What has Happened in Latin America? Understanding the Imperial Counteroffensive

With the essay "The imperial geopolitics of the development in Latin America: an overcome model?", Cuban researchers Yazmín Bárbara Vázquez Ortiz and Olga Rosa González Martínez, from the Center of Hemispheric Studies and the United States of Havana University have just won the International Prize of Essay Pensar a Contracorriente, in its XVI edition. With talked to them, to understand the imperial avalanche and reconquest in the region, as well as the chances for the left-wing to face this challenge. And we do this at a key moment: when threats of an armed intervention on behalf of the United States or of a fratricidal war, they are enraged with the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela.

Which are in bold strokes, the mechanisms that characterize the imperial geopolitical positioning in Latin America, from the perspective of the development?

Yazmín: To speak of the Model of Imperial Geopolitical of Development, we must specify, above all that it’s a group of mechanisms that work together, and have not just an economic nature. Although they include the Free Trade Treaties, the Aid Development Programs (with domestic scope like FORTAS and International like those of USAID), those mechanisms applied in the cultural dominance are also essential to understand the reach that have, in the field of dominance and political subversion, the model we are speaking about.

For example, the articulation of messages issued from the media, international consultant, think tanks, and international institutions like the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, with more or less technical level have in two impact directions. The first one, to discredit the programs, the politics generated from governments or left-wing forces, those who think of a future of human and social development from the socialization of the wealth and power, with transformations that must be done to this purpose, in every geographic levels and structural dimensions and of needed social actions that are transformed in essential processes. The second, aimed at socializing and building up approval about alternative proposals to these on-line with the interests at heart of transnational capital and the imperial project of the United States government.

What’s striking about these action guidelines, especially the second one is the way to build approval that uses conceptions (what to understand by development), values (how to guide the individual behavior to achieve it), ideals (what project should the family and society bet to progress) which has as essential objective the dispute of senses for the cultural change. A process that has won over the symbols, speech, and practices that from the left-wing have shown capacity to mobilize society for the political change. Olguita may speak further on how a model of political communication for the cultural change have taken shape from the action of the aforementioned mechanisms and others, more aggressive that are in motion today.

That same way of acting, I assume has been toward the entire region, but taking into account particularities and specific objectives in each country. How has it been expressed especially against the progressive and liberating processes of the region, and among them, against the Bolivarian Revolution?

Yazmín: The particularity that has had the application of these mechanisms in countries with progressive and liberating processes has been, on one side, the insert of a series of instruments that hinder the realization of the development programs, as well as of politics set with this end and on the other hand, the combination of all these with those politics aimed at guaranteeing “the necessary political changes to access development.”

In the first case, beyond the media offensive to damage the reputation of the programs, plans and politics for the development, boycott processes,—economic war (like in Venezuela), the blockade (like in Cuba)—, juridical instruments have been set, sanctions with international reach, manipulation of international institutions, as they did to lower oil prices with OPEC. All of which seeks to create certain lacks of materials and other elements from which later the uneasiness is worked, along with the “need” of change and ideas on how to do it. Very similar to Danny Glover’s statements on the U.S. position towards Venezuela today: I create the problem, I attack you and then I will come to save you. Only that this salvation is designed and conditioned on the needs of the great capital to enter our economies and the United States guarantees an area of geopolitical support against China, Russia and the challenges they impose to the perpetuation of the imperial hegemony.

To the mechanisms that are already articulated to those mentioned seeking to guarantee “the necessary political changes to access development”, have been added those that are included in the promotion of security, as condition of development from the Initiatives for security deployed in the continent. From these last mechanisms it has been worked the criminalization of the social protest, to eliminate those they cannot convince, those who fight against transnationals and their expropriation processes. Likewise, the processes of “institutional strengthening” have worked through actions of “independent” attorney’s offices, in processes of judicialization of politics that invalidates left leaders like Lula, with chances of recovering the government, or the case of Cristina, Correa that during their time in office limited the capacity to expropriate the natural resources in the countries they governed and they impacted in their rescue for the social progress, with nationalizations.

Today we have corporations meddling in government functions and in the mechanisms of alleged integration as the Initiative for Prosperity and Security of the Northern Triangle. The corporation of politics is part of what promotes the Model of Imperial Geopolitics of Development, together with civic and community empowering, but only in the economic area, as labor force or entrepreneurs subordinate to the chains of global value.

A proposal where many and dissimilar actors participate: ranging from agencies and foundations of the United States, think tanks, churches, corporations, among other that act at territorial, national and regional level.

This process promotes since 2017, as part of the actions of the South Command in Latin America, Internet, the coordination of the mechanisms aforementioned by North American military forces. It’s part of the scheme applied in Venezuela in an attempt to create approval to legitimate the intervention for the national political change.

