The Menace of Trump's Alter Ego Bolsonaro in Brazil

Tulio: Robert, do you have any thoughts on Bolsanaro? Looks like Brazil is about to take a hard right turn toward fascism. Steven Bannon is down there advising him. The thought of that fucker makes me physically ill.

He’s a monster, of course. I had no idea that half of Brazil’s population were reactionary Rightist maniacs. He’s worse than Trump. I have met two Brazilian Rightists and they were out and out monsters. Both absolutely hated democracy. One was a Brazilian Jew and the other is the former commenter Santoculto.
They’re murderous, as bad as the Bolivian, Venezuelan, Salvadoran, and Nicaraguan Right. They’re not as murderous as the Haitian, Guatemalan, Honduran, and Colombian Right, but they definitely kill people. A Black woman who organized in the Brazilian favelas was recently murdered by the Right government that is in power now.
This Bolsonaro had as part of his project putting on trial and executing all of the former armed rebels from the 1960’s. He has the support of the reactionary military in that. Thing is though, the last president was a former urban guerrilla from the 1960’s and her government was full of former guerrillas, so he’s openly advocating the trial and execution of  most of the former government.

Conservatives Are Murderous and Hate Democracy All over the World and at All Times

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Latin American Right

The murderousness of the Chilean, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, and Argentine Right is in the past, but you never know when they will spring up again.

  • There was talk on the Argentine Right of calling for a coup when the last president talked about regulating the agricultural sector. They run that country like a mafia and no one dares to touch them. The Argentine Right worked with Wall Street to bankrupt the country and ruin the economy so they could win an election.
  • The Paraguayan Right overthrew the government with a judicial coup.
  • The Ecuadorian Right attempted an armed police coup several years ago.
  • The Peruvian Right staged a coup 25 years ago.
  • The Chilean Right only allowed a weak democracy 18 years ago.
  • The Honduran Right staged a military coup to get rid of a democratically elected president. Since then, death squads have murdered 1,000 people.
  • Aristide was overthrown by US sponsored coup 23 years ago, and they haven’t had any democracy since because Aristide’s party is banned from running. The last time they ran, they won 92% of the vote. After the coup, death squads rampaged through the population, murdering 3,000 members of Aristide’s party.
  • The rightwing Brazilian legislature overthrew the Left government based on a complete lie and they jailed the former president on a completely fake charge based on a bribe that he didn’t even accept! I mean they simply overthrew a democratically elected government with a parliamentary coup. They do this stuff all the time down there with either judicial, parliamentary or military coups.

The Latin American Right hates democracy.
If you wonder why the Left goes authoritarian down there, well, this is what happens if you try to do it democratically. They try to do it democratically, they wage coups and economic wars against you, start terrorist riots destroying you cities, murder the members of your government and political parties, start contra wars, or if they are in power, run death squads and slaughter the members of your parties.
I mean if they block all efforts at peaceful change, why not just put in a Left dictatorship? By the way, this is why Lenin said peaceful efforts towards socialism were doomed to fail because power never surrenders without a fight. He called such efforts parliamentary cretinism. I don’t agree with that, but I see the point.
The main point is that everywhere on Earth, the Right hates democracy and they are determined never to allow any Left governments to take power. Things are a bit different in Europe, North Africa, the Arab World, and Central Asia, but once you start getting over to South Asia, once again, they won’t give it up without a fight.

The Murderous, Democracy-Hating Right in Southeast and East Asia

  • Thailand overthrew a Left government with a judicial coup and the middle class rioters called yellow shirts destroying the country.
  • Indonesia staged a fake coup so they could murder 1 million Communist Party members.
  • The Philippines runs death squads that slaughter the Left.
  • The Taiwanese state consolidated its power after 1949 when they fled to they island by murdering hundreds of thousands of Leftists.
  • South Korea also killed hundreds of thousands of Leftists from 1945-1950 before the Korean War even started.
  • Between 1954-1960, Communists tried to take power peacefully in South Vietnam, but the government murdered 80,000 of them. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms but it was never granted. Finally, in 1960, Ho gave them permission to take up arms.

The Dutch Disease, an Economy Depended on Oil Revenues, and Other Problems of the Venezuelan Crisis

Thinking Mouse: What are your thoughts on allegations of mismanagement of resources in Venezuela? Having your government based on a good as volatile in price as oil (and especially when the gringos own and produce most of the oil) seems pretty stupid.

This is called the Dutch Disease and it is the cause of a lot of things including the chronic inflation that country has, which was never as bad as this though.
It’s been going on forever, but the Gulf states are all doing that too. Most oil countries do that. 97% of Venezuela’s income comes from oil. That didn’t change over the Chavez years. On the other hand, the Chavistas talk about it all the time.
There are supposedly efforts underway to develop the economy right now, but I am not sure how successful they are. It is not working to have the business class, aligned with the fascist Right, importing the food and manufactured goods.
NOT working. That’s what is causing the whole economic crisis right there because they started an economic war where they stopped producing a lot of the products that people needed most. However, they kept producing other products just fine.
There was no basis in raw materials to have those shortages in certain products. Those were simply manufactured crises by the business class refusing to import or manufacture various products.
They also hoarded a lot of products too, and they sent many other goods either to Colombia or directly to the black market instead of the real market. 1/3 of all imported goods so straight to Colombia. They do this because they can make more money smuggling to Colombia or selling on the black market.
So the government is saying we need to start making this stuff ourselves or growing and producing it ourselves. The government used to import all this stuff because the business class has been refusing to produce stuff forever, but with the drop in the price of oil (a conspiracy created by the US) the government could not do that anymore, so the crisis developed.
Around when Chavez died, there were two large attacks on the currency which may have exploded the Black market. And the black market is run by a opposition fascist in Louisiana who deliberately monkeys with the black market price of the dollar, jacking it up all the time. So the value of the black market dollar skyrocketed compared to the dollar at its normal exchange rate and this precipitated the whole crisis.
Incidentally, several opposition leaders have openly admitted that they are trying to destroy the economy in order to create a crisis and bring down the government.
The recent US sanctions made things even worse and were designed to make it impossible for Venezuela to get out of the crisis by cutting them off from the international banking system and making it hard for them to get loans and impossible for them to restructure their debt.
The government has needed forever to float the currency to get out of the crisis, but he refused to do that as it is a very difficult political decision to make and it would make a lot of their base mad. So they avoided doing this for years and hence perpetuated the crisis. Recently they created a New Bolivar that is not set on the dollar but is instead set at the price of oil. This is the same thing as floating the currency more or less, so we will see how it works.

The Success of America's Longstanding Propaganda War Against the Concept of Socialism

Socialism, the very concept, especially in its social democratic and democratic socialist varieties, is the ho-hum status quo on most of the planet.
The war on the very concept of socialism has probably been worse in the US than anywhere else in the West. It has a 3rd World death squad tinpot dictatorship feel about it. I keep wondering when the rightwing death squads are going to show up in the US. They show up everywhere else in states with a US-style reactionary and Left-hating culture.
The difference between the US war on socialism and the war on socialism waged in various death squad democracies is that the war on socialism has been more successful in the US than anywhere else on Earth other than Colombia, but the Left is armed to the teeth there. The war on socialism was just as bad if not worse due to the death squads and all of the imprisonments, beatings, tortures, murders and genocides all over Latin America and in the Philippines and Indonesia.
These countries differ from the US however in that all those Latin American countries and SE Asian countries have gone Left in recent years.
Even in the Philippines, Duterte calls himself a socialist and had friendly relations with the Maoist NPA  guerrillas when he held office in Mindanao.
In Indonesia, the female elected President recently ran on a socialist ticket.
To the south, Mexico has been officially socialist since the Revolution. The Left in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, and Argentina was armed to teeth and fought vicious wars against reactionary regimes. That has to count for something.
In El Salvador, the former Left guerrillas are now running the country.
In Honduras, a leftwinger was recently elected President only to be ousted in a coup sponsored by the CIA and Hillary Clinton.
Nicaragua of course had a successful Leftist revolution, and those revolutionaries have been holding office now there for quite some time.
Haiti elected a Leftist in Jean Bertrande Aristide, only to be ousted by Bush Administration officials via a contra death squad army from the Dominican Republic. Aristide himself was arrested at gunpoint in his mansion by armed Blackwater mercenaries acting under the command of the Pentagon.
A number of the island states in the Caribbean have gone Left in recent years and most were members of the Chavista Bolivarian Movement. Most political parties in the Caribbean have words like Left, Socialist, Workers, Progressive, etc. in their party names regardless of their ideology because any party that wants to get anywhere in the Caribbean has to at least dress  itself up in Left garb.
Grenada had a successful Leftist revolution that was subsequently overthrown on illegal grounds by Reagan.
Venezuela of course has been voting Leftist since 1999 when the Chavistas took power. They have never left.
In Ecuador, a Leftist, Rafael Correa, ruled for many years. Recently a man named Lenin Moreno ran on a Leftist ticket of continuing Correa’s Left reforms, but as soon as he got into office, he immediately shifted gears and went hard Right.
Right-wing parties run as fake Leftists all the time in Latin America because generally rightwingers running on a rightwing agenda cannot get elected down there because most Latin Americans hate rightwingers and don’t want them in power. Hence the Right obtains power by contra wars and fascist mob violence in the streets, waging wars on economies and currencies, judicial, legislative, and military coups, and even open fraud.
The definition of conservatism is aristocratic rule. It is the antithesis of rule by the people or democratic rule.
The definition of liberalism is democratic rule by the people, not the aristocrats.
Not many Latin Americans want to be ruled by aristocrats, so the Right down there has to seize power by extra-democratic means.
The Opposition in Venezuela recently ran on an openly social democratic platform, but most people thought it was fake they would turn Right as soon as they got in.
In Brazil, the Left has been running the country for some time under the PT or Worker’s Party until it was removed by a rightwing legislature in an outrageous legislative coup. They even imprisoned a former president, Lula, on fake corruption charges. A female president was recently elected who was an armed urban guerrilla in the 1960’s.
In Paraguay, a Leftist former priest was elected President, only to be removed in an outrageous legislative coup.
In Chile, not only was Leftist Allende elected in the 70’s, the Left was not only armed  all through Pinochet’s rule and once came close to assassinating him. In recent years, a socialist named Michele Bachelet has won a number of elections.
In Bolivia, Leftist Evo Morales has been in power for a long time.
Uruguay recently elected a Leftist, a former armed urban guerrilla in the 1970’s.
Argentina recently elected two Leftist presidents, the Kirchner, a husband and wife. A rightwiger was recently elected after a rightwing Jewish billionaire named Singer obtained a court judgement against Argentina in a US court. That judgement bankrupted the economy, so you could say that the Right destroyed the economy in order to get elected.
So with the exception of Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, and the Guyanas, all other countries have since gone full Left at one time or another recently. Costa Rica’s already a social democracy, and Peru had an ultra-radical murderous Left for a very long time. Panama’s been reactionary since the CIA murdered Omar Torrijos by sabotaging his helicopter and killing him via a fake copter crash. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica have not gone Left since the 60’s and 70’s.
But the war on socialism has been so much more successful here in the US than even in the above named backwards countries because even the world norm of social democracy was so demonized here in the US that it never even got off the ground.
In some ways, the US is one of the most rightwing countries on Earth at least in terms of political economy.
 

Why Trump Is a Disaster: Latin American Foreign Policy

Zamfir: I’m surprised you have a strong preference for Democrats over Republicans. To me it seems like a hopeless choice. If you vote Republican you’re voting for one set of evil elite interests, but not explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage; if you vote Republican you’re voting for another set of evil elite interests, and explicitly against your biology and cultural heritage.
Hard to pick between those two! What is the real advantage in voting Democrat in your opinion? (I guess I’d vote for Bernie, but then again I’d vote for Trump for similar reasons… Not that I expect either one would ever do much on anything I care about.)

He rolled back our open policy on Cuba, another example of his hatred of the Left. He said Cuba did sonic attacks on our diplomats. It’s a lie. They don’t even understand the technology needed to do something like that.
Trump supported an obviously stolen election in Honduras and the next day directed a lot of foreign aid their way. It’s a death squad dictatorship where the murder the people all the time so the rich can stay in power.
Trump supports Colombia and he has just made Colombia, the most right-wing country on Earth, a member of NATO! It is a death squad dictatorship, the worst one on Earth, that kills the people almost every other day. The rebels disarmed but now the government comes out and murders the people all the time and there’s no way for the people to fight back.

The Rich Only Support Democracy when the Elected State Serves their Class Interests, Otherwise They Try to Overthrow It

Zamfir: Thanks Robert. I appreciate the site, and it’s nice to feel welcome.
Obviously one problem in discussing this is that terms like ‘left’ and ‘right’ or ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have been given all kinds of different meanings. If economic conservatism is identified with free market ideology then I’m pretty ambivalent about that, at best. And if it’s identified with support for whatever this internationalist economic system is that we have now, I’m against it.
I find it very weird that people who are conservative about social and cultural issues often support “economic conservatism” of that kind. It’s so clear that these things are incompatible! Anyway I certainly have no problem with socialism per se. I would only disagree with certain versions, or cases where I believe socialism ends up being destructive of healthy families and cultures (in much the same way that capitalism can be).
As for democracy I’m not sure what I think about it. I think I’m a reactionary to the extent that I don’t believe that democracy, or any other specific system or procedure, is always good or always essential to a good society. My sense is that some democracies or kinds of democracy are fine, while others are really bad. It all depends on some many factors aside from the system or procedure itself.
I do want a society where the interests of most people, including the poor, are taken into account fairly. But I don’t see any reason why that could never happen in a non-democratic state. Or, more precisely, for anything that’s good about some democracies, I don’t see why certain non-democratic regimes couldn’t also have those good things; it would all depend on other factors such as the culture and history of the people, their typical behavior and beliefs, etc.
So I guess I’d support coups against democratic regimes in some cases–though things would have to be pretty bad–and also against non-democratic regimes in some cases. I don’t think coups are always bad. (In fact, that’s one thing that seems silly about a lot of rigid ‘conservative’ ideology–the wish to preserve order and the status quo no matter how terrible it’s become…)
You say the rich don’t support democracy. I wonder if that’s true. Maybe they don’t support the ideal of democracy, for the reasons you mentioned. But, again, bearing in mind the looseness of terminology here, they sure do seem to support systems that we normally call “democratic”. Is the US a democracy in your view?
Are England or Ireland or Canada democracies? If so, then I don’t agree that the rich never want democracy. My sense is that they long ago figured out how to manipulate these kinds of systems to get the results they want. They manage the perceptions and values of the masses so that they always end up “freely choosing” the same garbage that the elites wanted all along.
A good question is whether this is an inevitable feature of democracy. (I don’t know the answer.) It could be that in any feasible form of democracy, no matter how close it gets to the ideal, you end up with powerful interests rigging the process to maximize their own wealth and power. And I don’t like that, because I want the interests of ordinary people to be taken into account. Ironically, then, I’m skeptical about many forms of democracy because I think the masses deserve to have a say.
So I’d be against democracy in cases where ‘democratic’ systems are hijacked by elites and used against the people. That’s what’s happening in most of the western world, I’d say. Not to say I’d support a coup in this situation–and certainly not if the point of the coup was to install an even more extreme form of exploitation. But I’m not entirely sure what to say about democracy. I think the reactionary critique has merit. (But then, don’t communists also criticize democracy for roughly similar reasons?)

