

President Barack Obama, left, talks to Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos before the start of their meeting at the Casa De Huespedes during the sixth Summit of the Americas, in Cartagena, Colombia, Sunday April 15, 2012. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

President Barack Obama, left, talks to Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos before the start of their meeting at the Casa De Huespedes during the sixth Summit of the Americas, in Cartagena, Colombia, Sunday April 15, 2012. (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

One of Obama’s great accomplishments in the service of the military-industrial complex was his below-the-radar militarization of the region. The pervasive myth of Obama as distinctly different from George W. Bush lives on in the diseased minds of liberal sycophants, but the facts tell a different story.

Obama represented continuity with, and an expansion of, the worst policies of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton when it came to Latin America. Plan Colombia, the broad heading for the billions of dollars spent on U.S. military engagement and cooperation in Colombia begun by Clinton and expanded by Bush, was further expanded under Obama.

Just totaling the military, police, and economic aid to Colombia for 2010 to 2015, the United States has given nearly $3 billion to Colombia in the form of “aid” to fight the so-called “War on Drugs,” widely seen as merely a cover for U.S. military power projection in South America. Add to that the fact that during Obama’s tenure, and under former commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command William McRaven, special forces troop deployments ballooned to more than 65,000, with many spread throughout Latin America.

In an eerily similar fashion, Obama expanded funding and scope for the Mérida Initiative, a project launched by Bush in 2008 which essentially makes Mexico’s military and law enforcement into a de facto arm of the U.S. military and government. As with Plan Colombia (and AFRICOM), even though Obama did not launch this initiative, he expanded it significantly, providing more than $2.5 billion since 2008.

But if liberals want to soothe their broken hearts with the fact that Obama did not actually launch these programs, they might want to consider the Central American Regional Security Initiative, created by Obama in 2011.

According to a March 2014 report from the Igarapé Institute, an independent security and development think tank based in Brazil, CARSI and Mérida alone received nearly $3 billion (2008-2013). It is an open secret that the massive funding has been channeled primarily into military and paramilitary programs. Though the United States touts these programs as success stories, their expansion has coincided with increased militarization in every country where U.S. funds have been provided.

In El Salvador, the government led by President Mauricio Funes consolidated military control of law enforcement in the interests of its U.S. backers. These changes took place simultaneous to the implementation of CARSI, and should be seen as an outgrowth of U.S. militarization. In Guatemala, the government of Otto Pérez Molina, a former military leader with a record of atrocities and genocide, further militarized the country before being imprisoned for corruption in September of 2015.

Similarly, Honduras has been transformed into the U.S. military’s primary foothold in Central America. U.S. Coordinator of the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP) and Refoundation Party (LIBRE) Lucy Pagoada explained in a 2015 interview that “[Honduras] has turned into a large military base trained and funded by the U.S. They even have School of the Americas forces there.”

“There have been high levels of violence and torture since the [2009] coup,” Pagoada continued.

 

Good cop, bad cop: Obama’s policies on Cuba and Venezuela

An image of President Barack Obama wearing fake ears and the slogan "Obama go home" on a street wall in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro regularly sets social media afire with support, with heavily trending anti-U.S. campaigns such #ObamaYankeeGoHome and #ObamaRepealTheExecutiveOrder, which denounced U.S. sanctions on members of Maduro’s administration. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

An image of President Barack Obama wearing fake ears and the slogan “Obama go home” on a street wall in Caracas, Venezuela. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro regularly sets social media afire with support, with heavily trending anti-U.S. campaigns such #ObamaYankeeGoHome and #ObamaRepealTheExecutiveOrder, which denounced U.S. sanctions on members of Maduro’s administration. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

Of course, no discussion of Obama’s actions in Latin America would be complete without an examination of Washington’s attempts to reassert its influence in the region with the simultaneous thaw in relations with Cuba and the destabilization of Venezuela.

Obama signed an executive order on Jan. 13 declaring both Venezuela and Cuba “national security threats” despite no evidence of any such threat. Isn’t it interesting that the president being lauded as the man who sought to normalize relations with America’s long-standing foe in Cuba still manages to not only classify the country as a threat, but to expand that same status to another geopolitical and strategic enemy in the region?

The Obama administration has attempted to undermine and destabilize Venezuela using as pretexts everything from a border dispute with neighboring Guyana to artificially created scarcity of staple goods and speculation against the currency by elites who control commodity distribution networks in the country, and whose backers reside in Madrid, Miami, and Washington. Julio Escalona, an economist and former Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations, told me in Caracas in 2015: “Our currency is not being devalued by speculation, but by hyper-speculation.”

And, in signature Obama style, Washington has backed the right wing, including many far right fanatics, in an attempt to wrest political control of the country away from the ruling Socialist Party (PSUV) led by President Nicolás Maduro (and in spirit by Hugo Chávez).

