A supporter of Venezuelan
President Hugo Chavez hangs a pair of shoes at the front of the US embassy
in Caracas. (AFP Photo / Juan Baretto) South America - Venezuela in particular
- has been the target of a coordinated campaign by the US government and
private industry over the past few years. But those of us who have been
paying attention know this is nothing new.
WikiLeaks recently published new documents showing that US global intelligence
corporations like Stratfor and its foreign offshoot CANVAS worked hard
over the past decade (aided and abetted by US Government agencies) in
a failed attempt to overthrow Venezuela's democratically elected president
Meddling in the 'Backyard'
The US corporate over-world has always worked closely with the CIA, the
State Department and the Pentagon promoting the overthrow - known as "regime
change in rogue states" - of governments that do not automatically align
to US interests; or, better said, of governments that do not automatically
align with the interests of the supra-national global power elite that
is deeply embedded inside private and public power structures in the US.
This has been especially true throughout Latin America, traditionally
America's geopolitical and economic backyard, from Mexico to Tierra del
For example, September 11th of this year (of all dates!) marks the 40th
anniversary of the CIA-backed, financed and orchestrated overthrow and
assassination of Chile's democratically elected president, Salvador Allende.
Allende was replaced by a pro-US and pro-UK military junta headed by General
Augusto Pinochet. At the time, private corporations like ITT worked hand
in hand with CIA operatives promoting strikes, social turmoil and waging
psychological warfare through the local media. Then it was Chile; now
In fact, the 1970s and 1980s saw the Kissinger-designed and executed 'Condor
Plan' finance and diplomatically support various military coups and regimes
not only in Chile but in Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and other
countries in the region.
Such US-UK support for authoritarian and criminal regimes would only stop
when some Latin American general like Argentina's General Leopoldo Galtieri
went too far by doing something really stupid, like Argentina's 1982 invasion
of the Falkland Islands.
Relatives of Argentine soldiers who died during Argentina's 1982 war over
the Falkland Islands decorate tombs at a cemetery.
Barring that, all those US-backed coups used local military strongmen
trained in the US Military's School of the Americas in Panama to do as
they pleased in their local countries, as long as: (a) they kept those
countries aligned to US geopolitical imperatives which during the Cold
War meant being staunchly anti-Communist; (b) accepted Chicago-Boys-style
financial dependency and artificially created public debts; (c) kept local
populations in permanent fear and thus 'disciplined and orderly.'
Since the fall of the former Soviet Union, however, these tactics changed
dramatically. Now US control over Latin American countries is centred
on promoting 'democracy.' Well, actually, "the kind of democracy that
we want to see," as Hillary Clinton so eloquently put it when visiting
'Arab Spring Egypt' back in March 2011.
Such money-controlled democracy is, of course, no democracy at all, but
rather an obscene money-sloshing and media clownery system that catapults
their favourite candidates into local positions of power.
When the US has its way as in Mexico, Colombia and Chile, and their candidates
win local elections, then it's all business as usual. But when growing
political awareness among the local populace elects presidents into power
who prioritize the local national interest as in Ecuador (who just re-elected
their fine president Rafael Correa), Bolivia (Evo Morales) and, most notably,
Venezuela with Hugo Chavez, then the 'regime change' mega-juggernaut comes
into full action.
Public And Private Initiative
In America, you never know whether it's the White House and Congress running
the country and the corporate over-world, or if it's the other way around:
The corporate over-world runs the White House, Congress and the country.
Recent WikiLeaks documents released on Venezuela describes Stratfor as
"a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential
intelligence services to large corporations such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical
Co., Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies,
including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the
US Defence Intelligence Agency."
"The emails," WikiLeaks goes on to explain, "show Stratfor's web of informers,
pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods."
The filtered emails cover a wide range of issues on the energy sector,
especially oil; political change and the state of right-wing forces inside
Venezuela; and the state of the country's armed forces. They also refer
to Venezuela's relations with Cuba, China, Russia and Iran, and provide
bleak projections for the economy and the financial sector.
