Gita Hashemi on Sun, 14 Apr 2002 02:32:02 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] FWD: Venezeula's "Chilean-like" General Strike

>From: Louis Proyect <>
>Subject: Re: Venezeula's "Chilean-like" General Strike
>Mime-Version: 1.0
>Precedence: bulk
>Please post:
>Colombia/Venezuela Update
[ by Anthony from Bogota]

>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 internationally.
>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
>turning point.
>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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