The Communist view is that seeking power peacefully would be a great idea except the ruling classes will never allow it to happen. They say that power never gives up without a fight, and I believe that they are correct. Nevertheless, most Communists support Venezuela, Nicaragua and only leftwing democratic countries. But the Communists would say, “Look what happens why you try to take power peacefully. You get Nicaragua, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Honduras, Haiti, and even Argentina.”
The ruling class will just overthrow the democratic Left state any way they can, always using anti-democratic means to do so. That’s why Lenin called people who supported the peaceful road to socialism “parliamentary cretins.” He thought it was a great idea but it would never work because the rich would never allow the Left to take power peacefully.
The Communist view is also that you never have democracy under capitalism anyway, as the capitalists and the rich always ending ruling the state one way or another through all sorts of means. And yes, the rich and the capitalists always take over all the media in any capitalist country as you said, they use it to shape the view of the people to support the class politics of the rich. Such support being called false consciousness.
Gramsci said that the ruling class took over the entire culture in capitalist countries and brainwashed the masses into supporting the project of the rich. They did this via cultural hegemony. Marx said that the culture of the rich is always the popular culture in any capitalist country. So the ruling class turns all of us into “little rich people” or “little capitalists” to support their project. They brainwash us into thinking we are the same class as the rich and that we are all capitalists ourselves, so we should support Capital. These are lies, but most Americans are easily fooled.
Ralph Nader called this “going corporate” or “thinking corporate.” He says that in the US, most people adopt the mindset of the corporations and think of themselves are part of the corporate structure whether they are or not. If everyone is part of the corporate structure, then what’s good for corporations is good for all of us, which is the project of the Republican Party, neoliberalism everywhere, the Latin American rich, etc. It’s a big fat lie, but people want to be rich and a lot of workers want to think of themselves are busy little capitalist money-making, go-getter, can-do, Bossterist entrepreneurs because it seems to cool to own your own business.
And the Communists would call this false consciousness and their argument would be that under capitalism, most people adopt false consciousness.
I think in the US, the rich see the tide coming and the rule of the rich is going to end so they want to lock in as much of the state as possible by stacking the courts, gutting the safety net, massive tax cuts that will be impossible to get rid of, and that Constitutional Convention they are two states away from getting where they want to rewrite the whole US Constitution to lock in rule by the rich for as long as possible. The rich see the writing on the wall. That’s why they came up with the computerized elections scam, so they could steal elections as long as people kept voting against the rich.
The gerrymandering of districts now makes it almost impossible to get rid of Republican majorities on state representatives in the House and in Senators and Assemblymen in the states. It’s all locked in.
So as the rich saw the tide turning and demographics moving against them, they instituted a full court press to do all sorts of extremely anti-democratic stuff to stay in power. If the people would just vote for them anyway, they would not have to do that, but apparently most Americans have now turned away from the politics of the rich, so the rich will have to lie, cheat, and steal to stay in power from now on.
Also they elected Donald Trump, by far the most corrupt, authoritarian and even outright fascist leader this country has ever had. And this follows too. Whenever there is a popular movement against the rich and the capitalists, the rich and the capitalists always, always, always resort of fascism to stay in power. This has been proven endlessly over time, even in Europe. Trotsky had some great things to say about this. Check out “Thermidor.” Trotsky truly understood what fascism was all about. It is a desperate last ditch move by the ruling class to seize power in the face of an uprising from the Left.
The rich and the capitalists are determined to stay in power, by hook or by crook, by any means necessary, and they will lie, cheat, steal and kill as many people as they have to just to keep the Left out of power. They simply will not allow the Left to rule. They must rule and if they are out of  power, they will use any antidemocratic means to get power back.
Which is the story of the CIA, the Pentagon and 100% of US foreign policy since 1945 and even before then. Read Samuel Butler.
I mean, we on the Left generally allow the Right to take power if they do so democratically. Sure they destroy everything like they always do, but most of us are committed to the democratic means of seeking power. Even most Communist parties will not take up arms against any rightwing government, saying they prefer to seek power by peaceful means. Typically, the CP will issue a statement that the nation is not in a revolutionary situation right now. There are objective conditions under which a nation is said to be in a revolutionary situation. I’m sure you can recall a few. It is then and only then that most CP’s will go underground and issue a call to take up arms.
Frankly, almost all Left insurgencies postwar were defensive. The Left allowed the Right to take power and then the Right started running around killing people. Usually the Left sat there for a while and let themselves get killed before taking up power. I know the Viet Cong just sat there from 1954-1960 while the rightwing Vietnamese government ran amok in the countryside, murdering 80,000 Communists in six years. They kept asking the North Vietnamese for permission to take up arms, but the North kept denying it.
The Colombian, Salvadoran and Guatemalan guerrillas only took up guns after the state had been running about murdering them unarmed for years. The Salvadoran guerrillas said they got tired of sitting in their homes waiting for the rightwing state to come kill them, and they decided that if the state was going to come kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves. They also took up arms because the Right kept stealing elections by fraud.
The Right had cut off all methods of seeking power peacefully, so the Left picked up guns. The message is if you elect a leftwing government, sooner or later the Right will overthrow it and then there will be a reign of terror where many Leftists will be murdered. Knowing that, if you were a Leftist in some country, would you not be afraid to put the Left in power knowing you stood a good chance of being murdered once the inevitable rightwing coup took place?
The Colombian and Honduran governments only stay in power by killing people. Lots of people. The Greek Communists only took up arms after the government had been killing them for some time.
Also once a Left government is overthrown by the rich and the capitalists, the new Rightist government institutes a reign of terror where they slaughter the defeated Left for many years. This went on for decades after 1954 in Guatemala, and it goes on still today. After Aristide was overthrown, the rightwing government murdered 3,000 of his supporters.
After Allende was overthrown, Pinochet murdered 15,000 people over a decade and a half. A threat from the Left prompted the Indonesian government to fake a Left coup and murder 1 million Communists in a couple of months. Even before the Korean War broke out, from 1948-1950, the South Korean government killed hundreds of thousands of Communists in the South.
As they withdrew when the North attacked, the South Koreans killed South Korean Communists everywhere they went. After the fascist coup in Argentina, the government decimated the Left, murdering 30,000 mostly unarmed supporters of the Left. The same thing happened in Bolivia with the Banzer Plan when Hugo Banzer took power after the tin miners briefly sought power. The new rightwing government in Brazil is already starting to murder members of the former Left ruling party. They’re not going to stop.
After the fascist coup in Ukraine, the Communist Party was outlawed and many of its members were murdered. War was declared on labor unions. Workers in one union were chained to a heater inside the building and the building was set on fire.
The party supported by half the population (the Russian speakers and their supporters) the Party of Regions, was outlawed, a number of its deputies were murdered and there were attempts to murder the leader of the party, lastly by setting his house on fire which set his neighbor’s house on fire instead. He fled to Russia. Now half the population and all of the Russian speakers had not party to represent them, which is why they took up arms. They were locked out of power.

Should the Rich and the Reactionaries Be Given Rights?

Sisera: So what does that mean then? You believe rich people are inherently oppressors who don’t deserve rights but then White men are okay?

Most of them are oppressors, of course. Don’t you even understand class politics or the nature of capitalism at all. Those rich people who are pursuing their economic self interests in the class war, well of course they are our oppressors. The oppressors of me and mine anyway. I suppose they see us as oppressors.
Marxist theory doesn’t say that anyway. It just says that when the rich pursue their self interests in the class war, everyone who’s not rich gets fucked. You want to call that oppression? You are welcome to. If you side with the rich, you are an idiot. Why would you side with your class enemies. Most of them are oppressors, of course. Don’t you even understand class politics or the nature of capitalism at all.
Those rich people who are pursuing their economic self interests in the class war, well of course they are our oppressors. The oppressors of me and mine anyway. I suppose they see us as oppressors. Marxist theory doesn’t say that anyway. It just says that when the rich pursue their self interests in the class war, everyone who’s not rich gets fucked. You want to call that oppression? You are welcome to. If you side with the rich, you are an idiot. Why would you side with your class enemies?
The rich are our class enemies. Does that mean they oppress us? I dunno. When they’re in power, they screw us over. All of the rich hate democracy, lie like rugs, and support violence, murder, terror, genocide, coups, and dictatorships anywhere the people take power.
Personally, I think all conservatives and reactionaries are pure filth. I wish they would all drop dead tomorrow. That way they would be where they belong: in graves. They’re nothing but pure garbage. Show me a reactionary or conservative anywhere on Earth that’s actually a human and not a lying, sadistic, murderous piece of scum. There aren’t any!
In a democratic society, of course the rich get their rights, but they abuse the fuck out of them, and anytime they people take power, the rich start using violence, coups, death squads, rioting, judicial and legislative coups, etc. to get their way. We let the rich take power all the time. They won’t let us take power at all. I’m glad the Chinese Communists took away the rights of the reactionaries.
Look what would happen if they had rights? See Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Honduras, Haiti, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Philippines? That’s what happens when you give the rich and the reactionaries any rights at all. Right now they would be burning China to the ground like they are doing to Venezuela and Nicaragua because they are furious that a people’s government got put in.
If that’s the way they are always, always, always going to act, why give them rights? So they can destroy your country and take down any democratically elected government they don’t believe in?
They try to destroy by antidemocratic means any people’s or popular government any time it gets in.
And when they take power themselves, they usually put in a dictatorship.
This is what happens if they don’t get their way and the people elect a democratically elected people’s government:
Attempted coups by street violence: Nicaragua, Ukraine, Syria, and Thailand.
Attempted coups by economic warfare: Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Nicaragua.
Coups by legislative means: Paraguay and Brazil.
Attempted legislative coup: Venezuela.
Coups by judicial means: Brazil.
Coups by direct overthrow of the state: Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, and Egypt.
Attempted coups by direct overthrow of the state: Ecuador and Bolivia.
Coup by insurgency: Haiti.
Attempted coup by insurgency: Syria.
Coups by direct invasion: Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Panama, Libya, and Grenada.
This is what happens every time they get into power, especially if they take over a people’s government: 
Right-wing death squad authoritarian regime installed: Honduras*, El Salvador, Argentina, Brazil*, Guatemala*, Chile, Philippines*, Uruguay, Bolivia, Indonesia*, and Ukraine*.
No I don’t have a problem taking away rights from reactionary fucks! Why should we give them rights? Give me one reason! One! One reason!

Repost: Average IQ's of Liberals Versus Conservatives (with References)

Thought I would repost this with references. This finding is very robust in social science. Liberals are smart. Conservatives are idiots. That’s all there is to it, folks. But you knew that.

Jason Voorhees: Liberals in general have an IQ of 110 or above.

Quite an exaggeration. More like 105. 75% of the population has an IQ below 110. On the other hand, he is onto something.
We don’t call em conservatards for nothing, I guess.
Liberals are actually smarter than conservatives! Quite a bit smarter. And the more liberal you are, the smarter you. And the more conservative you are, the dumber you are. It’s a linear curve.

               IQ
Liberals       106
Centrists      99
Conservatives  96

Source

I would argue that the reason for that is that conservatism is basically stupid. So of course stupid people support it. Fiscal conservatism is intelligent if you are rich and possibly if you are upper middle class, but it’s idiotic for everyone else because only the top 20% make money under rightwing economics. The entire 80% of the population loses money.

Political ideology
Ha ha! Conservatives are stupid! Liberals are smart! Something we always knew. No wonder they are called conservatards. Neener neener. Conservatives are so stupid they probably spell dumb “dum.” LOL.

Rightwing economics is a massive wealth transfer system from the poor and middle classes to the upper middle class and the rich. It’s basically a scam. Pure class war. Incidentally this has been proved all over the 3rd World, especially in Latin America. Surveys in Latin America under the neoliberal decades of failure showed that only the top 20% benefited under rightwing economics. The entire bottom 80% lost money. Furthermore, death rates skyrocketed and education figures collapsed. Neoliberalism has killed many millions of people. We may not have yet found a good alternative to capitalism, but capitalism surely continues to kill as sure as night follows day.
Oh and there is a reason why liberals control most US institutions. Although the idea of a liberal media is pathetic, 89% of media whores, I mean journalists, call themselves liberal. But universities are liberal. The only major US institution that is not liberal is business, which is conservative for basically self-serving interests because conservatism serves to line their pockets better while it picks the pockets of the poor and middle class. Steal from the poor and give to the rich. Reverse Robin Hood. That’s conservatism in action. The fact that the people calling themselves Christians in the US support Reverse Robin Hood is truly pathetic. Obviously they know nothing about how the Main Man lived his life.

References

Carl, Noah. 2014. Verbal Intelligence Is Correlated with Socially and Economically Liberal Beliefs. Intelligence, Volume 44, Pages 142-148.
Stankov, Lazar. 2009. Conservatism and Cognitive Ability. Intelligence, Volume 37, Issue 3, Pages 294-304.
Thompson, James. November 29, 2015. US Academics: Lefty and Liberal Because of High IQ? Unz.com.

