Tuesday, January 22, 2019

In Venezuela as in Chile, what is past is prologue

Allende prepares to defend the Presidential Palace on the day of the coup
Tuesday we heard Mike Pence's overt imperialist call for a coup in Venezuela "reported" favourably by the allegedly objective Canadian and American mainstream media. This is the culmination of a long destabilization and misinformation campaign aimed at bringing down the country's socialistic regime and stopping its efforts to build a more just and independent society. 

If this succeeds, it will not end in democracy. The United States could not care less about "democracy". Venezuela already is a democracy. It is in a region where there are actually regimes that came to power undemocratically through hard and "soft" coups such as Honduras and Brazil. The United States and its allies have no issue with those as they suit their economic and military interests. 

The overthrow of Maduro would end in rivers of blood, mass repression and the turning of the country into yet another client state of international capital. 

That avowed reactionary and Trump stooge Pence is making the statements he is should tip anybody off that the narrative around them is completely false, but the Canadian media and political lapdogs for American imperialism -- many of them supposed "liberals" and "social democrats" -- are buying the American lies outright yet again.

They have done this over-and-over-and-over again, but the closest parallel was the nearly identical American destabilization and disinformation campaign against the democratically elected leftist government of Salvador Allende in Chile that led to the bloody coup of 1973.

The plan for and what happened to Allende's government should sound awfully familiar:
According to notes taken by CIA director Richard Helms at a 1970 meeting in the Oval Office, his orders were to "make the economy scream." It was widely reported that at the covert level the United States worked to destabilize Allende's Chile by funding opposition political groups and media and by encouraging a military coup d'etat. The agency trained members of the fascist organization Patria y Libertad (PyL) in guerrilla warfare and bombing, and they were soon waging a campaign of arson. CIA also sponsored demonstrations and strikes, funded by ITT and other US corporations with Chilean holdings. CIA-linked media, including the country's largest newspaper, fanned the flames of crisis...
...In August 1973, the rightist and centrist representatives in the Chamber of Deputies undermined the president's legitimacy by accusing him of systematically violating the constitution and by urging the armed forces to intervene....
...Allende either was assassinated or committed suicide while defending (with an assault rifle) his socialist government against the coup d'etat. Several cabinet ministers were also assassinated, the universities were put under military control, opposition parties were banned and thousands of Chileans were tortured and killed, many fingered as "radicals" by lists provided by the CIA. Although sporadic resistance to the coup erupted, the military consolidated control much more quickly than it had believed possible. Many Chileans had predicted that a coup would unleash a civil war, but instead it ushered in a long period of repression.
People should read as well Gabriel García Márquez's 1974 piece "Why Allende had to die" if they have any doubts about how Venezuela got where it is and what lies in store should the Americans get their way. It tells in part how the aim of the Chilean right was:
...to unhinge the government and plunge the country into the abyss of demoralisation and economic disaster.
The economic blockade by the United States, because of expropriation without indemnification, did the rest. All kinds of goods are manufactured in Chile, from automobiles to toothpaste, but this industrial base has a false identity: in the 160 most important firms, 60 per cent of the capital was foreign and 80 per cent of the basic materials came from abroad. In addition, the country needed $300m a year in order to import consumer goods and another $450m to pay the interest on its foreign debt.
But Chile’s urgent needs were extraordinary and went much deeper. The jolly ladies of the bourgeoisie, under the pretext of protesting rationing, galloping inflation and the demands made by the poor, took to the streets, beating their empty pots and pans.  
How are people being fooled by the textbook American coup campaign in Venezuela yet again?

Don't believe the imperialist lies.

What is past is prologue.

See also: Which of these countries is not like the other? -- A Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland Imperialism Quiz!

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