Perhaps the best example is the targeted assassination of numerous prominent members of the PSUV, including the 2014 killing of Robert Serra, an up-and-coming Chavista legislator seen by many on the Venezuelan left as the “next Chávez.” Serra was assassinated by individuals connected to Álvaro Uribe, the former president of Colombia and long-standing U.S. proxy.

Similarly, the well-respected journalist and prominent Chavista Ricardo Duran was murdered outside his home in Caracas in January of 2016. Likewise, Fritz St. Louis, international coordinator of the United Socialist Haitian Movement and secretary general of the Haitian Cultural House Bolivariana de Venezuela, was assassinated in March of 2016. In all these killings, the hidden hand of the right wing and its backers in the United States has been an open secret.

And where is the outcry from the liberals who continue to laud Obama? Perhaps now that a Republican is in office they might soon dust off their political consciences to raise their voices against continued U.S. neocolonialism and imperialism in Latin America? Apparently, their interest in human rights and peace is dependent on the color of the tie worn by the man or woman in the Oval Office.

Obama’s legacy in Latin America is, like that of all other U.S. presidents of the last century, one of profit and exploitation, death and destruction. This is surely no secret in Latin America, where millions have raised, and will continue to raise, their voices in opposition to the Yankee Empire.

Unfortunately, the myth of the Nobel Peace Prize winner has become stronger than the reality of lived experience.

In this witching hour, the twilight of Obama’s presidency, let us not be entranced by spells cast by the coven of corporate media warlocks. Let us instead remember Obama’s legacy in Latin America not as “Hope” and “Change,” but as “More of the Same.”

New Files Reveal USA Sold Argentina Military Aircraft to Dump Bodies in Ocean

Source

teleSUR | December 16, 2016

The U.S. provided Argentina with army helicopters despite knowing they were used for death flights.

teleSUR | December 16, 2016

Declassified documents on Operation Condor reveal that the U.S. knew and assisted the Argentine dictatorship as it threw unconscious prisoners to their death in notorious “vuelos de la muerte,” or death flights.

Under the military dictatorship in Argentina, thousands of political opponents were drugged, tossed into aircraft and dumped in the Atlantic Ocean to drown.

According to Adolfo Scilingo, an Argentine naval officer during the dictatorship, the navy conducted death flights every Wednesday between 1977 and 1978, killing up to 2,000 people.

Newly released documents on Operation Condor, the 1970s covert efforts to topple and temper progressive governments outright in South America, show that the U.S. not only knew about the lethal flights — they provided military equipment.

An intelligence report, dated July 1978, states, “terrorists and subversives selected for elimination were now being administered injections of Ketalar.”

“Ketalar is administered in an intra-muscular injection to the prisoner as a preventive health measure, the subject rapidly loses consciousness and vital functions cease. Source alleges that subjects are then disposed of in rivers or the ocean.”

But despite being aware of the horrific death flights, the United States proceeded to sell Argentina army helicopters.

Two months after describing the “new drug” used to paralyze so-called terrorists, then-U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale met with Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla in Rome.

Included in his meeting checklist was a reaffirmation to “improve relations, and to take steps that will lead to such improvement.”

It continues, “As a token of our interest we have taken steps to release export licenses for ambulance aircraft, army helicopters, airport radar equipment and other items.”

Reports suggest Argentina’s death flights began in 1976 and continued until 1983, killing thousands of political opponents — likely with the help of U.S. aircraft.

In 2016, Francisco Bossi, the mastermind of the death flights, confessed to murdering 6,000 people.

The revelations of U.S. involvement and support of the brutal dictatorship come after the Obama administration declassified 500 pages on repression in Argentina during the military regime.

The declassified documents have revealed the U.S. supported torture, tried to “liquidate” human rights activists and destabilize Latin American leftist governments.

RELATED:

New Operation Condor Files Show Terror, Torture in Argentina

USA Wants Venezuela Recall Vote This Year: What has this to do with USA?

US Wants Venezuela Recall Vote This Year

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday urged Argentina to be patient with the slow pace of economic progress under its new government, and urged Venezuela to allow a vote this year on whether to recall President Nicolas Maduro.

In his first trip to Argentina as America’s chief diplomat, Kerry praised President Mauricio Macri, a free-markets proponent who took office in December promising to attract a wave of private investment that has yet to materialize.

Kerry also said he was concerned that the government of Venezuela has failed to enter into meaningful dialogue with the opposition, which is trying to organize a referendum to kick Maduro out of power.

“We encourage Venezuela to embrace the recall not in a delayed way that pushes it into next year, but to do this as a sign of respect for the constitution of the country and the needs of the people of the country,” Kerry told reporters.