73% of Venezuelans Continue to Support Chavismo

Tulio: Robert, I have two friends from Venezuela, a married couple, the female is white, the male is dark brown. I assure you they are not racist, they have never called me “mono” and they have been completely and 100% kind to me as long as I’ve known them. I have even visited them and stayed in their home, and they have visited me and stayed in mine. Never seen their bank account but I’m pretty sure they are not rich.
They are probably middle class by Venezuelan definition. They are 100% opposed to Chavismo. I don’t even know where they fall on the left-right continuum per se. They really don’t even talk much politics with me outside of opposing the condition their country is in. They are now living in Santiago, Chile where they worked and resided since the rise of Chavez, but frequently go to Venezuela to see family. I’m not an expert of Venezuelan internal affairs by any means. I’ve gotten a lot of my info directly from them.
Neither of them seem “right wing” to me in any sense that I understand the term. They seem to want nothing more than a stable, functional and non-authoritarian government. I also see massive marches in Caracas. I can’t believe all those tens of thousands of people are rich, right wingers. When I see close up photos of the crowd, they look like just ordinary Venezuelans to me. You seem to be painting a broad brush here and assuming anyone against Chavismo is a hard right-winger

Any Venezuelan who has the money to travel out of the country to the US or back and forth to Chile all the time, all by plane, is by definition not middle class. I would call those people upper middle class.
There will never be a government like they want in there as long as Chavismo is in because the Opposition will always be rioting in the streets and tearing stuff up like they have been doing ever since he got in. These people say they want a non-authoritarian government, but they supported the coup against Chavez. The first things the putschists did was to dissolve Congress, the National Assembly and Courts and put in martial law. They put a dictatorship in as soon as the coup took power.
The poster’s friends say they want a non-authoritarian state, but they support the extreme dictatorship that took power in the coup. The Opposition riots in the streets and calls for a coup every time they lose an election. This is because every time they lose an election, they insist against all evidence that it was stolen from them. Their calculus is that the only legitimate elections are the ones that they win. If the other side wins, it’s automatically stolen due to fraud, and we need to have a military coup to put “democracy” back in power. That ideology does not sound very democratic to me.  To the Opposition,  the definition of democracy is “when we win.” The definition of dictatorship is “when the other side wins.” Sound like a democratic project?

streambe_701e8e79-0687-3fce-8148-a667ce920929--1399436008
A decptively large Opposition crowd in Venezuela. You will not find one working class, low income or poor person in that crowd. Everyone is middle class to rich. And no matter how big that crowd is, the Chavista march will always be a lot bigger. That crowd represents 27% of the population. That’s called a minority movement.

They lack majority support. That crowd is the upper class, the upper middle class and unfortunately a lot of the middle class. There are a lot of middle class people in those crowds.
This is where the poster is getting his ideology from. Them and their lies. The Venezuelan Opposition is out of their minds. They are not rational and they are not honest. They lie constantly. They are as bad as Trump and the Trumpster Republicans, and in fact, both movements are very similar.
The project of the Opposition is extreme rightwing. I told you that they regularly call Chavez mono and that they removed Bolivar’s portrait because he was a bit too swarthy and not White enough and replaced it with a more proper Nordic one. The poster’s friends may not be racist reactionaries, but a lot of the people in the Opposition are very racist, and the poster’s friends are not denouncing that. I guess they are OK with it.
The project of the Opposition is to dismantle all of Chavismo and to go back to the way it was.
They are going to take it all down – the free health care, the free education, the neighborhood councils and circles, the public housing, the redistribution of oil income to the people, the cheap government-subsidized food and household goods to the people, the free houses given to the people, the public spending on infrastructure, the whole nine yards. Before Chavez came in, you never went to the doctor, the dentist or the eye doctor because you could not afford it. You either got over the medical issue or you died. Raw sewage ran down the streets of the shantytowns on the hills. In 1989, 91% of the people could afford only one meal a day and that was the same percentage of people in poverty. Venezuela had always been like this since Independence. The oligarchy had always been in charge and had never lifted one damn finger for the people.
All of the opposition politicians want to go back to that. All of them. The poster’s friends may not realize this, or perhaps they do not care. The Latin American middle class has always lined up with the Extreme Right project of the rich and the oligarchs, much to their detriment. This is because they consider the opposition to that  project to be Communists, and they think that is worse.
In Latin America, it’s Commies or Fascists. That’s your choice. Pick your poison. That’s because moderation or a Centrist project never works down there. The problems are too severe, and Centrist projects never touch the power of the oligarchs, so nothing ever changes.
Venezuela has never been more democratic than under Chavez. Venezuela has the freest press in Latin America. The authoritarian dictatorship crap is another big fat lie the Opposition made up.
73% of the Venezuelan people continue to support the Chavista Project because it’s the only one that’s for the people. The Opposition has no numbers. Those people you see marching above are part of the 27% opposition, and that is why they never win. I would also point out that pro-government marches happen at the same time as those Opposition marches, and they are almost always much bigger. You just never read about them in the Western media.
Those 73% are not stupid. They remember life back when the oligarchy ruled. They know that the Opposition wants to go directly back to that and not change one thing. This has been their project from Day One. Yes, it is a very far right, reactionary project. Compared to what the Opposition wants, most of the people want to stay with Chavismo.

Venezuela: The Lies Never Stop

Tulio: Left wing economics aren’t working out in Latin America either. Let’s face it, Latin America is dysfunctional whether it’s run by the left or right. I know Robert is a Chavista and all but the results speak for itself. They are probably a few clicks away from outright civil war.

The poster’s problem is that he gets all his Venezuela news from the Western media. You will not read one true thing about that country in the Western media. It is an all out propaganda war from Day One. If you want to read the truth about Venezuela, go to Venezuelanalysis. It’s all straight up 100% facts there, no spin. And many articles are quite critical of the government.
Yes, it is a civil war because the Right is running through the streets rioting, killing people, burning down buildings, buses and police cars. Let me ask you something. Suppose when Obama was in, Republicans went on a rampage all over the US, rioting, burning stuff down, killing people, firing guns, setting up snipers, setting off bombs, throwing grenades, killing lots of cops. Would you blame Obama for that? Because that is exactly what the commenter is doing.
This is part of the Right’s project down there. They lost the election, so they are trying to overthrow the government by force. What exactly is the state supposedly do about what is in effect a rightwing insurgency?
What they are trying to do is to create so much chaos that the military steps in and does a rightwing coup. Barring that, they are creating so much chaos and disorder that the US steps in with the military, invades and overthrows the Chavistas in the name of humanitarian intervention. It’s the exact same scheme we pulled in Syria when we turned ISIS and Al Qaeda loose on secular regime.
The US government’s official policy in Venezuela now is regime change. Mattis himself said so. The riots, destruction, arson, murders and political assassinations are all being coordinated with the US. We are the cause of all that violence down there.
There are no poor results of Chavismo. Things were booming along for many years. The rightwing has been sabotaging and boycotting the economy since Day One.
Norway is far more socialist than Venezuela. China is orders of magnitude more socialist than Venezuela. There’s nothing socialist at all about Venezuela. The economy is 100% capitalist controlled.
All Chavismo did was take a lot of that oil revenue and spend it on the people. If you think that’s a failed model, I do not know what to say to you.
After the oil price crashed, the government could no longer cover up for the business sector’s sabotage of the economy.
There are shortages? How can there be shortages in a 100% capitalist controlled economy? Answer me that. There cannot be. If there are shortages, why don’t they import some food? Why don’t they make some stuff that is in shortage?
The business sector is refusing to import products, and they are refusing to make products in short supply.
You need to go study how Kissinger and Nixon blew up the Chilean economy. They did the exact same thing, down to the letter. This is the Chilean Model down to the letter.

“We will make the Chilean economy scream.
–  Henry Kissinger.

Every week they seize huge warehouses full of products that are being hoarded by the capitalists in order to create artificial shortages. You heard of a shortage of syringes? A warehouse full of 21 million syringes was recently seized. If you read the Venezuelan papers, these seizures happen all the time, maybe every other day.
Why is there inflation? The capitalists have caused artificial shortages by hoarding stuff, refusing to produce stuff and refusing to import stuff. These artificial shortages of course caused inflation.
This economic sabotage has been going on from Day One, but when the oil prices were high, the government could cover up for the Economic War by importing their own products and selling them to people for cheap. Hence the state covered up all the artificial shortages caused by the refusal to import and manufacture products. When the oil price crashed, the state no longer had the money to import goods to cover up for the shortages, and furthermore, the Economic War went into high gear.
Furthermore, since Maduro has come in, he has made a hard turn to the Right from Chavez. His administration of full of rightwingers and representatives of the business sector. He caves to opposition demands over and over. They are always demanding hikes in the controlled prices, and he keeps raising them. No matter how much they raise the prices, the capitalists do not produce one more item. It’s all a scam.
Keep in mind that the economic crash has occurred against the background of a hard right turn in the government under a government that is now about 50% rightwingers and people from the business community. They can’t get a handle on things either. Did you hear what I said?
The economy crashed as the government turned Right and filled the executive with people from the business sector. According to the poster’s logic, rightwing economics is responsible for the crash.
That’s not really true either. Neither Right nor Left economics is responsible for the crash. The ministers from the business community can’t control the problems either. No one can.
There is a problem with currency, but that was created by the capitalists too. Currency controls were put in because the capitalists were taking all their money out of the country. No country can put up with that for long. So currency controls were put in, but that causes a black market in currency.
Price controls were put in because the capitalists staged a lockout strike that caused horrible shortages and sent prices skyrocketing.
Incidentally, despite currency controls, the business community still takes $50 billion out of the country every year. Do you know how much more they would take out if the currency controls were taken off?  The system would probably collapse.
The fake excuse all along was that price controls make it so the producing the price controlled products is not worthwhile. This is their fake excuse for the shortages. Now the price controls have been almost completely lifted, and they are still refusing to make stuff or import stuff. What’s their fake excuse now?
I agree that the standard Communist model caused a lot of economic problems, but the lie is that Venezuela is a Communist country like Cuba or the USSR, and this is the cause of all the problems. It’s caused by “socialist failure.” Why isn’t socialism failing in Europe? Why isn’t it failing in China? Why isn’t it failing in most of the world that runs social democratic systems?
The Chavistas were simply trying to produce a European style social democracy in Venezuela. Even that’s too much for the Venezuelan elite.
I will have you know that the rightwing Venezuelans the poster cheers for are some of the racist people on Earth. The commenter is Black. I assure you that the people he cheers for hate him because he is Black. Their word for Chavez was Mono. That means monkey. They call him monkey because his White blood is mixed with Indian and Black.
When they came into power, the first thing they did was take down the portrait of Bolivar because they said he looked too dark. They put up a new portrait that showed him as White as a Swede. These are the racists that this Black commenter is supporting.
The government is screwing up badly by not floating the currency, but that’s not a Right versus Left thing so it’s not a fault of Left economics. It would be a very unpopular decision, and Maduro is a weak and not very good leader and he does not have the balls to put in.
Hence I agree that the problems in part are caused by failures of the regime, but those failures having nothing to do with Right or Left economics. They’re not dealing with the currency problems, and that’s a failure on their part, but it has nothing to do with capitalism or socialism or any of that.
The price controls were put in to fight inflation. The Right screams about inflation and about price controls. They took all the price controls off, and the prices went way up. Now they are screaming because the prices went up. They criticize the problem, and they attack the solution to the problem.
You can’t win with these people.
I agree that the Communist model leaves a lot to be desired, and the lie is that the problems of Cuba and the USSR are being replicated in Venezuela. It’s a lie because Venezuela never even made it to social democracy. Venezuela is a capitalist country through and through.
I will ban any posters who attack Venezuela as a failure of Left economics because it’s nothing of the sort. Now if  you want to talk about problems with the Cuban model, go for it.
 

Average IQ's of Liberals Versus Conservatives

Jason Voorhees: Liberals in general have an IQ of 110 or above.

Quite an exaggeration. More like 105. 75% of the population has an IQ below 110. On the other hand, he is onto something.
We don’t call em conservatards for nothing, I guess.
Liberals are actually smarter than conservatives! Quite a bit smarter. And the more liberal you are, the smarter you. And the more conservative you are, the dumber you are. It’s a linear curve.

               IQ
Liberals       106
Centrists      99
Conservatives  96

Source

I would argue that the reason for that is that conservatism is basically stupid. So of course stupid people support it. Fiscal conservatism is intelligent if you are rich and possibly if you are upper middle class, but it’s idiotic for everyone else because only the top 20% make money under rightwing economics. The entire 80% of the population loses money.

Political ideology
Ha ha! Conservatives are stupid! Liberals are smart! Something we always knew. No wonder they are called conservatards. Neener neener. Conservatives are so stupid they probably spell dumb “dum.” LOL.

Rightwing economics is a massive wealth transfer system from the poor and middle classes to the upper middle class and the rich. It’s basically a scam. Pure class war. Incidentally this has been proved all over the 3rd World, especially in Latin America. Surveys in Latin America under the neoliberal decades of failure showed that only the top 20% benefited under rightwing economics. The entire bottom 80% lost money. Furthermore, death rates skyrocketed and education figures collapsed. Neoliberalism has killed many millions of people. We may not have yet found a good alternative to capitalism, but capitalism surely continues to kill as sure as night follows day.
Oh and there is a reason why liberals control most US institutions. Although the idea of a liberal media is pathetic, 89% of media whores, I mean journalists, call themselves liberal. But universities are liberal. The only major US institution that is not liberal is business, which is conservative for basically self-serving interests because conservatism serves to line their pockets better while it picks the pockets of the poor and middle class. Steal from the poor and give to the rich. Reverse Robin Hood. That’s conservatism in action. The fact that the people calling themselves Christians in the US support Reverse Robin Hood is truly pathetic. Obviously they know nothing about how the Main Man lived his life.

References

Carl, Noah. 2014. Verbal Intelligence Is Correlated with Socially and Economically Liberal Beliefs. Intelligence, Volume 44, Pages 142-148.
Stankov, Lazar. 2009. Conservatism and Cognitive Ability. Intelligence Volume 37, Issue 3, Pages 294-304.
Thompson, James. November 29, 2015. US Academics: Lefty and Liberal Because of High IQ? Unz.com.

