Friday, March 13, 2015

History has shown us again and again

Two more analyses of the US government’s longstanding policy of antidemocratic interference in Venezuela:

James Petras’ “US and Venezuela: Decades of Defeats and Destabilization” (I don’t agree with everything in the article) discusses what a coup in Venezuela would mean for the country and the region:
What the US has in mind is not merely a ‘palace coup’ in which the democratic incumbents are ousted and replaced by US clients. Washington wants to go far beyond a change in personnel, beyond a friendly regime amenable to providing unconditional backing to the US foreign policy agenda…

A coup and post-coup regime is only the first step toward a systematic and comprehensive reversal of the socio-economic and political transformations of the past 16 years!

Heading the list will be the crushing of the mass popular community organizations which will oppose the coup. This will be accompanied by a mass purge, of all representative institutions, the constitutionalist armed forces, police and nationalist officials in charge of the oil industry and other public enterprises.

All the major public welfare programs in education, health, housing and low cost retail food outlets, will be dismantled or suffer major budget cuts.

The oil industry and dozens of other publicly owned enterprises and banks will be privatized and denationalized. US MNC will be the main beneficiaries. The agrarian land reform will be reversed: recipients will be evicted and the land returned to the landed oligarchs.

Given how many of the Venezuelan working class and rural poor will be adversely affected and given the combative spirit which permeates popular culture, the implementation of the US backed neo-liberal agenda will require prolonged, large-scale repression. This means, tens of thousands of killings, arrests and incarceration.

The US coup- masters and their Venezuelan proxies will unleash all their pent-up hostility against what they will deem the blood purge necessary to punish, in Henry Kissinger’s infamous phrase, “an irresponsible people” who dared to affirm their dignity and independence.

The US backing of violence in the run-up to the February 2015 coup will be escalated in the run-up to the inevitable next coup.

Contemporary US imperial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya and past US backed bloody military coups installing neo-liberal regimes in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay a few decades past, demonstrate that Washington places no limits on how many tens of thousands of lives are destroyed, how many millions are uprooted, if it is ‘necessary’ to secure imperial dominance.
Independent regional alliances would be threatened:
According to Washington’s domino theory, Cuba will be more susceptible to pressure if it is cut-off from Venezuela’s subsidized oil-for-medical services agreement. Ecuador and Bolivia will be vulnerable. Regional integration will be diluted or replaced by US directed trade agreements. Argentina’s drift to the right will be accelerated. The US military presence will be enlarged beyond Colombia, Peru, Paraguay and Central America. Radical anti-imperialist ideology will be replaced by a revised form of “pan-Americanism”, a euphemism for imperial primacy.
Dave Lindorff’s “Venezuela, the Latest ‘National Security Threat’” emphasizes that “anti-democratic tactics used abroad inevitably find their way home”:
The real threat to national security in Venezuela and around the world today is the government in Washington. And the US is not just a threat to the security of the peoples of the world, whether in third-world nations, in Russia and China, or in the ostensible allied nations of Europe. It is a threat to the national security of the people of the United States too.

History has shown us again and again that repressive and anti-democratic tactics used abroad inevitably find their way home, where they are then turned against the people of the home country. We’ve seen this happening with the militarization of US police, who now operate in most US communities as if they were occupying troops in a foreign country, carrying military weapons, shooting to kill, breaking into homes in night raids and using brutal force to make the most minor of arrests, treating ordinary citizens as criminals who have no right to speak or to challenge how they or a family member or friend are being treated. We’ve seen it in the massive expansion of domestic spying, and we’ve seen it in the corruption of the courts, where judges in national security trials now deny defendants even the right to present a real defense to a jury, and where higher courts give the government permission to violate almost every Constitutionally guaranteed right in the name of “combatting terrorism” or defending “national security” interests.