The timing is crucial because if Maduro were to lose a referendum this year, as polls indicate he would due to the country’s moribund economy, it would trigger a new presidential vote, giving the opposition a chance to end 17 years of socialism.

But should he lose a referendum next year, Maduro would be replaced by his vice president, maintaining the Socialist Party in power until the OPEC nation’s next presidential election scheduled for the end of 2018.

“BAD HABITS”

Kerry also addressed growing discontent voiced by Argentines over an economy beset by stagflation.

“It’s not all going to change overnight,” Kerry told a group of business leaders at a breakfast meeting in Buenos Aires.

“Getting rid of bad habits takes a little bit of time and investment takes a little bit of time to take hold and begin to create momentum,” he added. “But I am 100 percent confident, as is President Obama, that Argentina is on the right course. People need to be patient.”

Macri’s policies follow heavy state control of the economy and allegations of corruption under previous leader Cristina Fernandez. Her former secretary of public works was caught in July trying to hide almost $9 million in a Buenos Aires convent.

Argentina’s economy is expected to shrink 1.3 percent this year, according to a central bank poll of analysts. The government has not made a forecast.

Kerry met with his Argentine counterpart Susana Malcorra to discuss issues including Venezuela.

Fernandez supported Hugo Chavez’s self-styled revolution in the oil rich country, and the administration of his protege Maduro. Macri is one of the region’s leading critics of Maduro, accusing him of unjustly jailing opposition leaders.

From Buenos Aires Kerry was set to go on to Brazil where he will attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics on Friday.

Headwinds from Argentina’s recession-racked northern neighbor are not helping Macri’s investment push. Brazil, the region’s biggest economy, has been paralyzed by corruption scandals and political turmoil after the suspension of President Dilma Rousseff from power.

(Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

USA causing problems all over Latin America

Washington’s ‘New Managers’ in Latin America: Oligarchs, Bankers and Swindlers

By James Petras

Amid raging corruption, social pathologies and outright political thuggery, a new gang of vassal regimes has taken-over Latin America. The new rulers are strictly recruited as the protégé’s of US financial and banking institutions. Hence the financial press refers to them as the “new managers” – of Wall Street.

The US financial media has once again provided a political cover for the vilest crimes committed by the ‘new managers’ as they launch their offensive against labor and in favor of the foreign and domestic financiers.

To understand the dynamics of the empire’s new vassal managers we will proceed by identifying (1) the illicit power grab (2) the neo-liberal policies they have pursued (3) the impact of their program on the class structure (4) their economic performance and future socio-political perspectives.

Vassals as Managers of Empire
Latin America’s current vassalage elite is of longer and shorter duration.

The regimes of longer duration with a historical legacy of submission, corruption and criminality include Mexico and Colombia where oligarchs , government officials and death squads cohabitate in close association with the US military, business and banking elites.

Over the past decades 100,000 citizens were murdered in Mexico and over 4 million peasants were dispossessed in Colombia. In both regimes over ten million acres of farmland and mining terrain were transferred to US and EU multinationals.

Hundreds of billions of illicit narco earnings were laundered by the Colombian and Mexican oligarchy to their US accounts via private banks.

The current political managers, Peña in Mexico and Santos in Colombia are rapidly de-nationalizing strategic oil and energy sectors, while savaging dynamic social movements – hundreds of students and teachers in Mexico and thousands of peasants and human rights activists in Colombia have been murdered.

The new wave of imperial vassals has seized power throughout most of Latin America with the direct and indirect intervention of the US. In 2009, Honduras President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a military coup backed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Zelaya’s program of agrarian reform, regional integration (with Venezuela) and constitutional elections was abolished. Zelaya was replaced by a US vassal, Roberto Micheletti who proceeded to murder several hundred landless rural workers and indigenous activists.

Washington moved to organize a constitutional cover by promoting a highly malleable landowner, Porfirio Lobo Sosa to the presidency.

The State Department next ousted Paraguyan President Francisco Lugo who governed between 2008-2012. Lugo promoted a moderate agrarian reform and a centrist regional integration agenda.

With the backing of Secretary of State Clinton, the Paraguayan oligarchy in Congress seized power, fabricated an impeachment decree and ousted President Lugo. He was briefly replaced by Vice President Federico Franco (2012-2013).

In 2013, Washington backed, the capital, Asuncion’s, notorious crime boss for President, one Horacio Castes – convicted for currency fraud in 1989, drug running in 1990, and most recently (2010) money laundering.

The Honduras and Paraguayan coups established (in miniature) the precedent for a new wave of ‘big country’ political vassals. The State Department moved toward the acceleration of banking takeovers in Brazil, Argentina and Peru.

