South America, PAN, and US Imperialism

Tony Abdo aabdo at
Sat Jun 10 20:16:49 MDT 2000

The chit-chats of Vicente Fox in March with Alan Greenspan, and now this
week's conference between Greenspan and Zedillo, should put the lie to
the idea of supposed US government, official disinterest in the outcome
of this election.     The US has not spent the last decade building up
space for PAN to operate within Mexico, just to build up Mexico's future
internal instability.     And that's just exactly what a Labastida/ PRI
victory in the presidential election would produce.

The idea of a freely functioning democracy within Mexico is a fairy
tale, equaled only by the fairy tales of Labastida being an  operator
independent from Zedillo, and Clinton being an imparcial and
disconnected observor of Mexican affairs, one who would not be prepared
to exert influence to insure the outcome.

The whole history of the rise of PAN has been a history of US pressure
on Mexico to improve its world public image by moving away from
transparent one party dictatorship.       Without US pressure,  PRI
would have continued to squash serious opposition, just as it has done
with the murders of thousands of Cardenista supporters, and other
multituds of Leftists.

The whole official line is that the only US asserted pressure on Mexico
has been to respect human rights, and therefore an opposition just thus
did grow.     It just happened to be from the Right!    For American or
World Leftists to accept this idiocy at face value is tremendously
harmful.      PAN is not just a home grown toadstool.

PAN initially received US impetus by way of the Republican Party.
But just like on so many other issues of importance to the Right, the
primary sponsorship switched to Clinton when he assumed the presidency
in 1992.      Then official interest in constructing this imperialist
beast laid dormant somewhat, until when the Zapatistas rose up on New
Years Day in Chiapas.

Both the Mexican elite and the US government became concerned on how to
head off and deflect the growing unity of opposition within Mexico.
Thus, we can begin to see where the Mexican connections with South
America/ US politics begin.    Because the last 5 years have seen a
similar, growing political deterioration, as occurred in the 1994
Mexican Meltdown, throughout South America.

The US was able to stave off disaster in Mexico, with tens-of-
billions of dollars in bailout funds.      The price for the PRI, was
complete, abject surrender to the US of any remaining autonomous
opposition to US directive.     This bailout was successful in avoiding
immediate total collapse of the Mexican economy, such that a halt could
be given to the downhill slide.

There was enough money given, to deflect and redirect middle class and
major city working class people from unifying their opposition to the
rural and indigenous rebels that were leading the way against
dictatorship.     How can the US government conduct a similar successful
operation to pacify South America?

Throughout South America, from Venezuela to Colombia to Ecuador to Peru
to Uruguay to Argentina, the economies are collapsing the standards of
life for hundreds of millions of people.    Is there a country in SA
that is not affected by this chaos?      And just as in Mexico before
the bailout, the middle sectors of society are becoming angrier and more

The question once again for imperialism, is how to deflect this growing
middle sector despair,  away from unifying with the already rebellious
margianalized sectors?...... a similar situation that occurred earlier
in Mexico, but this time with an even larger population involved.
Therefore, a similar proportionate bailout would be even costlier, and
would be of such a magnitude that might even drive the US economy
itself, into a nosedive.

A 'hope offensive' must be mounted throughout South America, because the
working classes and middle classes of Caracas, Bogota, Medellin, Cali,
Guayaquil, Buenos Aires, Montivideo, and Lima are moving into action

General strikes in Buenos Aires, Montivideo, Equador..... and the
13,000,000 who demonstrated for peace in Colombia, show  the need to the
US capitalist government to combine carrots and sticks, to stall this
growing tide.

Direct military intervention in Colombia will have to be combined with
some large amount of bailout funds.     And new trade agreements will
have to be offered to provide hope to stem the growing demoralization of
the US allied elites.

NAFTA and Mexico will be the showpiece of this propaganda offensive.
And it can't be done with a 6-year term-PRI hack,  newly deposited once
again  into presidential office.    What a disaster for  US strategy
that would be..

A new face and a 'new Mexico' must both be on board, to try to impress
South American countries that the possiblity of change WITH the system,
is still somehow on the immediate agenda.
The current  layer of corrupt capitalist politicians throughout South
America are confronted with a social base of support for pro-
imperialist, neo-liberal policies, that is eroding away beneath their
feet faster than quicksand.