After studying this phenomenon, what do you think the left-wing in Latin America can do to face and overcome this challenge?

Olguita: I don’t intend this to be a unique answer neither to offer a recipe, I believe the most important thing is that the left-wing comes together, that works in block that makes a balance of its mistakes and that elaborates projections in different areas. Latin America has proven in the last few years that it’s not just reaching the government via elections. It’s about once the Executive Power is attain a process of revolutionary radicalization must occur in the broadest sense of the word. Like Che Guevara said, “the enemy must not be given an inch”. There are spaces that cannot be given freely, it’s necessary to speak to people, to work with the lowest ranks, in the neighborhoods, to speak face to face. The media is important, social media are useful, but the space within the community cannot be lost, there is where the right-wing and the United States have been working hard. Everyone who is strategically thinking of its future should go beyond the debate of public policies and include all the actors who influence in the creation of approval and the mobilization.

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Attack on Venezuela 1st step in US Attempt to Recolonize Latin America: Maduro

Speaking to HispanTV, the Venezuelan leader said U.S. President Donald Trump "has allowed himself to be led to an extremist position of foolishness."

The United States has relaunched its colonialist aspirations against Latin America, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro warned Thursday during an interview with the Iranian media HispanTV, adding that the Venezuelan military was ready to defend the independence and sovereignty of the Latin American nation.

RELATED: Nicaragua Rejects Possible Military Intervention In Venezuela

"America for Americans, that is, all our America for them, all our riches and all our power for them," Maduro said and added that Venezuela is currently at center of an imperialist attack "because they believe that, by reversing and destroying the Bolivarian Revolution, they will be able to recolonize and dominate the entire continent."

In Maduro's opinion, the U.S. President Donald Trump "has allowed himself to be led to an extremist position of foolishness, to an unattractive position. In addition, he has hinted his true desire to dominate, conquer, and subdue Venezuela."

The Venezuelan leader also denounced that, besides being part of the U.S. geopolitical aspirations in Latin America, Trump’s interventionist attitudes towards Venezuela are triggered by the desire to seize the country's enormous natural and mineral resources.

China opposes military intervention to in response to reports that the U.S. would support the Venezuelan opposition to deliver into Venezuela on Feb. 23.

"Trump's problem is" Venezuela's riches, oil, gold, gas, strategic minerals, wealth, water," to which the great strength of the country is added when it comes to controlling its own model economic, political, social and cultural "added Maduro.

According to President Maduro, most of the polls show that more than 90 percent of Venezuelans reject any U.S. military aggression. This is so because his nation is "united" around the rejection of Trump's statements.

Maduro emphasized that "Venezuela is for Venezuela," and pointed out that the entire offensive against his nation is "a test."

"I'm sure that these challenges and these tests will leave us more strengthened. I'm more than sure of that," he predicted.

Regarding the U.S. attempts to provoke a military uprising in Venezuela, President Maduro stated that the Bolivarian National Armed Force (FANB), which is ready to defend the homeland and is committed to the Constitution.

  • Published in World

Russia Denounces Deployment of US Forces near Venezuela

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday denounced the deployment of special commandos and military equipment from the United States near the border with Venezuela, and the preparations for a provocation, according to the most demanding rules of ''the military manual''.

Special forces and military equipment have been deployed near Venezuelan territory, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova noted.

She also referred to plans by the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to supply weapons and ammunition to Venezuelan opposition.

The purchase of weapons and ammunition will take place in an Eastern European country and includes big-caliber machineguns, grenade launchers and portable antiaircraft systems, the spokeswoman denounced.

The military equipment will be supplied to Venezuela in early March, in several batches that will be delivered on a territory near the border of that country by cargo planes from an international company, Zakharova noted.

For that action, planes manufactured by the Ukrainian company Antonov are expected to be used, she clarified.

Zakharova pointed out that a large-scale provocation is expected on Saturday, as Washington has called and promoted a convoy of humanitarian aid that will try to cross the Venezuelan border, she stated.

That action might cause a clash between opponents to and supporters of the Venezuelan government, and would be aimed at creating a pretext for an action of force in order to oust Venezuela's legitimate president, Nicolas Maduro, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman warned.

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Venezuela closes border with Brazil, may do the same at Colombia border – Maduro

Starting Thursday evening, Venezuela is closing its border with Brazil, President Nicolas Maduro has announced. He added the same measure may apply to the border with Colombia, though he does not want to order it.

The Venezuelan military was ordered to enforce the travel ban in airspace and on the sea until further notice, Maduro said  during a televised address from a military headquarters.

Also on rt.com Venezuelan military rejects Trump threats, reiterates loyalty to Maduro...