In rapid succession, between December 2015 and April 2016 vassal managers seized power in Argentina and Brazil. In Argentina millionaire Mauricio Macri ruled by decree, by-passing constitutional legality. Macri fired scores of thousands of public service workers, closed social agencies and appointed judges and prosecutors without Congressional vote. He arbitrarily arrested social movement leaders – violating democratic procedures.

Macri’s Economic and Finance Ministers gained millions of dollars by ‘buying into’ multinational oil companies just prior to handing over private options on public enterprises.

The all-encompassing swindles and fraud carried out by the ‘new managers’ were covered up by the US media,who praised Macri’s professional team.

Moreover, Macri’s economic performance was a disaster. Exorbitant user fees on utilities and transport for consumers and business enterprises, increased three to ten-fold, forcing bankruptcy rates to soar and households to suffer light and gas closures.

Wall Street vulture funds received seven billion dollar payment from Macri’s managers ,for defaulted loans purchased for pennies over a dollar, twenty-fold greater then the original lenders.

Data based on standard economic indicators,highlights the worst economic performance in a decade and a half.

Price inflation exceeds 40%; public debt increased by twenty percent in six months. Living standards and employment sharply declined. Growth and investment data was negative. Mismanagement, official corruption and arbitrary governance, did not induce confidence among local small and medium size businesses.

The respectable media, led by the New York Times, the Financial Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post falsified every aspect of Macri’s regime. Failed economic policies implemented by bankers turned cabinet ministers were dubbed long-term successes; crude ideologically driven policies promoting foreign investor profiteering were re-invented as business incentives.

Political thugs dismantled and replaced civil service agencies were labelled ‘a new management team’ by the vulgar propaganda scribes of the financial press.

In Brazil, a phony political power grab by Congressional opportunists ousted elected President Dilma Rousseff. She was replaced by a Washington approved serial swindler and notorious bribe taker, Michel Temer.

The new economic managers were predictably controlled by Wall Street, World Bank and IMF bankers. They rushed measures to slash wages, pensions and other social expenditures, to lower business taxes and privatize the most lucrative public enterprises in transport, infrastructure, landholdings, oil and scores of other activities.

Even as the prostitute press lauded Brazil’s new managers’, prosecutors and judges arrested three newly appointed cabinet ministers for fraud and money laundering. ‘President’ Temer is next in line for prosecution for his role in the mega Petrobras oil contracts scandal for bribes and payola.

The economic agenda by the new managers are not designed to attract new productive investments. Most inflows are short-term speculative ventures. Markets, especially, in commodities, show no upward growth, much to the chagrin of the free market technocrats. Industry and commerce are depressed as a result of the decline in consumer credit, employment and public spending induced by ‘the managers’ austerity policies.

Even as the US and Europe embrace free market austerity, it evokes a continent wide revolt. Nevertheless Latin America’s wave of vassal regimes, remain deeply embedded in decimating the welfare state and pillaging public treasuries led by a narrow elite of bankers and serial swindlers.

Conclusion
As Washington and the prostitute press hail their ‘new managers’ in Latin America, the celebration is abruptly given way to mass rage over corruption and demands for a shift to the political left.

In Brazil, “President” Temer rushes to implement big business measures, as his time in office is limited to weeks not months. His time out of jail is nearing a deadline. His cabinet of ‘technocrats’ prepare their luggage to follow.

Maurico Macri may survive a wave of strikes and protests and finish the year in office. But the plunging economy and pillage of the treasury is leading business to bankruptcy, the middle class to empty bank accounts and the dispossessed to spontaneous mass upheavals.

Washington’s new managers in Latin America cannot cope with an unruly citizenry and a failing free market economy.

Coups have been tried and work for grabbing power but do not establish effective rulership. Political shift to the right are gyrating out of Washington’s orbit and find no new counter-balance in the break-up of the European Union.

Vassal capitalist takeovers in Latin America generated publicist anesthesia and Wall Street euphoria; only to be rudely shocked to reality by economic pathologies.

Washington and Wall Street and their Latin America managers sought a false reality of unrestrained profits and pillaged wealth. The reality principle now forces them to recognize that their failures are inducing rage today and uprisings tomorrow.

 

Anglo-America: Regression and Reversion in the Modern World

Global Research, May 31, 2016
James-Petras

Professor James Petras

What does it mean when the US and British financial systems launder hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds stolen by world leaders while their governments turn a ‘blind eye’, and yet the very same Anglo-American officials investigate, prosecute, fine and arrest officials from rival governments, rival banks and political leaders for corruption?

What does it mean when the US government expands a world-wide network of nuclear missiles on bases stretching from Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Gulf States to Japan, surrounding Russia, Iran and China, while the very same US and NATO officials investigate and condemn rival defense officials from Russia, China and Iran, as military threats to peace and stability?

