[Marxism] MH/Oppenheimer: Chávez destabilizes, and U.S. pays bill

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 20 13:55:24 MDT 2007


("Chávez is following Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's script -- create 
conflicts with domestic and foreign ''enemies'' and claim you are 
defending a larger-than-life revolution in order to stay in power 
forever. Only difference is, with oil prices at a record $87 a barrel, 
Chávez is doing it with tons of money.") 
=========================================================================
(If the U.S. really wanted to undercut Venezuelan influence in the world,
one way would be to develop a sustainable, non-petroleum-based system of
public transportation, involving lots of public, mass, low-cost or free
rapid transit. I do not think that the big private companies which make a
killing selling oil, which may well get to $100 a barrel soon, are in any
hurry to move us to a sustainable lifestyle. Rule or ruin, that's their
philosophy, and to hell with nature, the environment, and so on, etc.
Oppy's analysis also won't sit well with the perfectionistic ultraleft
who constantly complain that Venezuela doesn't follow the Cuban road.
However, Winston Churchill was right: "Perfectionism spells paralysis.)
==========================================================================

MIAMI HERALD
Chávez destabilizes, and U.S. pays bill;
THE OPPENHEIMER REPORT 
BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER 
aoppenheimer at MiamiHerald.com
18 October 2007
The Miami Herald

There is no mystery about Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez's intent
on destabilizing U.S.-backed Latin American democracies: he says so
on his own government's website.

At first, when a Venezuelan political analyst showed me about a month
ago what he said was a Venezuelan planning ministry's document
calling for the support of ''alternative movements'' in Latin
America, I dismissed it as an internal government memo whose
authenticity and seriousness would be hard to confirm. Thus, I
decided not to print a word about it.

But, to my big surprise, while surfing through the Venezuelan
government's information ministry's website, www.minci.gov.ve , this
week, I stumbled upon the same document, now presented as ''The
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela's General Guidelines for the
Nation's Economic and Social Development Plan 2007-2013.'' It
included exactly the same wording calling for Venezuela's support of
opposition groups in U.S.-friendly Latin American countries.

The 51-page document, dated September, 2007, has a section entitled
''Areas of Geo-strategic Interest,'' which lists Venezuela's
''objectives'' in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United
States.

CHAVEZ'S GOALS

Among these objectives:

``Strengthening alternative movements in Central America and Mexico
in search of [their] estrangement from the [U.S.] empire's
domination.''

''Neutralizing the [U.S.] empire's action by strengthening the
solidarity and public opinion of the organized social movements'' in
Latin America.

Consolidating the axis of leadership Cuba-Venezuela-Bolivia, to push
for the [Chávez-backed] Bolivarian Alternative of the Peoples as an
alternative to the [U.S.-backed] Free Trade Area of the Americas and
the [U.S.] Free Trade Agreements.

''Creating a new international communications order'' and ``encourage
a network of alternative news networks.''

''Encouraging organization of solidarity groups with the Bolivarian
Revolution'' in the United States.

Venezuelan opposition leaders say there is nothing new about this --
only that what Chávez has repeatedly said in his five-hour speeches
has now been put on paper as a six-year government plan.

According to Julio Borges, president of Venezuela's opposition
Primero Justicia party, its publication in the website was no
blunder.

Rather, it's an effort to soften up Venezuela's public opinion:
Chávez's use of his country's petro-dollars to become a regional
leader is the least popular of his policies at home and Chávez wants
Venezuelans to accept it as a state policy and a fact of life, Borges
said.

''Chávez has already ceased to be the president of Venezuela and is
increasingly becoming the president of the continental revolution,''
Borges told me in a telephone interview from Caracas. ``Trouble is,
he's using the Venezuelan people's money to make his personal dream
come true.''

According to a study by Primero Justicia, Chávez has already spent
$37 billion in foreign aid to 40 countries, mostly in Latin America.

That does not take into account most of the under-the-table aid to
pro-Chávez politicians and groups in Latin America, including the
$800,000 recently seized at the Buenos Aires airport in the suitcase
of a Venezuelan businessman. He was traveling on a private plane as a
member of the Venezuelan state-run PDVSA oil monopoly.

`PACK AND LEAVE'

''What they are doing is making it official within the country that
Venezuela is no longer a country of the Venezuelan people but the
epicenter of a continental movement, and that those of us who don't
like that must either pack and leave or resign ourselves,'' Borges
said.

My opinion: Chávez is following Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's script
-- create conflicts with domestic and foreign ''enemies'' and claim
you are defending a larger-than-life revolution in order to stay in
power forever. Only difference is, with oil prices at a record $87 a
barrel, Chávez is doing it with tons of money.

What bothers me the most about this is not Chávez's
narcissist-Leninist project -- there have always been megalomaniac
military strongmen and always will be -- but that the United States
is funding it. Americans -- by driving our needlessly huge gas
guzzlers -- are paying Chávez $34 billion a year for Venezuelan oil
imports.

As long as we continue buying that much Venezuelan oil, Chávez will
keep enjoying a blank check to fund ''alternative movements'' in
Latin America, as he openly vows to do on his own government's
website.





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