Forwarded from Anthony (Venezuela)
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 12 06:49:54 MDT 2002
Hugo Chaves was just overthrown by a military coup d'etat, according to the
Colombian news media.
I am sorry I haven not written more, and more frequently about the rapidly
developing situation in Colombia and Venezuela. The crises in the two
countries - parts of Gran Colombia afterall - are becoming more and more
entertwined by the minute.
The crisis in Venezuela, is in my opinion, a key part of the world oil
crisis, and of the USA's struggle against Latin American indepence, and
against European imperialism.
It is also very closely related to the crisis of Colombia.
In my opinion the CIA had been orchestrating - for a long time - an effort
to dump Chaves. This effort involved four basic elements: 1) efforts to
organize an 'officers movement' against Chaves. 2) Efforts to mobilise
'democratic'; public opinoni against Chaves, especially through the
privately owned bourgeois press. 3) efforts to pit the aristocracy of
labor, especially the oil workers against Chaves. 4) efforts to isolate
Chaves was a leader of the populist and nationalist military in Latin
America. A Peron type. He was an opponent of the pro-imperiliast military
cliques, which have been dominant in Latin American politics, but not
always among the rank and file of Latin American soldiers.
For a long time chaves was able to deflect and hold at bay the efforts to
get rid of him. Control of Venezuela's oil revenues gave him tremendous
The breaking point came when the Colombian army alleged that the FARC had
retreated from the despeje to safe havens in Venezuela.
Chaves denied these allegations in very strong terms.
But his generals, active duty generals, told the press that the FARC did
have bases in Venezuela. This was the first time that active duty generals,
in the inner circle, had defied Chaves.
The house came tumbling down. Chaves's wife - who left him in a scandal a
month or so ago - fled the country in the presidential jet.
Soon after the coup was announced.
Where Hugo Chaves is is unknown. Whether he is alive is not known.
Venezuela and Colombia - and really all of Latin America - are at a dark
The bourgeoisie here - emboldened by imperialism's total abondonment of
'peace processes- is marching backward to military dictatorship and worse.
But they are not united, and indeed are badly disuinted and confused. In
fact, they are very weak.
Where their march will lead to, is anybody's guess.
Latin America is in deep crisis. One aspect of that crisis is that the
'neoliberal' solution has so obviously and completely failed -e.g.
Argentina, and Ecuador, that the imperialists and the local capitlaists
have no real idea of what political and economic strategy to try next. They
are in an internal crisis. Globalization has failed before they even
created a free trade area throughout the Americas.
Politically this has led to a rebirth of sorts of nationalism, and of
social democracy, in Brazil and the Southern cone.
This rebirth in my humble opinion, is strongly supported by the European
Union, which would like to attach South America to its trade zone, and
detach it from the US's trade zone.
What the nationalists and social democrats in Latin America dream of, is a
Latin American free trade zone, independent of the US, and linked by
alliance to Europe. such a trade zone could even become a reality if the PT
(workers Party) wins the Presidential election in Brazil, and the
'nationalist' Peronists take over in Argentina (momentarily prevented, but
who knows for how long).
This possibility is the real fear of US imperialism in Latin America.
All of this is connected to Colombia and Venezuela.
The coup against Hugo Chaves, the elected president of Venezuela, an
ardent supporter of a South American union, indepedent of the USA, and
linked to Europe and OPEC, is certainly a major blow againt Latin American
independence, and against Europe.
Keep in mind that Venezuela is the most important supplier of oil to the
USA, and that Colombia supplies 10% of US oil imports. Chavez had allied
Venezuela with the 'nationalist in OPEC, Iraq and Iran.
All of this is closely related to the presidential elections here in
Colombia - where Alvaro Uribe Velez who has close connections to the
paramilitaries - is almost certainly going to be elected. (Please see my
post about the recent Colombian congressional elections.) Velez in power
here, with increased military aid from the USA, and with more US troops
(openly or in Colombian uniforms) is an incendiary formula.
Velez is the US candidate. He is for more war, less social reform, and more
police state powers for the military. He would like to be the Fujimori of
Colombia. With Chaves gone in Venezuela, the FARC will almost certtainly
lose what was a more or less neutral safe haven in Venezuela. The option of
a 'military solution' in Colmbia - soemthing like what is now happening in
Palestine - could become the near future agenda.
Last week there were hundreds of raids on the homes of leftists in Bogota -
allegedly because they were suspected of having connections with the FARC -
in fact, simply because they were connected with the Communist Party, or
were belived to be connected with the Communist Party.
The shit is hitting the fan.
What will happen next is anyone's guess. But there is one thing that I
believe to be true - bourgeois reaction does not have popular support, but
neither does Chaves, and neither does the FARC. What is playing itself out
is mostly a drama of armed minorities. The masses have not entered the
pciture - and may not enter the picture - in this episode. Stay tuned.
All the best, Anthony
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