What does it mean when Anglo-American economic officials devote decades to raising the age of retirement, reducing working and middle class household income, cutting workers compensation, expanding part-time work, setting the stage for mass layoffs slashing unemployment and health benefits and reducing social spending by the hundreds of billions of dollars and then turn around and investigate and threaten rival countries, like China and Argentina with loss of markets, investment and employment for not doing the same thing ?

The meaning of Anglo-America’s long-term, large-scale structural regression is clearly evident across the world.  From Europe to Latin America and from Asia to Africa, socio-economic and politico-military agendas have been reversed.

Since the end of the Second World War there had been incremental gains in labor rights, stable employment, poverty reduction and working conditions.

Recently, these have all been reversed:  Longer working days and weeks with reduced salaries and benefits; unstable temporary work replaces stable employment; employer-funded pensions are eliminated and replaced by multi-billion dollar corporate tax cuts and off-shore tax evasion.

Systematic structural swindles by the leading financial institutions have forced employees to delay retirement for years in order to ‘self-finance’ their own meager ‘pensions’, some expecting to ‘die at the job’.

Capitalist regression has been implemented by arbitrary state dictates and authoritarian decrees, erasing any pretense of democratic procedures and constitutional laws.

The regressive and retrograde leader-states from the imperial centers impose their conditions on follower regimes like Mexico and Russia forcing them to reverse their legacy of social progress while blackmailing these regimes’ oligarchs with the loss of lucrative markets, access to tax and money-laundering havens and impunity for their crimes and swindles.

Anglo-America:  Historic Reversion

For the past three decades, the US and Great Britain have led the global drive to undermine labor’s advances.  First, the economic structure sustaining labor organizations were dismantled and fragmented.  Then organized labor was decimated, co-opted and corporatized.

Capital proceeded to reverse labor and social welfare legislation and lower wages, in order to impose longer workdays and destabilize employment.

The mass media re-packaged the regression cycle as  ‘economic reform’, a euphemism, which disguised the re-concentration of power, wealth and income over the last three decades.

The growth of inequality and the concentration of wealth and assets to the 1% became ‘the standard’ for the Anglo-American era.  However, class organization and the vicissitudes of class struggles continued to constrain efforts to impose unchallenged Anglo-American capitalist rulership throughout the world.

The first decisive blow against  social reform resulted from the systematic Anglo-American breakdown of the former USSR and allied nations of the Warsaw Pact in East Europe.  This was followed by the endogenous dissolution of Communist Party rule in China, Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltic and Balkan states and their conversion into capitalist satellites.  Social welfare, full employment, public pensions and health systems were shredded; labor lost all its rights except one – the right to emigrate to the West as cheap labor.

From Russia to Latvia and Poland to Bulgaria and Romania, there were massive layoffs, plant closures and the total dissolution of social security networks driven by the Anglo-America neo-liberal onslaught.  The Atlantic Alliance brought their new Eastern satellites to social submission.

Until the second decade of the 21st century, Western Europe’s centers for the defense of the progressive social agenda were in France, Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal.  The social agenda in Latin America and China faced the Anglo-America offensive even earlier.

France:  The Strategic Key to Anglo-American Social Regression

France has been the center where the Anglo-American regressive attack on socio-economic policy and Southern Europe’s resistance has been playing out.

By 2015 the regressive alliance had overturned all progressive social policy in the former communist bloc countries.  Their alliance with Germany’s finance sector give them tight control of the EU and they successfully decimated the progressive social programs and labor legislation in Greece, Spain and Portugal.

France became the centerpiece for Western capitalism’s drive to incorporate Italy into the regressive orbit.  The conquest of France and Italy would completely reverse 70 years of incremental labor gains after the defeat of fascist capitalism.

The assault on  France’s progressive social agenda is spearheaded by the retro-Socialist President Francois Hollande and his troika of authoritarian hyper-capitalist ministers:  Financial Minister Michel Sapin, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron.

The strategy of relying on a ‘nominal socialist’ to destroy the social welfare state is a classic ‘Trojan Horse’ operation. Hollande’s virulent anti-labor policy is implemented by decree under a joint plan developed in association with France’s leading industrialists.

The imposition of the regressive policy in France began in stages.  It first established the retrograde political leadership with Valls, a notorious authoritarian police-state official willing to over-ride any democratic niceties.  The Economy Minister, Emanuel Macron, a millionaire investment banker, is a direct associate of the financial elite, with no qualms in slashing labor programs.  The Finance Minister Michel Sapin, a long-time accomplice of the French bureaucratic-capitalist elite, is prepared to slash pensions and public services while reducing job security in order to lower the cost of labor to capital.

Once the Hollande and his troika took control of the centers of political power, (and after militarizing French society in response to the terrorist attacks), the regime launched its anti-labor offensive to shred the progressive social agenda.  Its first target was its most formidable – the mass of the French working class.