Speaking about possible cut of border travel with Colombia, Maduro said he didn’t want to take such a decision but was considering it.

The restrictions come amid a tense stand-off over US attempts to deliver what Washington describes as humanitarian aid into Venezuela in defiance of the wishes of its government. The US considers Maduro usurper and recognizes as the head of state the self-proclaimed acting president Juan Guaido, whose opposition group is the designated receiver of the ‘aid’.

Also on rt.com Hands off ‘our hemisphere’ or Venezuela pays the price: US Senator warns Russia...

Earlier on Thursday Guaido said he will personally go to the border with Colombia to get the shipment from the US, urging drivers to go with him and defy the border guards ordered to prevent the delivery.

Maduro’s government is suspicious of the US stated plan to provide humanitarian assistance to Venezuelan opposition. US envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams has a record of using humanitarian convoys to smuggle arms to Latin American countries targeted for regime change by Washington, and Caracas says he is now trying to follow the same script in Venezuela.

BREAKING: and just disrupted Carlos Vecchio, illegitimate Venezuelan “president” Juan Guaido’s envoy to the US. The US is facilitating a coup that may very well lead to a civil war. We say: no coup, no civil war, no imperialism!

The confrontation over the shipment was also a major point of anti-Maduro media spin by Washington, which accused the Venezuelan president of barricading a border bridge only to stop aid from coming in. In reality the bridge was never operational, but the narrative was uncritically adopted by the US media.

Also on rt.com A bridge too far: US claims Venezuela blocked aid deliveries... at a crossing that was never open...

Both Brazil and Colombia serve as transit counties for Venezuela-bound American shipments. Sunday is the deadline given to Maduro by Guaido, presumably in coordination with the US, to allow the ‘humanitarian aid’ inside the country.

  • Published in World

Switzerland Denies Meeting Venezuela Opposition Over Assets

The Swiss government has flatly denied any contact between their president and Venezuelan opposition.

Swiss authorities have denied discussing Venezuelan accounts held in their country with lawmaker of the Venezuelan National Assembly in contempt and self-proclaimed interim President of Venezuela Juan Guaido.

RELATED Argentine Protesters, Workers Tell Trump, 'Hands Off Venezuela'

Spokesman for the Swiss Foreign Ministry, Pierre-Alain Eltschinger described as incorrect the statement made by Guaido of having communicated with the Swiss president on a possible blockade of Venezuelan assets.

"There was no contact between Mr. Guaido and President (Ueli) Maurer," the Swiss diplomat clarified Wednesday night.

Venezuela is in the midst of interventionist schemes promoted by the United States since Jan. 23 when opposition lawmaker Guaido proclaimed himself “interim president” of the country.

Venezuelan head of state Nicolas Maduro, denounced US involvement of those plans as an attempted invasion and coup d'etat.

Maduro has also reiterated that Venezuela is the victim of an international economic blockade and negative media campaign that seeks to tarnish the image of Venezuela abroad.

Guaido was recognized by the U.S., most of the member countries of the Lima Group, and a number of EU member states.

Russia, Bolivia, Mexico, China, Cuba, Iran, Turkey and other countries, reaffirmed their support for the Venezuelan government.

  • Published in World

‘Nothing to do with aid or democracy’: Roger Waters slams ‘humanitarian’ concert for Venezuela

Pink Floyd ex-frontman Roger Waters is slamming Virgin tycoon Richard Branson’s aid concert for Venezuela as a sham, warning fans and performers not to be “led down a garden path that ends in regime change.”

Branson’s “Venezuela Aid Live” concert “has nothing to do with the needs of the Venezuelan people, it has nothing to do with democracy, it has nothing to do with freedom, and it has nothing to do with aid,” Waters declared in a video released on Tuesday.

Roger Waters weighs in on Venezuela...

The musician and political activist tore into the western media narrative depicting Venezuela as the victim of a humanitarian crisis created by socialism. “There is no civil war, no mayhem, no murder, no apparent dictatorship, no mass imprisonment of opposition, no suppression of the press” under President Nicolas Maduro, he said, citing friends “on the ground” in Caracas who could confirm this.

Venezuela Aid Live will take place on Friday in the Colombian border city of Cucuta. Branson has announced a fundraising target of $100 million to purchase food and medicine for Venezuelans suffering the privations of socialism – or US sanctions, depending on which version of the narrative one prefers.

Waters reserved special scorn for Branson himself, “with his bleeding heart worn openly upon his Virgin Airways t-shirt,” claiming the magnate has bought into US propaganda. A spokesperson for Branson told the National Post that the US was “not involved in any aspect of this” and that the concert was “not a political statement.”

