Thursday, April 28, 2005

Venezuela Under Threat

Jorge Martin & Alan Woods suggest that the recent flurry of lies emanating from the government's hired press in the USA, points towards the strong possibility that Bush is planning something nasty. Here are some extracts from their article:

Since the beginning of this year the barrage of accusations against the Venezuelan government by US officials has certainly increased in volume and intensity. The US has actively tried to stop the sale of weapons to Venezuela by Spain, Brazil and Russia (after the US itself refused to supply spare parts for Venezuela's ageing fleet of F16s), and has accused Venezuela of being a "negative force in the region" (Condoleeza Rice). The US administration and media have stepped up a belligerent campaign against Venezuela.

The democratically elected government of Hugo Chavez has been accused of everything from linking up with North Korea, supplying arms to the Colombian FARC guerrillas and funding the "subversive" MAS in Bolivia, to forming an axis of evil with Cuba's Castro, starting an arms race in Latin America, and harbouring Al-Qaeda terrorists. A recent article in the National Review (which appeared on April 11, the day of the third anniversary of the coup in Venezuela), carried the title "Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez constitute an axis of evil". In this extremely belligerent article, Otto Reich, until recently Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, openly advocated a policy of "confronting" the "emerging axis of subversion".

There is no substance to any of these accusations, for which not the slightest shred of proof is offered. They are just meant to create an impression the kind of impression that can be used to justify an act of aggression.


There is no doubt that all these newspaper articles and statements do not appear just by chance. One has the feeling that they are part of an orchestrated propaganda campaign aimed not only at isolating Venezuela, but also at preparing US public opinion for more direct forms of intervention against the Bolivarian Revolution. The self-same methods were used in the past to justify US interventions against the Cuban Revolution, the Arbenz government in Guatemala, the government of Salvador Allende in Chile, and more recently in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada and Haiti. The hired press pours out a stream of abuse and calumnies in order to soften up public opinion. Then the heavy squad moves in. In some circles, this is known as the "freedom of the press".

Otto Reich would know about this. In the 1980s he was at the head of the State Department’s Office of Public Diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean (OPD). This was nothing less than a propaganda outfit, which amongst other tasks coordinated the planting of editorial articles in newspapers openly backing the Contras and attacking those who criticised Washington's support for the murderous cut-throat gangs of thugs of the Contras in Nicaragua. The Iran-Contra investigation found that Reich, a Cuban exile, had carried out "prohibited, covert propaganda" on behalf of the Contras (the full declassified record of Otto Reich while involved in the OPD can be found at


In all previous occasions in which this kind of language has been used, it has always been the preparation for military intervention. Such interventions do not necessarily take the form of an actual invasion. The fact that the US army is bogged down in an unwinnable war in Iraq makes this a problematical option at this stage. But the examples of Chile and Nicaragua indicate that there are other options: a dirty war of terrorism and subversion, the assassination of President Chavez, provocations leading to war with Colombia, which the Pentagon has already turned into an armed camp. These and many other weapons are at the disposal of Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice.

All the warnings are present. The only force that can defeat the planned aggression against the Venezuelan Revolution is the international Labour Movement...

It's worth remembering, while we're on the subject, that a certain pro-imperialist blog 'caught between nominal identification with the left and effective identification with a Rightist agenda' (as Mark Kaplan has described it) regurgitated a series of untruths and distortions penned by the Washington Post's (the paper which, in the 80's, slandered the Sandinistas at the bidding of the Reagan administration) Jackson Diehl*. Said blog then lifted its ratty little eyes to the 'imaginary tribunal' which seems to float above it and asked if it had done well. Expect more of the same.

* See here, for a demolition of Diehl's propaganda.

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