Declaring ‘anti-ISIS’ martial law powers, Hollande adopted an outright authoritarian strategy, bypassing the elected French Parliament in the legislature and imposed ‘rule by decree’ with the announcement of a highly regressive labor law against the French people.

The dictatorial labor decree was a first step to weaken organized labor’s capacity to protect wages and job security in order to give a powerful impetus to employer control over the French labor force.

Once Hollande’s labor decree established capitalist supremacy, his Troika would be in a decisive position to reverse seventy of incremental social advances.

The joint Hollande-Troika-capitalist bloc emasculated the legislature, leaving a weak, bleating chorus of so-called ‘left Socialists’ to bemoan their political impotence. Then an entirely new business anti-labor code was rolled out, which included the right of bosses to hire and fire workers at will, extend the workday , lengthen the work week, undermine labor’s bargaining power and restrain strikes and job actions.  This would open the way for a wave of irregular and contingent jobs for new workers . . . Using the pretext of terrorist attacks, the French capitalist class had begun to rule by decree to further expand and deepen their long planned assault on labor.

Hollande’s troika and France’s capitalists are lowering corporate taxes and employer contribution to social payments.   Regulations that restrained the concentration of elite power were eliminated.

With curfews and ‘anti-terrorist’ militarized police in the streets, French business elite could now freely begin to to imitate the Anglo-American capitalist elite and impose an iron-fisted New Order.

Without labor constraints on French capital, the bosses are is free to relocate factories and investments any and everywhere, under the most favorable wage, tax, employment and environmental conditions.

No longer required to invest in French industry, the business elite can transfer capital from industry to financial sectors, allowing hundreds of billions of euros to be laundered in off shore tax havens.

The Hollande troika will now also establish its own version of ‘Security and Exchange investigators’ to prosecute and fine its rival Anglo-American financial swindlers, just as the Anglo-Americans pursue their French competitors today.

The Hollande regime’s regressive social agenda has opened the door for an even more extreme Presidential prototype to follow and Alain Juppe is waiting.

The rabid Republican Party presidential candidate, Alain Juppe, promises to go ‘whole hog’ in utterly destroying the French welfare state, as it has existed since the fall of fascism.  If elected president, Juppe promised to slash 100 billion euros from the budget – double the amount that the Hollande regime currently seeks to cut.  Juppe has pledged to eliminate 250,000 civil service jobs in all vital social sectors; to delay the retirement age from 62 to 65; eliminate the 35-hour workweek; facilitate worker layoffs and decimate unemployment benefits.  Finally, Juppe has promised French capital that he would implement their entire business agenda, cut taxes for business and bankers and eliminate the tax on inheritance implemented nearly four decades ago.

In other words, the Hollande regime’s assault on labor and embrace of business has opened the door for the rise of the extreme right.  Moreover, Hollande has manipulated the incidents of Islamist terrorism to assume arbitrary decree powers wiping out any pretense of a democratic government.  The terrorist incidents are arguably related to Hollande’s colonialist embrace of the ‘regime change’ assaults against the secular nationalist governments of Libya and Syria and his policy of sending (or tolerating the recruitment of) marginalized French youth of North African ancestry to fight in the ensuing civil wars.  This has further strengthened the rise of the extreme right in France.

As the Socialist and Republicans compete for dictatorial powers to serve business’ regressive agenda, the nationalist, protectionist and social reformist policies of the National Front are emerging as the populist alternative in the coming presidential race.  Anti-fascist rhetoric has worn thin and important sectors of the working class will turn to the National Front in defense of their jobs and social legislation.  The anti-immigration rhetoric of the National Front is now part of the political vocabulary of the Republicans as well as Prime Minister Valls.

The only alternative to a power grab by the French hard right is a mass general strike and sustained street battles in order to resist the reaction by decree.

As throughout history, popular struggles in France begin in the streets – among the trade unions and young workers angrily facing low wages, austerity and the grim prospect of ‘permanently’ temporary jobs.

The outcome of the intensifying French labor-capital conflict will have a decisive impact on the future of labor throughout Europe, especially among all Left unionists.

Latin America:   The Labor-Capital Showdown

Beyond Europe, the Anglo-American onslaught against labor and the working class resonates most directly in Latin America and to a lesser extent in Asia and Africa.