America As a Wealthy Version of a Banana Republic

Lousy people create lousy countries. We don’t even have a democracy anymore. We have a Latin American style oligarchy with a Latin American style corrupt press that speaks with a single voice. We even have Latin American style corrupt courts all the way up the highest court in the land.
The Legislative branch is as corrupt as any Latin American Congress as 90% are directly on the take and bribing politicians is for all intents and purposes legal thanks to another corrupt Supreme Court act.The Legislative branch has spent most of its time lately dissolving the state (shutting down the government), resembling a typical do-nothing minimal Latin American state in the process. And it attempted an electoral coup with a Latin American style fake impeachment attempt on a sitting president.
The Executive Branch is truly scary like a Latin American dictatorship that just dissolved Congress like they always do, having decided that Congress is no longer needed to declare war, I mean any war anywhere.
George Bush’s caudillo-style signing statements were one of the worst abuses of power the nation has ever seen. The government spent most of its time using the state to target and smear opponents, Latin American-style.
We have state governments who used corruption to redraw electoral maps in the spirit of utter contempt for democracy. The same states spend most of their time trying to prevent people from voting. Sort of like Latin America where armed troops stand outside the polling places and watch you vote. Who ya gonna vote for?
Now one of the political parties is apparently openly fascist in the style of a typical Latin American rightwing party. The other political p0arty of the so-called left is absolutely useless to lift a finger against the oligarchs, or worse, they are the oligarchs, once again in the style of Latin American Christian Democrats (Duarte) and social democrats (APRA, AD, PRI) who are anything but.
And now we have an open fascist running from President while a complaint press cheers. His opponent is an Accion Democratica-style fake left cipher. As usual, there’s no one to vote for. There’s violence in the streets and at the rallies. Politicians are making open violent threats against the opposition. Demonstrations turn into free for all’s between gangs of the hard Left and Right.
And I’m sitting here thinking, “Ok so when do the death squads start? The political assassinations? The cardboard shack slums tumbling down the hills for miles on end?”
I’m thinking I must be in the wrong hemisphere. Banana republic, here we come.

The Foreign Policy of the United States of America

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.
Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” Gen. Smedley Butler

This man was a general in the US military. And this is what he spent most of his time doing as a general in the US military – rampaging around Latin America overthrowing governments, raping countries, stealing resources and slaughtering people, all so US corporations could rule over their lands as de facto colonies of the United States. None of these countries were even given the opportunity to pursue an independent course of development. None of these actions were ever done in solidarity, instead they were all done in the name of neocolonial imperialism as part of the creation of the American Empire in Latin America, a project which is ongoing as I write this. That is correct, Latin America is still a colony of the United States. A few places tried to liberate themselves from US colonialism and achieve independence, and look what happened to them: Haiti, Grenada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, and Brazil. Earlier cases involved Guatemala, the Dominican Republican, Guyana, and Chile. Brazil and Argentina just got taken down and the Venezuela is finally in the process of being taken down after over 15 years of unrelenting US warfare.
As you can see, raw, naked US imperialism of the most vicious and brutal kind has always been the way of the United States, dating back all the way to 1900. So we were nice guys before that? Nope. We sucked in the 1800’s too. The US spent most of the 1800’s slaughtering American Indians, stealing their land and stabbing them in the back with fake treaties. That was when we were not invading Mexico and stealing and annexing Mexican land.
Although we didn’t do much in Latin America in the 1800’s, that was only because there was not much to do down there. The US did not have much of a foreign policy period, and US corporations did not tend to operate overseas. Further all of Latin America was in the hands of the vicious and voracious Latin American ruling classes which kept their nations in the most abject poverty and pitiful underdevelopment while the rich stole every nickel the economies ever created, leaving everyone else in rags holding the bag. Rule by the vicious 1% has always been a-ok with the US; in fact, this is how we prefer it. Any nation that overthrows rule by the rich to put in democratic rule by the people is usually taken out sooner or later by the United States, often using the very military that Butler lamented being a part of.
I would like to point out one very sorry thing. First of all, not one single thing has changed about US foreign policy since Smedley wrote those famous words. This is still exactly what US foreign policy in Latin America and to a lesser extent other places is composed of. And in between the time Butler is describing until our present day, what he describes has been US foreign policy the entire time. We’ve never had a decent foreign policy for a day in this country. Even the most liberal regimes pursued vicious foreign policies. FDR’s foreign policy in Latin America was monstrous – “Somoza may be a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch.” Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive reformer at home and a monster overseas. “Walk softly and carry a big stick” was his vicious, violent, brutal policy of conquest and dictatorial rule in Latin America. In fact, most of the continent was actually officially colonized under Teddy’s rule. This has always been the way in US politics. That disgusting foreign policy described by Butler has been fully embraced by both parties from Day One. The Democrats were down with it just as much as the Republicans. This is what was known as “the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.” The Democrats were only progressive on domestic issues. They were just as reactionary as Republicans on foreign policy. The two parties have always only differed on domestic policy. This year is no different. In fact, this year Hitlery’s foreign policy is actually much more rightwing and imperialist than even the Republican Donald Trump’s! Trump isn’t really an anti-imperialist, but he’s the closest thing to one in US politics – a good, old-fashioned isolationist. The upshot is that his foreign policy actually ends up being a lot more progressive than “liberal” Democrat Killary’s. Unbelievable! The Democrats are more rightwing that the Republicans!
There doesn’t seem to be any way out of this imperial bullshit. This crap has been the America way for so long that I am not sure that we as a country understand any other way of looking at the world. It’s gotten to where this vicious imperial foreign policy is the only thing we understand. We literally do not know how to act any other way. And when you get both parties in on the program along with ~100% of the media, you have what amounts to 100% US political, corporate and media elite consensus on the outlines of a foreign policy along with a full spectrum dominance way of promoting it. Poll after poll for years shows that Americans almost always support whatever shenanigans US foreign policy is up to at the moment. So the elites do not have to worry about the masses marching in the streets over foreign policy. Americans are always in complete lockstep with foreign policy probably due to media brainwashing. Deep state media control is so complete that the entire media spectrum typically supports anything and everything the Deep State does and believes foreign policy-wise. There’s literally no dissent. The media is that controlled, 100% controlled. With wall to wall 24-7 broadcasting, net and news publishing it’s no surprised that on foreign policy, Americans appear about as brainwashed as a North Korean.

Latin America: Where All Political Parties Have Always Been Ruling Class Parties

A previous post pointed out how one of the biggest parties in the Venezuelan far rightwing opposition,the AD, is actually a socialist party or a social democratic party.
Of course the AD was a horrible social democratic party that put shame to the name of social democracy. But social democratic parties in Latin America have been pretty horrible for a long time. Check out the APRA in Peru or the PRI in Mexico. They suck.
Social democratic parties in Latin America are often just vehicles for the avaricious, vicious and often genocidal White ruling classes. Down there, most political parties from “Left” to “Right” have always been run by the monstrous and murderous White ruling classes.
Those parties don’t even differ all that much. Someone needs to tell me the difference between the two Colombian ruling class parties, the “Liberals” and the “Conservatives.” I am not sure I understand. Maybe the Church?

How the Pentagon and the CIA De Facto Created the FARC

Colombia has a very strange political system. There are two main political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, who are striking in that there seems to be so little difference between them. They are both parties of the Colombian ruling class, possibly representing a “liberal” versus “conservative” split in the ruling class a long time ago. Just guessing, the split may have had something to do with religion with the conservatives being the more religious party and wanting a bigger role for the Church in the state and the liberals being more modernizing reformers who were more secular and dedicated to more of a church-state split.
Unbelievably, these two ruling class parties who are barely different at all, spent the entire 1950’s murdering each other by the hundreds of thousands in an insane bloodletting called “La Violencia.” A Leftist politican (I think his name was Galan) was elected in the late 1940’s, but he was quickly murdered by the Colombian ruling class, which is what they always do with any Leftist who wins an election down there. This was the first time that Colombia had elected anyone even remotely resembling a progressive reformer, so of course the ruling class murdered him immediately. His killing set off huge riots all over Colombia that raged for a long time and were difficult to put down.
I believe that this set off the Violencia because I think Galan, a Leftist, actually ran on the Liberal ticket. Most of the people slaughtering each other during this idiotic Violencia were just the Colombian urban poor and the poor peasants of the rural areas. The ruling classes formed armies out of these poor people and sent them out to commit mass murder on each other.
After 300,000 deaths caused by the Colombian ruling class in the Violencia, the roots of the Marxist revolution down there took hold. The FARC were the remains of Violencia fighters who said the heck with this war and took refuge at a place called Mariatelia in Colombia in 1964 and set up communal farms there. They were tired of fighting and just wanted to be left alone.
The Colombian media went crazy screaming about the “Communist government” that seceded from the state had formed down there. The CIA was in on this wild propaganda process from the start.
Eventually the Colombian government went down to this area with a large army force and attacked these communes with massive weaponry. The Pentagon and the CIA were involved in the battle. The US and the Colombians even used chemical weapons to try to exterminate these farmers. The farmers fought back, but they were outnumbered. Maybe 90-95% of them were killed, but a few survived.
The survivors realized that there was no way to live in peace with what has always been a genocidal Colombian ruling class, and they took up arms to defend themselves. This is the way that almost all Leftwing guerrilla wars got started in the Cold War. The Left got tired of sitting around waiting for the government to come out and murder them, so they decided that as long as the government was going to come out and try to kill them, they might as well get some guns and try to defend themselves. This is how the FMLN, the URNG, the FARC, the ELN, the Sandinistas and even the MRTA got started.
So this was the beginning of Manuel “Sure Shot” Marulanda and the FARC, essentially created by the mass murders of the Pentagon and the CIA in Colombia.

If It's Not Economic War, What Then Is Causing the Shortages in Venezuela?

RL: “The shortages of these goods is occurring because the private sector is refusing to make/import them or make/import enough of them.”
Tulio: I’d need further proof of that. The free market should handle such issues. If one manufacturing of widgets is withholding production that’s an opportunity for another to open up and take his market share.

Well, why isn’t the Venezuelan free market operating as it should then? Does the commenter have any theories on what is causing all of these shortages? If it’s not economic warfare, then what the Hell is causing the shortages? You can’t just shoot down theories you don’t like. You have to shoot them down and then offer another theory instead. What does the commenter think is causing all of these shortages in a capitalist-run economy?
Got any theories?
Hint: The business class is trying to take down the Chavistas by creating an economic crisis and using that crisis to take out the Chavistas.
Has the commenter studied what happened when the US got together with the Chilean business class to wage an economic war and make the Chilean economy scream in order to create an economic crisis that they could use as an excuse to stage a coup against Allende? If you study what happened during the economic war that was waged on Allende, you will see that what is happening in Venezuela is almost exactly the same thing that was done in Chile.
Further, members of the Bolivian business community are quoted on the record as being furious that Evo Morales came into power and vowed to take him out with any means they had. Reporters asked them how they would take down the Morales government, and the business leaders stated that they would wage economic war, stop or slow down all production, create massive shortages and an economic crisis, and then use that to take down the Morales government.
So with the evidence from Chile 1970-1973 and the recent comments by Latin American capitalists in Bolivia, we see that economic warfare to get rid of leftwing governments is very much part of the playbook for the Latin American ruling classes and business sectors.
There are price controls on a lot of the goods. You can make a modest profit on the price controlled goods, and the government keeps raising the price controls all the time under pressure from business. But ever since those price controls went in, the entire business sector has refused to produce or import any price controlled products. Only some basic products are price controlled. Most things you find in the stores are not price controlled.
They would produce something similar to the price controlled product but not quite the same. Rice was price controlled, but the capitalists started importing some special rice products that were not controlled where they could make a huge profit. Chicken was price controlled, but the capitalists just started producing some other sort of chicken (rotisserie chicken?) that was not controlled that got a much larger profit.
This caused terrible problems for a while, but finally the state said, “Ok, you capitalists do not want to produce these price controlled products, then we the state will import them.” So for quite a few years, the state used oil money to import all of the products that were price controlled. This worked very well for a long time, and the shelves were full. The capitalists produced or imported more expensive high profit goods, and the state imported price controlled staples.
However, this all came crashing down with the oil price crash. The state is now broke and can no longer import all of the price controlled staple goods. And the business sector has refused to produce or import price controlled staples ever since the controls went in. So there’s a big reason for the shortages right there.
If the capitalists import products, they can make much more money smuggling the goods to Colombia or selling them on the black market as opposed to selling them on the shelves of Venezuelan stores, so that’s what they do with a lot of imported goods. And any goods they produce may also be smuggled to Colombia or sold on the black market because you can make a much higher profit that way instead of selling them to legitimate outlets.
Also the capitalists need dollars to import products. So they get dollars from the state to import things. So the businesses are always going to the state asking for these cheap dollars saying they want them to import things that are in shortage. So the government gives them the dollars to import things, but instead of using them to import the products in shortage, they play money games with the cheap dollars on the currency markets in the black market.
Also a lot of capitalists have simply stopped making much of anything and instead are playing games with money by speculating in the currency market in the black market, where huge profits may be obtained by selling cheap state dollars at the black market price.

US Foreign Policy 1946-2016 in a Nutshell: Kill the "Communists"

The US foreign policy line since 1946 with regard to other governments particularly in Latin America, is that anything leftwing in the economy, including government schools, state health care, land reform, labor regulations, labor unions, the minimum wage, and any and all redistribution of wealth programs is all Communism. We have murdered or helped murder millions of people since 1946 after calling them Communists for doing a land reform or raising the minimum wage.
The US has also murdered or helped murder thousands of labor union members and leaders because the US line since 1946 is that labor unions are Communism. Hence all members of unions and especially their leaders are Communists.
The US line since 1946 is that all of these leftwing movements must be suppressed in one way or another, and anyone standing in the way, such as community leaders, labor union members, students, peasants, and native American tribe members are all Communists and are subject to harassment, arrest, beating, firings, torture, imprisonment, and especially murder.
The US, the land of freedom, has murdered or helped murder hundreds of thousands of the people listed above, since according to the US, they were all Communists, and Communists need to be killed. Even with the end of the Cold War, we are still murdering or helping to murder thousands of these people every year after calling them Communists.
This “kill the Communists” campaign is one of thee pillars of US foreign policy for both the Democrats and the Republicans. This project is run out of the Executive Branch, especially the State Department (many of whose employees in embassies are CIA agents), the CIA, the DIA, The National Republican Institute and the National Democratic Institute, USAID, the Foundation for US Labor Reform, and especially the Pentagon.
The Pentagon actually has an institute called the School of the Americas in the US South where they teach this “kill the Communists” philosophy to military officers all over the continent. These officers are trained in how to set up and run rightwing death squads to terrorize the people, or excuse me, the Communists. There are also many courses in advanced torture techniques. Almost all of the worst mass murderers in Latin America since 1946 are School of the Americas graduates.