The Serbian-based and US-supported Center for Applied Non-Violent Action
and Strategies (CANVAS) is yet another such 'global intelligence' front
of what, in practice, are organizations specializing in engineering social
turmoil - even civil war - as countries like Serbia, Libya, Afghanistan
and Syria have painfully learned.
The leaked emails from CANVAS had them explaining their recommended strategy
for toppling governments, as in one revealing message to Stratfor:
"When somebody asks us for help, as in Vene (sic!) case, we usually ask
them the question 'and how would you do it?'. That means that the first
thing is to create a situational analysis (the word doc I sent you) and
after that comes "Mission Statement" (still left to be done) and then
"Operational Concept", which is the plan for campaign... For this case
we have three campaigns: Unification of opposition, campaign for [September
2010 parliamentary elections] and parallel with that a 'get out and vote'
campaign." Very straightforward!
Stratfor's founder and chairman is one George Friedman, who is regularly
interviewed in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and CNN and is advisor to
JPMorganChase, CitiGroup and Ernst & Young. Stratfor's president &
CEO is Shea Morenz, who for many years was a senior officer at Goldman
Sachs. Not exactly corporations and megabanks bent on promoting the common
good of the people of Venezuela, or of any other country in Latin America
Clearly, there are no sharp lines separating these private intelligence
publishers and analysts, think tanks like the Council on Foreign Relations,
RAND Corporation, National Endowment for Democracy and major corporations,
from public US-Government agencies like the CIA, NSA, USAID and the State
In fact, throughout Latin America, lucid political observers will always
keep an eye on what 'La Embajada' is up to. 'La Embajada' is Spanish for
'The Embassy' - not just any embassy, of course, but the local Embassy
of the United States.
No surprise then to learn that this batch of WikiLeaks documents reveals
US-based firms working to overthrow Hugo Chavez by assisting and financing
opposition candidates like Henrique Capriles Radonsky, who was Chavez's
main opposition candidate, coming in second place in last year's presidential
Capriles Radonsky is strongly backed by US, European and Israeli interests,
thanks to his notable alignment to those countries' objectives in Venezuela
and the region. Of Jewish background - in a country with a very tiny Jewish
community - Radonsky promises to steer Venezuela away from the close ties
forged by Chavez with Iran, Cuba, Russia, China and (until it was overrun
and destroyed by NATO) also Libya.
Due to President Chavez's ailing health, this public-private US initiative
is again hard at work promoting all opposition forces inside Venezuela,
whilst they eagerly await good news (for them) about president Chavez's
condition, hoping that he may have to relinquish the presidency he won
late last year, which would mean new elections in a Venezuela without
Chavez. That would spell real tragedy for that country.
A tragedy not just for Venezuela but for the entire region as well, where
the US continues holding full sway in countries like Colombia - whose
president Juan Manuel Santos is a member of the Rockefeller-funded, New
York-based 'Americas Society' that promotes in-roads into Latin America
for the powerful Council on Foreign Relations, whose head office is just
across the street from them on Park Avenue at 57th Street. And Mexico
recently elected pro-US rich-boy Enrique Peña Nieto as president.
Two countries where it's business as usual.
'Make it look like a democratic election'
In advising on how to engineer destabilisation, CANVAS told Stratfor,
that "We only give them the tools to use." Referring to the 2010 parliamentary
elections, they wrote, "This year we are definitely ramping up activity
in Venezuela... they have elections in September and we are in close connection
with activists from there and people trying to help them (please keep
this to yourself for now, no publication). The first phase of our preparation
is under way."
So, this is "the kind of democracy the US wants to see." Or, as Don Corleone
in 'The Godfather' would recommend to agents and operatives if he sat
in the State Department or the CIA: "Make it look like a democratic election."
Maybe Corleone's best disciples are actually running the show after all.
- Adrian Salbuchi for RT
Adrian Salbuchi is a political analyst, author, speaker and radio/TV commentator
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