The first country to fall victim to capital’s attack was Mexico with the implementation of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).  By the early 1990’s NAFTA had demolished the independent Mexican trade unions, crippled social legislation, eliminated subsidies to small corn farmers, forced peasants into debt, reduced minimum wage, doubled poverty levels and turned the majority of the labor force into landless, indebted, casual workers.  On the other hand, NAFTA has been a bottomless source of wealth as capitalists accumulate double and triple digit profits and absolute power to hire and fire employees.  Mexico’s government, under Anglo-American capital, has allowed the illicit transfer of hundreds of billions of dollars of Mexican assets to US, English and other overseas banks, which have become immense money-laundering operations.  The proximity of Mexican drug cartels to the US banks has facilitated the extension of their networks into the US market.   The horrific expansion of drug cartel death squads, linked to Mexico’s political leaders, dates from the 1990’s and the signing of NAFTA.  This bloody nexus has consolidated neoliberal political power in Mexico and weakened the possibility of a viable mass electoral alternative.

Anglo-American dominance in Latin America in the 1990’s led to an entire panoply of regressive policies: privatizing and denationalizing the most lucrative natural and state resources, banks and industries; reducing wages and social spending for labor while increasing the concentration of capital.  By 2001 however the Anglo-American edifice collapsed throughout South America with the demise of its neo-liberal political leadership.

From Venezuela in 1999, to Argentina in 2002, Brazil 2003, Bolivia 2006 and Ecuador 2007, left and center-left parties capitalized on their mass support and were elected into power.  They took advantage of global economic conditions with the rising commodity prices, booming Chinese markets and new regional alliances to fund a variety of progressive social agendas, including increased social expenditures, guaranteed pensions, family allowances, minimum wages, wage increases for public sector and expanded labor rights.

The Anglo-American power elite was in retreat and isolated, but it was far from defeated.  They retrenched and prepared to re-mobilize their strategic business, banking and political allies when the opportunity arose.   They counter-attacked when global and regional conditions turned unfavorable to the social regimes.

The assault on Latin America was preceded by the Anglo-American neo-liberal take-over of Northern Europe from the 1990’s to the first decade of the 21st century.  This was followed by the sweep and grab of the Balkans and Southern Europe.  The combined Anglo-American-EU-NATO offensive now seeks to reverse the last social-welfare regimes in Europe: France and Italy with the help of President Hollande and Prime Minister Renzi.

Simultaneously the Anglo-American offensive has been launched throughout Latin America.  Their goal is to recover the imperial prerogatives, political power and economic privileges lost during the previous decade.  The primary Euro-American target is the ‘golden triangle’, Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela.  These countries constitute a global center of immense oil and agro-mineral wealth.

The Argentine neo-liberal restoration took off in December 2015 with the election of  far-right President Mauricio Macri (image left).   His junta wasted no time in stripping the state of its social legislation, dismantling job security through large-scale layoffs and assuming authoritarian rule by decree to devalue Argentina’s currency by 40% and to eliminate state subsidies and raising the price for gas, electricity, transport, and water between 300 and 800 %.

The regressive offensive was in full force.  Next, Brazil’s twice elected President Dilma Rousseff was ‘impeached’ and essentially overthrown by a bizarre legislative right-wing coup-d’état, designed to reverse a generation of progressive regulatory, labor and employment legislation.  It was also secretly designed to halt corruption investigations against many right-wing politicians.

Venezuela is next.  It will be the scene of a full-scale-elite coup-d’état with imperial backing, to overthrow the government of President Maduro and end decades of progressive social advances under the Chavista governments.

While in France and Italy, the great social reversal is being implemented by internal enemies from the ‘progressive’ political parties (“Trojan Horses”), in Latin America the reversal is led by openly hostile class enemies who depend on the arbitrary exercise of executive power.  The drive to put a definitive end to the ‘welfare state’ in Europe and Latin America is marked by the use of dictatorial decrees, (in the style of Mussolini in the 1920’s) as exercised by Argentina’s elected President Marci in January 2016 and Brazil’s ‘Interim (Coup) President’ Temer in April 2016.  Meanwhile capitalist lockouts, hoarding and sabotage are being used to crush Venezuela’s elected government.

This epochal confrontation has spread across Africa and Asia. China’s capitalist offensive has seen a four-fold increase in the number of new billionaires in less than a decade, at the expense of hundreds of millions of workers stripped of their rights and social programs.

South Africa, under the ANC government, turned its back on social gains promised by the liberation struggle and has imposed regressive social legislation and repressive anti-labor decrees.  A corrupt class of black and white billionaires now rule by guns and clubs over the black working class.

In Africa and the Middle East, the social welfare states of the nationalist regimes in Iraq and Libya have been completely shredded through imperialist military intervention and civil war.  Their once advanced societies have been thrown back into ethno-tribal warfare with no remaining modern social institutions in those two blighted, resource-rich nations.

Wither the Class Struggle:  Historical Reversal and Class Revolt?

The Anglo-American offensive to reverse decades of social advance has captured most of Europe.  They have incorporated or coopted the Social Democratic parties and are moving swiftly toward dismantling the decade-long center-left welfare states in Latin America.

In Africa, the centerpiece of Anglo-Americanization is South Africa, the continent’s most advanced bastion of international capitalism.