Chile and the US – No Comparison

Tulio writes:

I don’t know man, the left really has not been successful in creating economic growth anywhere in Latin America. So I can’t blame them for going right down there. Blame that on the incompetence of the Latin American left.

How was the Latin American Left incompetent? I can’t think of one way that they were incompetent.

It was the Right that failed. Look at the neoliberalism of the 1990’s. It completely collapsed economic growth in Latin America. Most Latin Americans could give a f about economic growth. I think Colombia has the highest economic growth in the Hemisphere. What good is it doing them?

Economic growth in Latin America has typically benefited only the elites. The neoliberalism that the US pushed in the 1990’s and 2000’s impoverished most people and crashed economic growth. Only the top 20% in Latin America benefited from the neoliberalism that Washington and the Latin American Right pushes. In Chile, all rightwing economics did was engender a mass transfer of wealth from the bottom 2/3 of income bracket to the top 1/3 of the income bracket. Why support that?

Chile has not even really turned to the Right anyway. They’ve been electing Socialists from Allende’s party for the last 20 years of so. When was the last time a self-proclaimed Socialist was elected to the US? But those Socialists are not able to do all that much though the latest one claims she is different.

Most of the people in Chile probably do not support this rightwing bullshit. Chile is just like the US – the poor, working and middle classes all vote for the parties of the Rich, and they damage their own interests by doing so. There is a significant crowd who are now invested in this rightwing bullshit, but I doubt if it is the majority. Instead you have one of the most politically polarized populations on Earth.

Schoolkids stage demonstrations all the time about public schooling, which has been in essence defunded by the state. Your average Chilean public school now has a caved-in roof and ceiling that will never be repaired. These student demonstrations typically turn violent and have to be broken up by the police.

The class hatred in Chile is so thick you can cut it with a knife. This is what your rightwing dream politics gives you – one of the most unequal societies on Earth, mass transfers of wealth from everyone else to the upper middle class and the rich and defunding of public anything, especially the schools.

Also casual racism and classism of your average Chilean would knock your cocks off. I had a friend who was a Chilean university student in Santiago. His father had served in Allende’s government. He was a sociology student studying the Indians in the South. Nevertheless the racism and classism of this supposedly leftwing Chilean was off the charts from a US point of view. Apparently it is perfectly normal in Chile to think like a bigoted White aristocrat.

My understanding is that economic growth has been excellent under the Left regimes in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela and even the Fake Left rightwingers Brazil.

As I said, most Latin Americans would give a flying f about economic growth. It’s never benefited them anyway. Most of them just want an improvement in their standard of living. And that is exactly what the new Left regimes down there have given them – Venezuela in particular is a standout.

I am not aware of any statistics that show that the Right in Latin America is doing any better growth-wise than the Left, and it wouldn’t matter anyway because under the Latin American Right, all of the economic growth only goes to the top 20% of the population, and everyone else loses money.

Tulio writes:

Yeah, it sounds no worse than the USA to be honest.

It’s nothing like the US at all. First of all, a large segment of the population are out and out fascists who support the fascist Pinochet, America’s favorite Latin American hero.This same segment also absolutely despises the Allende regime as what they see as the Regime of Satan. They hate his supporters today, and they pretty much want them dead.

A very large other segment of the population supported the Allende regime and hate Pinochet with a passion. There are regular demonstrations between Pinochet supporters among the rich and Allende supporters among the non-rich. These typically break out into wild riots where both sides physically assault each other.

You have a split population class- and politics-wise where the non-rich and the Left is basically the Radical Left and the rich and upper middle class are the Extreme Right, fascists for all intents and purposes. Society is completely polarized.

Women’s rights are abysmal.

The Indians of the South stage regular demonstrations about this or that injustice which typically turn violent.

The situation down there is so extreme that is nothing like the US at all. We hardly have any class hatred here. The Right is indeed the Hard Right, but they are not Pinochet-style fascists, though they are getting that way fast. The Left down here is not the Hard Left at all. The Left is represented by the Democratic Party, which is a somewhat liberal version of the Republican Party. We don’t have regular wild street battles between the Left and Right. The classism and racism in the US is nowhere near that of Chile.

Women’s rights in the US are excellent. The natives are politically neutered and are too drunk and stoned to get out of bed in the morning, much less demonstrate about anything.

Friday the Thirteenth in Paris

Here.

Superb article by Chris Floyd,  one of my favorite writers. He pins the blame for all of these jihadist monsters on the US.

I do not think that is 100% true, but the fact is that the US always whatever rightwingers are  around – be they fascists (Operation Gladio and many rightwing dictatorships the world over, mostly in Southeast Asia –  the Philippines and Indonesia, Latin America – Haiti, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, Africa – Kenya, South Africa, Rhodesia, Zaire, Kenya, Morocco or Europe – Turkey, Portugal, Spain and Greece) Nazis (Operation Condor, Ukraine).

All you have to do to get US support is be a rightwing government and this holds true under both Republican and Democratic Administrations. The radical fundamentalist and often sectarian Islamists absolutely hated secularism, socialism and Communism, so they were and are great tools for us to use when we attacked secular, nationalist, socialist or Communist governments anywhere on Earth.

We started this crap with the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, where we used Islamists to help in the coup. In 1965, we used Islamists among others to help Indonesia kill 1 million Communists in a very short period of time. We really picked up the pace with Brezhinski’s brilliant idea under Carter to use radical Al Qaeda types to overthrow the Communist government in Afghanistan. The Afghan jihad virtually created the international jihad, and Al Qaeda and the rest of the global jihad types. There are allegations, not quite proven, that the US helped to arm, fund and train the Chechen radical Islamists against Russia. We used Islamists against Libya and now Syria. We are currently arming Islamists against Iran.

Bottom line is we helped to create this whole mess. Not through pure design, sure, but these global jihad monsters were the logical outcome of US policies which continue to this very day in Syria and Yemen where we are supporting radical Sunni Wahhabi Islamists sectarians including Al Qaeda against the populist Houthi rebellion and the majority of the Yemeni Army who has gone over to them. We recently backed radical Sunni Islamists in Lebanon to attack Hezbollah.

Global jihad is our baby. It’s our Frankenstein. We made it, and now we have to deal with the consequences.

UN Shows Strong Support for Nazis

The UN is some kind of a joke. They are blocking the investigation of the Odessa Massacre. This means the UN is lining up 100% of the side of the West-supported Nazi regime in Ukraine. I have known in recent years that the UN is a controlled asset of the US Deep State (really the UN is a de facto CIA asset) but this takes things to insane extremes.
In Iraq, the UN immediately praised the illegal Nazi-like war of aggression the West led in the 2003 War on the Iraqi People (Iraq War). To completely ratify their support for this neocolonial war of conquest and colonization, the UN very quickly set up shop in Baghdad. Thankfully, the Iraqi resistance set off a truck bomb that devastated the UN building and killed many of the UN criminals inside, including the UN leader, the biggest criminal of them all. I was so happy that day!
Then the US CIA staged a violent coup against democratically elected president of Haiti, President Aristide. US mercenaries working for the CIA showed up at Aristide’s house with automatic weapons in the middle of the night and ordered him out of the country. A plane then came and took him to various African countries. The CIA-controlled death squads then took power and quickly murdered 3,000 unarmed Aristide supporters.
This is how US rightwing coups in Latin America always work – first they seize power, then they slaughter the unarmed Left. The lesson is that if you ever elect a leftwing government again, there will be another coup, and we will come out to kill you again. This is the standard operating procedure for rightwing rule in Latin America. It is taught by the Pentagon at the School of the Americas in the US South. Almost all Latin American coup and death squad leaders and members have graduated from this School for Killers run by the US Army. While the death squads were slaughtering people, the UN invaded Haiti with a “peacekeeping” force that was really intended to cement in power for the death squad/coup government. The UN force spent most of their time outside the slums that supported Aristide keeping them from protesting. Every time they protested, the UN thugs shot at the people. The UN killer force shot dead many Aristide supporters in order to keep the fascist coup regime in power.
At this point, I think the UN is complete crap. It’s totally useless. In fact, it is worse than useless. It has turned into a criminal organization, aiding and abetting the United States as it thuggishly swaggers around the globe, killing left and right.
The concept of the UN was intended to be beneficial for not just democracy within states but actually for democracy in the world – world democracy. At this point, world democracy is shot since the UN is simply an appendage of the US State Department, a wholly owned subsidiary of the US World Dictatorship.
 

FARC Attack, 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx0a8IM8fbQ
FARC attack somewhere in the jungles of Colombia sometime in 2013.
The lying MSM world media, excuse me the “free press” (TM), all speaks with one mind about the FARC. The FARC are evil narcoterrorists, and the government of Colombia are freedom fighters battling evil Commie thugs. In recent years, all under the phony lying guise of the Drug War, the US has pumped massive amounts of money into the fascist, murderous Colombian state.
The US is virtually the only nation on Earth that supports Colombia, though Israel does send some trainers to help train their death squads. Israeli trainers have been sent to all fascist rightwing dictatorships on Earth, where they trained the reactionaries how to slaughter and torture the people.
Israelis worked training death squads in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Colombia at the very least (let me know if you can come up with some more). The Israeli excuse for this is that Israel is the attack dog of the US, so when the US tells Israel to go in and train death squads, Israel obeys.
Personally I believe that the fascist Israelis, deeply allied with US imperialism, simply see themselves as serving the interests of imperialism by setting up death squads to attack people’s movements. This also shows that the Israeli state has been deeply reactionary for a long time, extending back to the 1980’s, and that the Israelis, even “Labor” Israelis, have always worked for the banksters and the elite world controllers to attack, torture and kill the ordinary masses fighting against oppression. Do you see a corollary with Israeli behavior training death squads and the colonial treatment of the Palestinians?
The lying world media has been saying for some time now that the FARC is nearly defeated, have lost almost all their fighting force, are no longer able to launch attacks and are in retreat everywhere suffering heavy losses.
Part of the problem is that the massive US aid to the elite death squads of the rich attacking the oppressed poor people has included much intelligence gathering aid, in particular – the Pentagon is now operating in Colombia doing sigintel. They have forward that information to the Colombian government who used it to raid and bomb the headquarters of some rebel leaders.
It is true that some rebel leaders have been killed in the past few years, but they are always quickly replaced by the next in command. FARC has a huge leadership structure that is very organized. When one mode is knocked off, they simply promote the next in command, and everyone moves up a notch. No problem.
In addition,  Colombia now has a large air force provided by the US, and the rebels lack good anti-aircraft weapons to down these planes. It’s a major disadvantage as Colombian forces did not use to rely on airpower very much.
Looking at this video here, in which the FARC overrun a small Colombian Army camp and seize a great deal of equipment while killing some of the enemy, tell me if you think this looks like an army on the verge of defeat.

America's Proxy Forces Around the World

The truth is that Islamist/Al Qaeda/takfiri radical Islamists are one of the proxy armies that the US uses from time to time. We have used them in Libya, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Chechnya. Anywhere there is a government we do not like with a large Muslim population, the US starts up its little Al Qaedas to start a takfiri revolution against the government.
Other forces used around the world as US proxies are:
Rightwing death squads. The CIA and its South American allies operate their pet rightwing death squads in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, and Haiti. In the past, the CIA has used them in many other parts of the world, including Greece, Indonesia, South Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Bolivia.
Rightwing terrorist insurgent armies. The US has used these pet terrorists in: Cuba, Nicaragua, Angola and Mozambique.
Nazis: The US also pulls out its pet Nazis to sick them on regimes it doesn’t like or to install them as coup regimes to take over countries the CIA wants to take over. The US has used its pet Nazis in Europe after World War 2, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Argentina, Bolivia, and now in the Ukraine.

US Foreign Policy in a Nutshell

Smedly Butler, US general, War Is a Racket:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914.

I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916.

I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Everything Butler wrote is correct. Not only that, but the US is still doing this. The Cold War is over, and we haven’t changed 1%. That’s because the Cold War was never really about fighting the USSR. It was about the interests of the US corporations.

Butler sums up US imperialism (US foreign policy is simply US imperialism and vice versa) in a nutshell. And that’s US foreign policy as it was, as it is, and as it will be into the forseeable future. US foreign policy has the support of the entire US political class, both parties, every US administration, the entire US media and most crucially the US rich and US big business, who frankly run this country as a sort of a dictatorship.

It’s a dictatorship because there is no opposition. There’s no opposition press. There’s no opposition party. There are never any US administrations that oppose the essentials of US corporate capitalism and its corollary, US imperialism.*

US imperialism simply means that the US is constantly intervening all over the globe in the interests of the US rich and US corporations. As the middle classes, working classes and poor are attacked by the moneyed classes who control the US, so the US military is used by the US moneyed class as their private army. When you join the US military, you are joining the rich man’s army.

The US military is the army of the rich and the army of the corporations. The purpose of the US military is to go around the world attacking the middle and working classes and poor who are going up against the US rich and businesses their elite allies. That’s what those ~170 or so bases are there for.

If you’re not from the moneyed classes, why in God’s name have you joined the Army of the Rich, the army of your class enemies? Why are willing to go off and fight, get hurt and die for your rich enemies? What’s wrong with you?

*FDR was probably the most progressive President that the US has ever had. The Good Neighbor Policy, initiated in 1934, was the only time in US history that the US has had an anti-imperialist attitude towards Latin America. In addition to the Great Anti-Fascist War (WW2) that he waged and his progressive policies at home, FDR goes down in history as the greatest progressive US President of the 20th Century.