Also on rt.com Venezuelan military rejects Trump threats, reiterates loyalty to Maduro...

The US-backed would-be regime change in Venezuela has not gone as smoothly as planned, with the country’s military still loyal to Maduro despite National Assembly leader Juan Guaido having declared himself an ‘interim president’ over a month ago. On Monday, US President Donald Trump gave a speech warning the Venezuelan military to follow Guaido or “lose everything.”

Waters finished his speech with a warning to friend and fellow musician Peter Gabriel not to fall for the US line, reminding him how US-backed regime changes have turned out in the past.

Do we really want Venezuela to turn into another Iraq or Syria or Libya? I don’t, and neither do the Venezuelan people.

  • Published in Culture

War without Borders? Artists agree to a media show against Venezuela

Venezuelan reggaeton artist Nacho, Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz and Colombian singers Carlos Vives and Juanes appear on the billboard of a concert organized by British billionaire Richard Branson to raise funds in humanitarian aid for Venezuela.

Also on the bill made up by empire supporters, recruited by Brenson for the anti-Venezuela media campaign appear the singer of hit song “Despacito”, Puerto Rican Luis Fonsi, Spanish musician Miguel Bosé, Brazilian pop singer Anitta and British Peter Gabriel.

According to its organizer Richard Branson, the show that will be held on February 22, in the Colombian city of Cucuta, responds to a request from the puppet imposed by Washington as Venezuela’s president, Juan Guaido and his co-partisan Leopoldo Lopez, to “attract global attention to this unacceptable crisis (…) and to raise funds for essential humanitarian aid”.

Venezuela’s legitimate President Nicolas Maduro has described the alleged humanitarian aid as a media show that serves as a pretext to facilitate a military intervention of the United States in Venezuela.

“They hang us, steal our money and then tell us: ‘Here, grab these crumbs and make a global show out of it”, stated Maduro in an interview with AP agency yesterday. “With dignity Venezuela says: ‘No to the global show’. Whoever wants to help Venezuela is welcome, but we have enough capacity to pay for everything we need.”

For his part, self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido has said that as long as ousting Maduro from power he agrees with all options proposed by his chiefs in Washington, including the military one.

With their support for the strategy of Guaido, who has called on his supporters to march towards the border in search of the alleged aid next February 23 with the clear intention of creating a conflict that facilitates the intervention of the U.S., the artists who join the initiative of the self-proclaimed president will become accomplices of the bloody consequences that the so-called “humanitarian aid” might cause.

The name of the concert is still unknown, but it could well be called War without Borders.

Translated by Jorge Mesa Benjamin / CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Venezuela: Famous Artists and Unfair Causes

Venezuela undergoes an ordeal in its economy. That is true, but the first thing that should come into the minds of some artists, who are worldwide followed and who let themselves dragged into the media show against the South American nation is in the causes that have led this country to the present situation.

Far beyond the achievements and failures in the economic policy of Nicolas Maduro’s government, the media war and above all the economic war endured by this sister country has been truly harsh. The oligarchy of that country is the number one factor. Foreign powers, like the United States and its allied the European Union have not spared efforts in their attempt to choke the booming of that kind people.

That is a pill hard to swallow. One must be a juggler to survive and I mean it as a Cuban who has endured in our own blood the blockade since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.

Therefore I do think that it’s serious that famous artists, either purposely or unaware fall into that trap, since in my personal opinion is an irresponsibility on their behalf.

I also hope, with all my heart, that although they don’ care much about my humble opinion, Luis Fonsi – an artist whom I like – fights with the same strength for the independence and freedom of his homeland Puerto Rico, which coincidentally is the Caribbean island where the puppeteer who in the end pulls all the strings against Venezuela, plays basketball with toilette paper and the basket turn out to be the needs of the people who lived there when hurricane Maria hit.

A similar reaction I expect from Mr. Juanes. Yes, when in his beloved Colombia more than 10 social and union leaders are killed in a month after the Peace Talks, a country regrettably sunk in violence and that, what a coincidence, houses almost ten military bases of the foreign power that has exacted misery and unjust wars to the entire continent. If you read a history book, you can accurately tell how many they were and how many lives they took.

As for the boys from the Metropolis, Alejandro Sanz and Miguel Bosé I applaud the initiative of always trying help the poorer, but I repeat, I think that this time they are biased or indirectly being manipulated.

One of these days I will launch an initiative to protest against the wall president Trump wants to build on the Mexican border to isolate Latin America. Let’s not be mistaken, in the end we are just lab rats, roaches, lesser beings to them. I truly hope from the bottom of my heart that they also join that initiative which is much more honest and fair than the one they partake today. Come to think about it.

  • Published in Specials
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