Some program must be put together quick, are the US will have a
continent wide rebellion on its hands.     And even Mexico has not been
totally secured.     The US government has seen this situation
advancing, though the velocity is catching the Clinton administration
off guard.

Because of this, the US has gone ahead with the decision to install
Vicente Fox into office.     Something beyond pure military muscle must
be offered.     A combination of repression and bailout is being
readied, for both Chiapas and Colombia.

In Colombia, the US continues to OK turning over terrain to the
guerrilla to administer.     This buys time, so that the military
offensive can be prepared under a more solid political foundation.
It also gives a sense of false security to the FARC and ELN (whom just
gained their treaty and territory this week).    This is a maneuver
similar to turning over Mexico City to Cardenas to 'administer".

This is not to say that a smiling Vicente Fox seen repeatedly throughout
the world's press shall be the mainstay of future US policy for the LA
region.      But it will be an important element in trying to create the
imagery necessary to justify internally within the US, and externally, a
consensus that miliary interventions in South America are not such a bad
idea for Latinos.

The Mexican-American community does not see US intervention in terms of
Imperialism.      They see it as a good thing.      Something that
pushes progress....something that can help end the PRI.      They
support US intervention into the affairs of Mexico, because otherwise it
appears to be to support having the PRI in power for eternity.

There is a total US public lack of comprehension that the US HAS BEEN
<<the PRI>>, for some time now.      An American Left has done nothing
to convince US Hispanics otherwise.    Rather, it has been the
conservatized Mexican-American community,  that the US Left has deferred
to in obtaining its own analysis of Mexican affairs.

American Hispanics consider, by and large, that the US government must
'liberate' Mexico from the PRI.     That it will be good if Clinton does
so.     There has been no movement in the US Hispanic communities to
oppose the Mexican government.      Silence was seen as judicious, so as
not to feed into US racism.      The US Left has followed along meekly.

Campaigns around the Zapatistas were seen as divorced from mounting a
campaign to force the US to stop cooperating with Mexican dictatorship.
It is hard to find mention that the PRI is a dictatorship amongst the US
Left.    To say so was seen to fuel US racism, rather than to be to move
against US imperialism.       This is a generalization, but not an over

As a result, we have a US Left ideologically unprepared to understand
fully the implications of the US drive toward war against South America.
And how it is manifesting itself by moving PRI momentarily to the side .
The US intellectual community will not be in good position to counter
the new propaganda wave being launched with a smiling Fox at its head.

Yes, the PRI is not going to be totally removed from power.     The US
solely supports the illusion, not the substance of toppling PRI.
There will be the new 2-Headed PRI.     But it will take a while for
Mexico to catch on.

How will The US Left be able to help convince the Hispanic community
here to oppose imperialism against Latin America?     It must be done.
And it must be fully realized that most US Hispanics are proponents of
US intervention into Mexican affairs to topple the PRI.

Because of this, outcry against US intervention into Colombia will be
difficult to mobilize amongst American Hispanics.    And it cannot be
done if the US Left continues to wait back,  as the US increases
intervention into Mexico, also.

If the Left waits until the Mexican-American community takes up the
cause........ then it'll be waiting around doing nothing, for a very
long time.      PRI is not THE problem, as most Mexican-Americans seem
to want to believe.      The US government that so many support to
remove the PRI, is THE real problem.

An active antiwar movement must be begun to be built, even though
participation within the US Hispanic community may well be minimal.    A
way to counter this,  would be to support building a bi-national antiwar
movement.    We must integrate our activities, just as our governments
and elites, in Mexico and the US, would integrate economic activity
(read..... our poverty, their prosperity)

It must be understood that the US has funded and motivated PAN and Fox,
as it has PRI and exchange for freedom to further loot
Mexico along with Mexico's super-elite.     More than 'solidarity with
Chiapas' is needed to counter ideologically the drive to increase US
counter-insurgency and the sale of an expanded super-NAFTA  to extend to
Chile and Argentina.

The actions this week against the OAS summit were a positive step
towards taking opposition forward.      Latin America will be America's
hot issue in the days to come.    Stop The War.     Expose US
Intervention in The Mexican Elections.

Tony Abdo

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