Bill Clinton did a few anti-imperialist things here and there. He restored Leftist Aristide to power in Haiti via US Marines. He proposed several frank humanitarian interventions in which US imperialism had no interests whatsoever (whenever anyone says “US interests” they mean the interests of US imperialism).

He apologized to Guatemalans for overthrowing the pro-people government in 1954, which led to 35 years of rightwing governments that slaughtered 200,000 Guatemalans in cold blood, with the total support of both US political parties and administrations of both parties.

By contrast to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama is simply a US imperialist dog of the worst order. And Hilary Clinton, once in office as Secretary of State, has turned into a nasty, monstrous rightwing witch, a murderous agent of imperialism. Hilary Clinton was much better as Bill’s wife when he was in office. Since 2008, she’s turned into a reactionary monstrosity.

What Does the Most Rightwing Country on Earth Look Like?

It looks like Colombia.

Rightwingers must wonder what a rightwing country looks like. What happens to your country when the Right takes over everything, gets almost all of the vote, controls all of the media, and the vast majority of the population would have to identify themselves as rightwingers if they were honest? You end up with Colombia!

What I find frightening about Colombia is that if they are the most rightwing country on Earth, the US must not be far behind. Does the future of America look like Colombia? I keep worrying that it does.

It is certainly possible for countries to not have much of a Left. One example is Colombia – the most rightwing country on Earth after the US. There is a spectrum down there, from “Left” to “Right.” The Left is represented by the Liberals. The Liberals claim to be a social democratic party but there is nothing socialist or democratic about them. The Conservatives apparently hate the Liberals, but they each seem to be about the same – extremely rightwing.

There are a variety of other parties. Most of them appear to be some version of the same extreme rightwing fascism of the Liberals and Conservatives. So you see, in Colombia, there is no Left, and the “Left” and the “Right” are both just the Right.

They represent the interests of a tiny group of rich Colombians who run the country like a personal fiefdom. These group is mostly made of thieves and murderers. They spend most of their time stealing land and money from the vast majority of Colombians (last I heard 80% of the population lived in poverty).

Much of the agenda is to steal the land of the people and give it to large landowners and corporations. Armed groups, including the military and police, come onto the lands owned by the poor and demand that they vacate their land. If you don’t, the thugs, the army and the police come out and arrest, beat, torture, kidnap or kill you. Hence the poor are constantly leaving their lands at gunpoint.

The rich Colombians then come in and steal the land use it as part of their huge landholdings. Or else the stolen land is given to a large corporation, often an American one. If you go to Colombia, you will see vast areas of land that are now owned by rich landowners. All of that land was formerly owned by poor farmers. They were driven off their land, and their land was stolen by the latifundistas.

If you go through these areas, you will run into constant checkpoints manned by the military, police and rightwing death squads. They are the armies of the rich. The checkpoints are to keep the people from rising up and trying to get their land back. In cities near these areas, you will see vast slums stetching as far as you can see over the hills.

The worst slums on Earth. Guess who lives in those slums? The poor farmers who were driven off their land at gunpoint by the armies of the rich. Now landless, they were forced to move from rural to urban areas because they no longer have any land.

There’s no work in the city, so they wallow in the worst misery. These people hardly have enough food to eat. There’s no electricity, sewage, water or other amenities in the slums. The education system is poor and there’s little to no health care. There’s no work. As you might expect, crime is off the charts, much of it involving the poor preying on the rich. The poor slums are guarded by rightwing death squads to make sure that everyone keeps quiet about their condition.

Anyone rising up to complain about the state of affairs in the slums is called a “Communist.” Fullscale repression, which often includes disappearance and murder, typically results. If you go against the system down there, you can easily die. Repression is perhaps most intense against organized labor. Every year, more trade unionists are murdered in Colombia than in any other country on Earth. This is because in Colombia, if you are a trade unionist, you are a Communist. In Colombia, once you are labeled as Communist, you can be killed at any time.

In such a situation where all peaceful protest has been walled off, as you might expect, the Left has been forced to take up arms. You can either sit there and wait for the government to come out and kill you, or you can pick up a gun so you at least have a fighting chance when the government comes out to kill you.

Recently, the Democratic Pole ran in the elections. This is actually a Left party. Many of their candidates were threatened, beaten, arrested and tortured. A number of Polo candidates were out and out murdered by the government. In the last election, I believe that they got maybe 10% of the vote.

Colombia is probably the top 3 US ally on Earth. Colombia gets the third highest foreign aid of any US country. Colombia is the US’ favorite country in Latin America, and it’s one of the last US allies down there. Barack Obama loves Colombia. He signed a deal to put 7 US military bases down there. The purpose of those bases is to help the armies of the rich down there to repress, disappear and slaughter the people. So you can see that Obama just loves Colombian fascism.

This is pretty scary right there. What does a US ally look like? Apparently it looks like Colombia. What kind of values does America have that this country is #3 in US foreign aid, almost all of it military aid.

And yes, of course, this blog does support the FARC and the ELN, the armed Left down there. I was going to do some work for the ELN translating some of their web stuff, but I was afraid it would be illegal under the Patriot Act and I could go down for 10 years.

Mary Bottari, “ALEC Exposed: Milton Friedman’s Little Shop of Horrors”

Here.

A great article from the Huffington Post that redeems my faith in the online publication. Ariana Huffington recently sold out to a slimy corporation, so I figured that the Left content would be destroyed by the corporate censors, but strangely enough, that has not yet happened.

This article discusses Milton Friedman, who was supposedly a Libertarian, but in practice, was actually a fascist because he supported the Chilean Pinochet dictatorship. Friedman famously said that no citizenry would ever vote in his Libertarian society for the corporations and the rich, so it would have to be put in via a dictatorship. This is why he praised the Chilean model. As an anti-democratic, far right individual, we arrive at the disturbing conclusion that Milton Friedman was a fascist.

Friedman was also a great believer in Disaster Capitalism, that is, the use of periodic crises to push through radical far rightwing and austerity measures to devastate state spending, tax revenues and state regulation of business. In addition, it could be used to facilitate huge wealth transfers from the poor and the middle class to the upper middle class, the rich and the corporations. Wrecking the union sector was also part of the game. In addition, the crises would force the state to sell off much of its property and land to the private sector. Friedman on the benefits of a crisis:

Only a crisis — actual or perceived — produces real changes. When the crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.

Many governments in Latin America followed Friedman’s advice in the past 30 years. The result was the devastation of the public sector and public spending and the crushing of unions and dissenters. There was huge wealth transfer from the bottom 80% of the population to upper middle class, the rich and corporations. States auctioned everything but the very air itself for pennies on the dollar to rapacious corporations. The death rate was surely in the tens of millions and health care and education were wrecked to serve the rich and the corporations.

Widespread economic destruction followed as it always does. Even Time Magazine agreed that neoliberalism had utterly failed in Latin America. This crap went on for 20-30 years before the Latin Americans said they had enough. The result was the voting in of Left politicians such as Hugo Chavez who opposed the failed neoliberal model .

Now the very same Shock Doctrine is being used to drive the same radical neoliberal changes in the US as failed so utterly in Latin America. The crisis was caused by lack of regulation in the financial and real estate sector. Deregulation is part of the Friedman agenda, so Friedmanism really caused the economic collapse in the first place. The economic collapse compounded with decades of insane supply side economics caused a collapse in tax revenues at all levels of government, which starved government of revenue and resulted in huge budget deficits.

Republicans used these deficits to push through radical changes, including even more tax cuts to further deprive the state of revenues and make the deficits even worse, constitutional amendments to prevent the raising of revenues needed for any kind of budget sanity, the destruction of critical social services, union busting and the privatization of virtually every state function, including the public schools. Mass privatization, especially of the public schools, had long been a Friedman prerogative.

At the state level, this mad slash and burn agenda is led by a gang of corporate fascists called American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC.

The website Alecexposed unveils the corporate fascist agenda of ALEC for all to see.

I would like to point out that the Democrats are no angels in this regard. In fact, Barack Obama and his buddy, Rahm Emmanuel, are both radical Friedmanites. Emmanuel has long been a proponent of using crises to push through radical austerity measures to destroy public spending and grant huge tax breaks to the rich and corporations. He famously said in this regard, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

Barack Obama is also a radical Friedmanite who believes in Disaster Capitalism. About the recent economic crisis, he said it was a “great opportunity” to begin the destruction of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid that Obama has longed for since the day he entered office.

Naomi Klein On the Debt Ceiling Charade

Naomi Klein:

Using a trumped up crisis to raid the public purse and attack the basic rights and benefits is a very old trick – but rarely is the shock doctrine tactic wielded as brazenly as in the pseudo debate about the debt ceiling. This is naked class war, waged by the ultra rich against everyone else, and it’s well past time for Americans to draw the line.

This whole thing is fake, a phony crisis, a charade, Kabuki theater. And Klein hits it right on the head when she ties it in with the Shock Doctrine. Klein’s Shock Doctrine theory holds that one of the latest tricks of imperialist capitalism is how it deliberately creates crises or catastrophes, then uses those calamities to push through radical rightwing changes that are beneficial to Global Capital. For instance, Iraq was deliberately destroyed in order that US capitalist mass murderers and vultures could make money off rebuilding the very place that they wrecked!

Greece was deliberately driven into debt by the venal and wicked banksters who control the world so that its public institutions could be sold off and Greece itself could be bought by the rich. Capitalism created a worldwide economic collapse. Whether  it did so deliberately or not is debatable, but students of history know that unregulated capitalism causes periodic horrible economic collapses, recessions and depressions.

They then used this collapse, which they had augmented for decades by a careful policy of massive tax cuts and deliberately running up huge deficits under Republican Presidents with the expressed purpose of create a debt and deficit crisis down the road, to force through radical class war against the vast majority of working Americans and undo the New Deal, the Great Society and all progressive change for the last century in an effort to take us back at least to the 1920’s, or, as Karl Rove put it, to take us back to the 1890’s.

The crisis was created deliberately. The rightwing is simply using the debt issue as an excuse to destroy most of government. Why? Because the modern Right has a deep and profound hatred for the state. They wish to eviscerate the state on all levels in order to create a Third World type Libertarian state characterized by a starved, minimalist and ineffective state ruled by venal elites who wage permanent and savage class war on the poor, the workers and much of the middle class.

The assault on government will not end with this debt ceiling debate. Obama thinks he can fix this debt debate and then move on to other things. But that’s not possible. The Right will not stop hammering away at government and slashing it like a crazed serial killer hacking at his dying rape victim until the state is nearly eviscerated on a 3rd World level.

However, even then, the Class War will be continuous and ongoing. That’s because in almost all human socieites, there is always something still left for the Rich to steal from the rest of us. We are never so poor that they can’t take more stuff from us.

I told you previously that I followed Salvadoran politics for a while. I used to give money to the arms fund of the FMLN guerrillas, so I got daily updates via phone about Salvadoran politics.

I understood Salvadoran politics to be that the population was divided into 2% rich who owned most everything, an 8% battered middle class who barely scraped by, and the rest, 90%, were poor, often without even enough food to eat.

But those daily updates about the Salvadoran state were enlightening. Every single day, the fascist ARENA state tried to steal more and more money, land and stuff from the other 98% of the population. I was amazed because I thought there would not be anything left to steal! In the absence of a direct return to feudalism with its lords and serfs, one has to presume that rightwing class war in the modern era will be neverending and they will never run out of money, land and stuff to steal from the rest of us.

Another thing that amazed me was that the Salvadoran rich, the 2%, clearly never had enough. Every day they had to steal more and more. It was then that I realized that a rich man never has enough money. He always needs more and more. He never says he’s had enough and it’s time to quit. Greed is not like hunger. Hunger can be sated, at least for a bit. The rich man apparently never reaches a state of satiety, which implies right there that there is something pathological, inhuman and just wrong about greed itself.

Greed is as instiable as the healthy desire to survive. One never has his fill of it.

Fascism Today in the US and Beyond

Uncle Milton writes:

Bernardio Carpio: I have a gut feel that what you are going through in the USA today is what the Germans were going through during the Weimar Republic in the late 20′s and early 30′s, before Hitler took over. An aggressive, determined, fanatical, irrational right wing. A reactionary middle class.

UM: I doubt it …and this is coming from someone who has several Jewish relatives. If we are sliding towards fascism it is much more likely to be the half-assed Latin American variety wherein the elites are behind walled compounds protected by bodyguards and the masses suffer from mass inflation and economic instability.

Milton is right about most of it except for the inflation. There won’t be any. And I do consider Latin American fascism to be real fascism.

Fascism is simply any far rightwing, anti-democratic movement.

The opposition to the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, the Venezuelan, Bolivian and Ecuadorian opposition, the Honduran ruling elite, all of these are fascists because they hate democracy.

Any violent, murderous, rightwing government is automatically fascist. The Salvadoran right is still fascist. The ruling elite in Haiti is fascist, as is the ruling elite in the Dominican Republic. The Guatemalan and Colombian states are obviously fascist.

Going abroad, the Indonesian and Phillipine states have been fascist forever.

The middle classes in many places are fascist. The “yellow shirt” middle class opposition in Thailand is clearly fascist. The leader of the poor, the “red shirts,” Thakhsin, won the election in 2006, and they refused to accept the results because they boycotted it.

They rioted and demanded another election. Incredibly, he accepted a new election, but then the yellow shirts staged a military coup. The US corporate scum press said he was thrown out because he was corrupt, but all Thai governments are corrupt. The yellow shirt government was just as corrupt as the red shirts or even worse.

The opposition in Belarus is fascist. Lukashenko won the last election fair and square. It was proven by many observers, and exit polls proved it too. He won by a very wide margin. The corporate scum press around the world said he stole the election and that the opposition really won.

Then the opposition, which represents maybe 20% of the population, rioted in the streets about the stolen election. They raided the Parliament building and tried to break in using iron bars. They smashed a bunch of windows, and then the police raided the rally and started arresting people. Can you imagine if mobs raided the US Congress with iron bars and tried to smash their way in?