In Asia, China, the second most important capitalist economy in the world, has been leading the struggle to overturn the social agenda of the revolutionary past.

Large-scale, prolonged class resistance in several decisive centers is emerging to confront this Anglo-American process of reversion. The class confrontation however takes specific characteristics in each country.

In France, the major protagonists of street fighting and marches are young unemployed or casual workers, members of the strategic transport and oil unions and student-workers facing a bleak future of marginal employment and a shredded social safety net.

Trade unions and farmers’ association have joined the street struggles on numerous occasions, possibly in preparation for a general strike.

In Latin America, the center of the class struggle is Argentina.  Power-mad President Macri immediately imposed regressive policies against all sectors of the working class.  His actions managed to unite the four major trade union confederations, multiple retirees associations and small businesspeople bankrupted by exorbitant charges on gas and electrical use and regional neighborhood federations.  The widespread growth of job actions among public sector employees points to a general strike.

The regressive assault on long-term social legislation in Brazil immediately followed the thinly disguised capitalist coup.  The ousting of President Rousseff has provoked street demonstrations, led by the huge rural landless workers movement (MST), the confederation of industrial and service workers (CUT), social movements of the homeless workers and the recipients of Lula’s poverty programs.  New revelations, based on taped conversations among the coup plotters reveal their plans to oust the incumbent President Rousseff in order to derail official investigations into their own corruption scandals.  This has enraged the general public.

With the initial take-over, the Brazilian political-financial elite has prepared to launch its full-scale reversal of pensions and employment laws and wage guarantees.  The pro-business leadership plans to slash corporate and wealth taxes and to appoint business executives to all leading ministries.  The deep corruption scandal and the mass demonstrations suggest the rightwing power grab may not survive.

The regressive offensive in Venezuela has severely crippled the national economy and deeply eroded living standards of the vast majority of the working class.  The rightist Congress, backed by the US and allied with international mass media, industry and multinational banks, are trying to force the resignation of Socialist President Maduro.

Maduro has declared a state of emergency and mobilized the armed forces.  He  called on the military and popular militia to defend the constitutional order and has threatened to mobilize the workers to “take control of the means of production”.  Still, the leftist government vacillates over arming the militias and workers.   A wide gap remains before the word and the deed.

In the meantime Venezuela’s right wing and left-wing mass mobilizations face each other in the streets seething with class hatred and waiting to engage in a decisive confrontation.  The military thus far remains constitutionalist and on the side of the elected president.

In South Africa, the corrupt pro-business ANC led by President Zuma (image right) murdered dozens of striking mine workers.  It has impoverished millions of shantytown residents, while increasing the wealth and power of the black-white elite.  On April 30, 2016, 1.1.million South African activists, including civil society and community organizations and trade unions covering the mining, manufacturing and service sectors have organized to form a new confederation linked with informal, unemployed and poor workers.  The South African Workers Summit replaces the moribund and corrupt labor confederation, COSATU, the ‘labor desk’ for the neo-liberal ANC regime.  The new confederation will co-ordinate mass struggles and reclaim social programs as a central part of the anti-capitalist revolution.

In China, the growth and consolidation of the world’s second largest concentration of billionaires has led to the proliferation of large-scale industrial workers’ strikes, walkouts and confrontations with factory bosses, company unions and government officials.  China is becoming the epicenter of Asia’s working class struggles.  Chinese workers have forced the government to investigate and jail over 200,000 corrupt officials, high and low, and to concede substantial wage increases and social compensation to factory workers.  Fearing more social upheaval, China’s billionaires and multi-millionaires have transferred hundreds of billions of dollars of stolen assets abroad in a buying spree of high-end property in the ‘safe’ Anglo-American “heartland” of world reaction.

The continued advance of working class struggles against the public and private oligarchs has forced the Chinese Prime Minister to reform elite privileges and prosecute large-scale banking swindles and illegal seizure of farmland.  Especially important, millions of workers have successfully secured double-digit wage increases and the right to legally live in urban/industrial and construction centers.

As it gains momentum, class struggle in China can become the centerpiece for a wider Asian social transformation and a great leap forward to socialist values.

Conclusion

The Anglo-American drive to establish a global regressive social order has pushed billions of workers on five continents into destitution, insecurity and lifelong exploitation.  The capitalist world rules by fiat and violence, declaring that social regression and worker repression are the ‘wave of the future’. For the elite, the proper order of the universe is being ‘restored’!

In response, new working class organizations have emerged and engage directly to defend their historic social advances and economic rights.

In the course of defending their past progressive social legacy, the new working class militants can clearly see the imperative to challenge and overthrow the entire political and economic order.  From France to Latin America, from China to South Africa, class struggle is defining the present and future of class relations.

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