The modern Republican Party in the US is fascist because it is a far rightwing and fiercely anti-democratic party. They refuse to accept the legitimacy of any Democratic President. In that sense, they resemble the middle class yellow shirts of Thailand. It is important to note that it is their hostility to democracy and refusal to recognize the opposition as legitimate that makes the Republicans fascists.

And going by conversations with them, most Republicans are fascists themselves. I realized this when Bush stole the 2000 election. I talked to a lot of Republicans back then. It seemed like most of them recognized that Bush was stealing the election, but they just did not care. At that point, I realized that we were doomed.

The truth is this: the business sector, the capitalists, are almost always fascist when there is a left government in power or threatening to take power. It’s true all over the world. They simply refuse to accept the legitimacy of a left regime.

Types of Libertarian Morons

All Libertarians are morons; there are just different types of stupid.

America is probably one of the only countries in the world where Libertarianism has any kind of sway at all, although I understand that for some reason, it is relatively popular in Costa Rica for some reason, possibly because the country is heavily White. Whites are the only race on Earth who will heavily go in for Libertarianism, because Whites are much more selfish and individualistic than any other race. European, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealander Whites are not prone to selfishness of individualism.

Selfish and individualistic politics is popular among White elites in Latin America, but only in places where Whites are a minority.

In Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, where Whites or near-Whites are more or less a majority, selfish and individualistic politics is far less popular, since your average White person there is just an ordinary working class person, not a member of an elite group.

Nevertheless, the Cone nations have been ruled by a particularly vicious White elite for a long time. This elite has spent much of the last 40 years slaughtering the working class Whites of the Cone countries in order to maintain their outrageous and feudal-style wealth. As a consequence, White politics in the Cone is polarized into Hard Left and Hard Right, in a way similar to some Mediterranean countries like Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Small government is popular with White elites, as this philosophy in general is only popular with elites around the world. The German Social Democrats used to have a saying, “Only the rich can afford a poor state.” Of course this is true, and this is why the rich the world over, especially in the 3rd World, tend to favor a minimal state. Hatred of taxation is also typical of elites the world over, particularly in the 3rd World.

In general, ordinary people the world over do not favor small government or hate taxation. In that sense, Americans, particularly White Americans, are very strange. The views of White Americasns are more typical of world elites than the ordinary working class people of the world. It’s as if your ordinary working class White person identifies more with his class enemies, the rich, than with his own class. Working class Whites also see themselves as elites, which is odd, since they are not elites, and in fact they are extremely oppressed by their own elites.

This strange philosophy probably has its roots in the Frontier Ethic, the break from colonialism, and the radical individualism that has long characterized White American culture.

As America becomes increasingly non-White, this view will decline. Asians are not radical individualists, and Asian nations are not characterized by small government and low taxation. Hispanics and Blacks are collectivist peoples who also have no interest in small government and low taxation. Black nations are like Asian nations in that there is no interest in Libertarian-style governance.

These trends show no sign of changing in the future. Even as Asians, Hispanics and Blacks make good money and move up in the world, they retain their collectivist roots.

The future does not look good for Libertarian types in the US in the long term, though they may make some gains in the short term.

The future looks bleak for Libertarianism in the world at large, as most nations have no interest in small government or low taxation.

Seen more properly, the vast majority of the world’s people, and the overwhelming majority of the working class, are collectivist people.

 

When Will US Whites Quit Drinking the Koolaid?

It’s really not hard to understand why you hate White Americans so much. They really are some whacked out nutters.

I hear you though. I grew up in an all White suburb in Orange County. Though it was reasonable in the 1970’s, at the moment,  I would say that 100% of the people I grew up with are either Republicans or are Democrats or Independents who are so conservative they might as well be Republicans.

I would add that almost all of these people were drug users, and most of them were drug dealers. Some even moved quantities of marijuana, psilocybin and LSD. But they were Republicans at the time (Republican surfer – stoner – hippies?!), and they are Republicans now.

Later in the early 1980’s I hung out with the early Goths. Everyone smoked, drank like fish, took a lot of drugs and hung out in nightclubs all the time acting like weirdos. Most of the chicks seemed like they were bisexual, and most all the guys seemed like they were queer or bi. There was epidemic homosexuality and bisexuality. And you know what? They were all Republicans!

It was like there was something in the water.

Later, I moved to the all White Sierra Nevada foothills, and it was the same theme all over again, this time with a huge dose of anti-abortion and fundamentalist Christianity. Same thing, all the potheads and hippies were Reaganites, Dittoheads and Glen Beck fans. And these were working class White people!

In between, I worked all over Orange County, and it was the same everywhere I went. I worked in San Pedro in the 1980’s, and it was the same old stuff. If you were White, Reaganism just crawled into your bloodstream. I’m now in the Central Valley, and it’s the same again I think, except here, most people are apparently mentally retarded to boot.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even want to speak to most White people anymore because I am so sick and tired of this rightwing politics. I would add that your average “Centrist” White person is pretty damned rightwing themselves!

I honestly do not know WTF is the matter with White people. We have had over 30 years of this radical rightwing BS ever since Reagan started it (Don’t even compare to Nixon, Ford or 1970’s Republicans please – we can live with them), and it’s sent the nation right down the tubes. The longer it goes on, the more  wrecked we are going to get. I am afraid that most Whites are ideologically invested in this Reaganite crap, and they are just not willing to give it up, nor are they willing to acknowledge how it has clusterfucked our land.

They’re going to find out the hard way, but even then, will they learn?

Colombia has been a very rightwing country for a good 50-60 years or more, or maybe since colonization. The place is trashed, there’s a civil war going on, political murder goes on every day, there are the worst slums on Earth, crime is rampant, I mean, the murderous oligarchic politics have just turned the whole country into a Hellish nightmare of a sewer. But every few years, the people go to the polls, and everyone votes radical Right again.

Chavez’s Right Turn: State Realism versus International Solidarity,” by James Petras

This is an excellent article by James Petras.

He shows how Hugo Chavez has turned so far to the right that he is now in some ways one of the most rightwing Presidents in Latin America. For instance, only Chavez has supported the US and Colombia in backing the Honduran coup regime. And he is becoming one of Colombia’s sole allies in the region.

Why has he done this? A few reasons. For one, he’s surrounded and threatened. Colombia keeps threatening the invade Venezuela to go after Colombian rebels that hide there, and the US under “liberal” Barack Obama has just stationed 7 new military bases in Colombia for the sole purpose of attacking the Colombian guerrillas and threatening Venezuela. Colombia built up forces on the border, repeatedly crossed the Venezuelan border, and moved Colombian death squads into Venezuela to attack the people.

The Colombian guerrillas are on the defensive and can no longer provide the buffer that they formerly provided along the border to a Colombian invasion of Venezuela.

The Obama-backed coup against Honduras, which has resulted in a wave of murders against the Honduran Left, changed things. Chavez now realized that the Obama regime was willing to use military force to get what it wanted in Latin America.

At home, the opposition has made its strongest showing in a decade, winning about 50% of the latest vote, an election in which there was extreme US intervention on the side of the opposition.

In other words, he’s boxed in with nowhere to turn. Under these circumstances, Chavez has decided that the Colombian guerrillas, who they used to support, are a liability. He has been cooperating with Colombia in handing over guerrillas who are in Venezuela. He signed a non-aggression agreement with Colombia in return for an agreement to help catch any Colombian guerrillas in Venezuela. However, he has gotten little in return for this other than that Colombia has stopped invading and threatening his territory.Colombia still maintains a deep alliance with Chavez enemy, the US. Colombian forces are still massed along Venezuela’s borders.

Chavez hope to keep Colombia from joining in the US in any joint US-Colombian military escapades inside Venezuela. He also hopes to keep Colombia from joining in any US propaganda-destabilization efforts in Venezuela.

However, the threats have escalated, and the US appears emboldened. Chavez’ moves to the Right have not earned him the tiniest bit of praise or space from the US – they hate him more than ever. US imperialism slapped an embargo on the Venezuelan oil company due to Venezuela trading with Iran. I am not sure what this embargo entails? Incredibly, the Venezuelan opposition supported this foreign embargo on Venezuela! What a bunch of traitors.

Following his new alliance with Colombia, Chavez became the only nation other than Colombia in Latin America which has recognized the coup regime in Honduras. He did this under pressure from Colombia.

Petras points out how Allende’s Chile, Mexico in the 1980’s, Cuba and Brazil have all harbored Latin American guerrillas (in Brazil’s case, an Italian guerrilla). They refused to extradite them. But Chavez is boxed in in a way that these regimes may not have been.

Petras shows how other Left regimes also cooperated with the Right at various times. Stalin cooperated with Hitler for a while in order to buy some time to move his industry east of the Urals and build up his military-industrial complex. He even sent some German Communists who were hiding in the USSR to Germany, where they were certainly tortured and killed. But Stalin was boxed in, and he needed to buy some time, so he made a deal with the devil.

In the early 1970’s, Mao entered into a new alliance with the US under Richard Nixon’s detente. Afterward, Mao supported Pinochet and the rightist rebels in Angola. They denounced any Left regime that head the slightest ties with the USSR and supported their enemies, no matter how rightwing they were. All for the benefits of a sunshine policy with the US.

In the event of a new confrontation with the US, can Chavez expect his new Colombian ally to be neutral? Dubious. Colombia will probably ally with its imperial master in the US. And can he expect any support for the radical Left in Latin America now that he has betrayed them? This also is dubious. He may well end up with no friends at all.

Chavez’s Right Turn: State Realism versus International Solidarity

Introduction

The radical “Bolivarian Socialist” government of Hugo Chavez has arrested a number of Colombian guerrilla leaders and a radical journalist with Swedish citizenship and handed them over to the right-wing regime of President Juan Manuel Santos, earning the Colombian government’s praise and gratitude.

The close on-going collaboration between a leftist President with a regime with a notorious history of human rights violations, torture and disappearance of political prisoners has led to widespread protests among civil liberty advocates, leftists and populists throughout Latin America and Europe, while pleasing the Euro-American imperial establishment.

On April 26, 2011, Venezuelan immigration officials, relying exclusively on information from the Colombian secret police (DAS), arrested a naturalized Swedish citizen and journalist (Joaquin Perez Becerra) of Colombian descent, who had just arrived in the country. Based on Colombian secret police allegations that the Swedish citizen was a ‘FARC leader’, Perez was extradited to Colombia within 48 hours.

Despite the fact that it was in violation of international diplomatic protocols and the Venezuelan constitution, this action had the personal backing of President Chavez. A month later, the Venezuelan armed forces joined their Colombian counterparts and captured a leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Guillermo Torres (with the nom de Guerra Julian Conrado) who is awaiting extradition to Colombia in a Venezuelan prison without access to an attorney.

On March 17, Venezuelan Military Intelligence (DIM) detained two alleged guerrillas from the National Liberation Army (ELN), Carlos Tirado and Carlos Perez, and turned them over to the Colombian secret police. The new public face of Chavez as a partner of the repressive Colombian regime is not so new after all.

On December 13, 2004, Rodrigo Granda, an international spokesperson for the FARC and a naturalized Venezuelan citizen, whose family resided in Caracas, was snatched by plain-clothes Venezuelan intelligence agents in downtown Caracas where he had been participating in an international conference and secretly taken to Colombia with the ‘approval’ of the Venezuelan Ambassador in Bogota.

Following several weeks of international protest, including from many conference participants, President Chavez issued a statement describing the ‘kidnapping’ as a violation of Venezuelan sovereignty and threatened to break relations with Colombia.

In more recent times, Venezuela has stepped up the extradition of revolutionary political opponents of Colombia’s narco-regime: In the first five months of 2009, Venezuela extradited 15 alleged members of the ELN and in November 2010, a FARC militant and two suspected members of the ELN were handed over to the Colombian police. In January 2011 Nilson Teran Ferreira, a suspected ELN leader, was delivered to the Colombian military.

The collaboration between Latin America’s most notorious authoritarian rightwing regime and the supposedly most radical ‘socialist’ government raises important issues about the meaning of political identities and how they relate to domestic and international politics and more specifically what principles and interests guide state policies.

Revolutionary Solidarity and State Interests

The recent ‘turn’ in Venezuela politics, from expressing sympathy and even support for revolutionary struggles and movements in Latin America to its present collaboration with pro-imperial rightwing regimes, has numerous historical precedents. It may help to examine the contexts and circumstances of these collaborations: The Bolshevik revolutionary government in Russia initially gave whole hearted support to revolutionary uprisings in Germany, Hungary, Finland and elsewhere.

With the defeats of these revolts and the consolidation of the capitalist regimes, Russian state and economic interests took prime of place among the Bolshevik leaders. Trade and investment agreements, peace treaties and diplomatic recognition between Communist Russia and the Western capitalist states defined the new politics of “co-existence”. With the rise of fascism, the Soviet Union under Stalin further subordinated communist policy in order to secure state-to-state alliances, first with the Western Allies and, failing that, with Nazi Germany.

The Hitler-Stalin pact was conceived by the Soviets as a way to prevent a German invasion and to secure its borders from a sworn rightwing enemy. As part of Stalin’s expression of good faith, he handed over to Hitler a number of leading exiled German communist leaders, who had sought asylum in Russia. Not surprisingly they were tortured and executed. This practice stopped only after Hitler invaded Russia and Stalin encouraged the now decimated ranks of German communists to re-join the ‘anti-Nazi’ underground resistance.

In the early 1970’s, as Mao’s China reconciled with Nixon’s United States and broke with the Soviet Union, Chinese foreign policy shifted toward supporting US-backed counter-revolutionaries, including Holden Roberts in Angola and Pinochet in Chile.

China denounced any leftist government and movement, which, however faintly, had ties with the USSR, and embraced their enemies, no matter how subservient they were to Euro-American imperial interests.

In Stalin’s USSR and Mao’s China, short-term ‘state interests’ trumped revolutionary solidarity. What were these ‘state interests’?

In the case of the USSR, Stalin gambled that a ‘peace pact’ with Hitler’s Germany would protect them from an imperialist Nazi invasion and partially end the encirclement of Russia.

Stalin no longer trusted in the strength of international working class solidarity to prevent war, especially in light of a series of revolutionary defeats and the generalized retreat of the Left over the previous decades (Germany, Span, Hungary and Finland) .The advance of fascism and the extreme right, unremitting Western hostility toward the USSR and the Western European policy of appeasing Hitler, convinced Stalin to seek his own peace pact with Germany.

In order to demonstrate their ‘sincerity’ toward its new ‘peace partner’, the USSR downplayed their criticism of the Nazis, urging Communist parties around the world to focus on attacking the West rather than Hitler’s Germany, and gave into Hitler’s demand to extradite German Communist “terrorists” who had found asylum in the Soviet Union.

Stalin’s pursuit of short term ‘state interests’ via pacts with the “far right” ended in a strategic catastrophe: Nazi Germany was free to first conquer Western Europe and then turned its guns on Russia, invading an unprepared USSR and occupying half the country. In the meantime the international anti-fascist solidarity movements had been weakened and temporarily disoriented by the zigzags of Stalin’s policies.

In the mid-1970’s, the Peoples Republic of China’s ‘reconciliation’ with the US, led to a turn in international policy: ‘US imperialism’ became an ally against the greater evil ‘Soviet social imperialism’.

As a result China, under Chairman Mao Tse Tung, urged its international supporters to denounce progressive regimes receiving Soviet aid (Cuba, Vietnam, Angola, etc.) and it withdrew its support for revolutionary armed resistance against pro-US client states in Southeast Asia. China’s ‘pact’ with Washington was to secure immediate ‘state interests’: Diplomatic recognition and the end of the trade embargo.

Mao’s short-term commercial and diplomatic gains were secured by sacrificing the more fundamental strategic goals of furthering socialist values at home and revolution abroad. As a result, China lost its credibility among Third World revolutionaries and anti-imperialists, in exchange for gaining the good graces of the White House and greater access to the capitalist world market.

Short-term “pragmatism’ led to long-term transformation: The Peoples Republic of China became a dynamic emerging capitalist power, with some of the greatest social inequalities in Asia and perhaps the world.

Venezuela: State Interests versus International Solidarity

The rise of radical politics in Venezuela, which is the cause and consequence of the election of President Chavez (1999), coincided with the rise of revolutionary social movements throughout Latin America from the late 1990’s to the middle of the first decade of the 21st century (1995-2005).

Neo-liberal regimes were toppled in Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina; mass social movements challenging neo-liberal orthodoxy took hold everywhere; the Colombian guerrilla movements were advancing toward the major cities; and center-left politicians were elected to power in Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Uruguay. The US economic crises undermined the credibility of Washington’s ‘free trade’ agenda.

The increasing Asian demand for raw materials stimulated an economy boom in Latin America, which funded social programs and nationalizations. In the case of Venezuela, a failed US-backed military coup and ‘bosses’ boycott’ in 2002-2003, forced the Chavez government to rely on the masses and turn to the Left. Chavez proceeded to “re-nationalize” petroleum and related industries and articulate a “Bolivarian Socialist” ideology.

Chavez’ radicalization found a favorable climate in Latin America and the bountiful revenues from the rising price of oil financed his social programs. Chavez maintained a plural position of embracing governing center-left governments, backing radical social movements and supporting the Colombian guerrillas’ proposals for a negotiated settlement. Chavez called for the recognition of Colombia’s guerrillas as legitimate ‘belligerents” not “terrorists’.

Venezuela’s foreign policy was geared toward isolating its main threat emanating from Washington by promoting exclusively Latin American/Caribbean organizations, strengthening regional trade and investment links and securing regional allies in opposition to US intervention, military pacts, bases and US-backed military coups. In response to US financing of Venezuelan opposition groups (electoral and extra parliamentary), Chavez has provided moral and political support to anti-imperialist groups throughout Latin America.

After Israel and American Zionists began attacking Venezuela, Chavez extended his support to the Palestinians and broadened ties with Iran and other Arab anti-imperialist movements and regimes. Above all, Chavez strengthened his political and economic ties with Cuba, consulting with the Cuban leadership, to form a radical axis of opposition to imperialism. Washington’s effort to strangle the Cuban revolution by an economic embargo was effectively undermined by Chavez’ large-scale, long-term economic agreements with Havana.

Up until the later part of this decade, Venezuela’s foreign policy – its ‘state interests’ – coincided with the interests of the left regimes and social movements throughout Latin America. Chavez clashed diplomatically with Washington’s client states in the hemisphere, especially Colombia, headed by narco-death squad President Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010). However recent years have witnessed several external and internal changes and a gradual shift toward the center.

The revolutionary upsurge in Latin America began to ebb: The mass upheavals led to the rise of center-left regimes, which, in turn, demobilized the radical movements and adopted strategies relying on agro-mineral export strategies, all the while pursuing autonomous foreign policies independent of US-control. The Colombian guerrilla movements were in retreat and on the defensive – their capacity to buffer Venezuela from a hostile Colombian client regime waned.

Chavez adapted to these ‘new realities’, becoming an uncritical supporter of the ‘social liberal’ regimes of Lula in Brazil, Morales in Bolivia, Correa in Ecuador, Vazquez in Uruguay and Bachelet in Chile. Chavez increasingly chose immediate diplomatic support from the existing regimes over any long-term support, which might have resulted from a revival of the mass movements.

Trade ties with Brazil and Argentina and diplomatic support from its fellow Latin American states against an increasingly aggressive US became central to Venezuela’s foreign policy: The basis of Venezuelan policy was no longer the internal politics of the center-left and centrist regimes but their degree of support for an independent foreign policy. Repeated US interventions failed to generate a successful coup or to secure any electoral victories, against Chavez.

As a result Washington increasingly turned to using external threats against Chavez via its Colombian client state, the recipient of $5 billion in military aid. Colombia’s military build-up, its border crossings and infiltration of death squads into Venezuela, forced Chavez into a large-scale purchase of Russian arms and toward the formation of a regional alliance (ALBA). The US-backed military coup in Honduras precipitated a major rethink in Venezuela’s policy.

The coup had ousted a democratically elected centrist liberal, President Zelaya in Honduras, a member of ALBA and set up a repressive regime subservient to the White House. However, the coup had the effect of isolating the US throughout Latin America -not a single government supported the new regime in Tegucigalpa. Even the neo-liberal regimes of Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Panama voted to expel Honduras from the Organization of American States.

On the one hand, Venezuela viewed this ‘unity’ of the right and center-left as an opportunity toward mending fences with the conservative regimes; and on the other, it understood that the Obama Administration was ready to use the ‘military option’ to regain its dominance. The fear of a US military intervention was greatly heightened by the Obama-Uribe agreement establishing seven US strategic military bases near its border with Venezuela.

Chavez wavered in his response to this immediate threat: At one point he almost broke trade and diplomatic relations with Colombia, only to immediately reconcile with Uribe, although the latter had demonstrated no desire to sign on to a pact of co-existence.

Meanwhile, the 2010 Congressional elections In Venezuela led to a major increase in electoral support for the US-backed right (approximately 50%) and their greater representation in Congress (40%). While the Right increased their support inside Venezuela, the Left in Colombia, both the guerrillas and the electoral opposition lost ground. Chavez could not count on any immediate counter-weight to a military provocation.

Chavez faced several options: The first was to return to the earlier policy of international solidarity with radical movements; the second was to continue working with the center-left regimes while maintaining strong criticism and firm opposition to the US backed neo-liberal regimes; and the third option was to turn toward the Right, more specifically to seek rapprochement with the newly elected President of Colombia, Santos and sign a broad political, military and economic agreement where Venezuela agreed to collaborate in eliminating Colombia’s leftist adversaries in exchange for promises of ‘non-aggression’ (Colombia limiting its cross-border narco and military incursions).

Venezuela and Chavez decided that the FARC was a liability and that support from the radical Colombian mass social movements was not as important as closer diplomatic relations with President Santos. Chavez has calculated that complying with Santos political demands would provide greater security to the Venezuelan state than relying on the support of the international solidarity movements and his own radical domestic allies among the trade unions and intellectuals.

In line with this Right turn, the Chavez regime fulfilled Santos’ requests – arresting FARC/ELN guerrillas, as well as a prominent leftist journalist, and extraditing them to a state which has had the worst human rights record in the Americas for over two decades, in terms of torture and extra-judicial assassinations. This Right turn acquires an even more ominous character when one considers that Colombia holds over 7600 political prisoners, over 7000 of whom are trade unionists, peasants, Indians, students, in other words non-combatants.

In acquiescing to Santos requests, Venezuela did not even follow the established protocols of most democratic governments: It did not demand any guaranties against torture and respect for due process. Moreover, when critics have pointed out that these summary extraditions violated Venezuela’s own constitutional procedures, Chavez launched a vicious campaign slandering his critics as agents of imperialism engaged in a plot to destabilize his regime.

Chavez’s new-found ally on the Right, President Santos has not reciprocated: Colombia still maintains close military ties with Venezuela’s prime enemy in Washington. Indeed, Santos vigorously sticks to the White House agenda: He successfully pressured Chavez to recognize the illegitimate regime of Lobos in Honduras- the product of a US-backed coup in exchange for the return of ousted ex-President Zelaya.

Chavez did what no other center-left Latin American President has dared to do: He promised to support the reinstatement of the illegitimate Honduran regime into the OAS. On the basis of the Chavez-Santos agreement, Latin American opposition to Lobos collapsed and Washington’s strategic goal was realized: a puppet regime was legitimized. Chavez agreement with Santos to recognize the murderous Lobos regime betrayed the heroic struggle of the Honduran mass movement.

Not one of the Honduran officials responsible for over a hundred murders and disappearances of peasant leaders, journalists, human rights and pro-democracy activists are subject to any judicial investigation. Chavez has given his blessings to impunity and the continuation of an entire repressive apparatus, backed by the Honduran oligarchy and the US Pentagon.

In other words, to demonstrate his willingness to uphold his ‘friendship and peace pact’ with Santos, Chavez was willing to sacrifice the struggle of one of the most promising and courageous pro-democracy movements in the Americas.

And What Does Chavez Seek in His Accommodation with the Right?

Security? Chavez has received only verbal ‘promises’, and some expressions of gratitude from Santos.

But the enormous pro-US military command and US mission remain in place. In other words, there will be no dismantling of the Colombian paramilitary-military forces massed along the Venezuelan border and the US military base agreements, which threaten Venezuelan national security, will not change. According to Venezuelan diplomats, Chavez’ tactic is to ‘win over’ Santos from US tutelage.

By befriending Santos, Chavez hopes that Bogota will not join in any joint military operation with the US or cooperate in future propaganda-destabilization campaigns. In the brief time since the Santos-Chavez pact was made, an emboldened Washington announced an embargo on the Venezuelan state oil company with the support of the Venezuelan congressional opposition. Santos, for his part, has not complied with the embargo, but then not a single country in the world has followed Washington’s lead.

Clearly, President Santos is not likely to endanger the annual $10 billion dollar trade between Colombia and Venezuela in order to humor the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s diplomatic caprices. In contrast to Chavez policy of handing over leftist and guerrilla exiles to a rightist authoritarian regime, President Allende of Chile (1970-73) joined a delegation that welcomed armed fighters fleeing persecution in Bolivia and Argentina and offered them asylum.

For many years, especially in the 1980’s, Mexico, under center-right regimes, openly recognized the rights of asylum for guerrilla and leftist refugees from Central America – El Salvador and Guatemala. Revolutionary Cuba, for decades, offered asylum and medical treatment to leftist and guerrilla refugees from Latin American dictatorships and rejected demands for their extradition.

Even as late as 2006, when the Cuban government was pursuing friendly relations with Colombia and when its then Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque expressed his deep reservations regarding the FARC in conversations with the author, Cuba refused to extradite guerrillas to their home countries where they would be tortured and abused.

One day before he left office in 2011, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied Italy’s request to extradite Cesare Battisti, a former Italian guerrilla. As one Brazilian judge said -and Chavez should have listened: “At stake here is national sovereignty. It is as simple as that”. No one would criticize Chavez efforts to lessen border tensions by developing better diplomatic relations with Colombia and to expand trade and investment flows between the two countries.

What is unacceptable is to describe the murderous Colombian regime as a “friend” of the Venezuela people and a partner in peace and democracy, while thousands of pro-democracy political prisoners rot in TB-infested Colombian prisons for years on trumped-up charges.

Under Santos, civilian activists continue to be murdered almost every day. The most recent killing was yesterday (June 9,2011): Ana Fabricia Cordoba, a leader of community-based displaced peasants, was murdered by the Colombian armed forces.

Chavez’ embrace of the Santos narco-presidency goes beyond the requirements for maintaining proper diplomatic and trade relations. His collaboration with the Colombian intelligence, military and secret police agencies in hunting down and deporting Leftists (without due process!) smacks of complicity in dictatorial repression and serves to alienate the most consequential supporters of the Bolivarian transformation in Venezuela.

Chavez’ role in legitimizing of the Honduran coup-regime, without any consideration for the popular movements’ demands for justice, is a clear capitulation to the Santos – Obama agenda. This line of action places Venezuela’s ‘state’ interests over the rights of the popular mass movements in Honduras.

Chavez’ collaboration with Santos on policing leftists and undermining popular struggles in Honduras raises serious questions about Venezuela’s claims of revolutionary solidarity. It certainly sows deep distrust about Chavez future relations with popular movements who might be engaged in struggle with one of Chavez’s center-right diplomatic and economic partners.

What is particularly troubling is that most democratic and even center-left regimes do not sacrifice the mass social movements on the altar of “security” when they normalize relations with an adversary.

Certainly the Right, especially the US, protects its former clients, allies, exiled right-wing oligarch and even admitted terrorists from extradition requests issued by Venezuela, Cuba and Argentina. Mass murders and bombers of civilian airplanes manage to live comfortably in Florida.

Why Venezuela submits to the Right-wing demands of the Colombians, while complaining about the US protecting terrorists guilty of crimes in Venezuela, can only be explained by Chavez ideological shift to the Right, making Venezuela more vulnerable to pressure for greater concessions in the future.

Chavez is no longer interested in the support from the radical left: his definition of state policy revolves around securing the ‘stability’ of Bolivarian socialism in one country, even if it means sacrificing Colombian militants to a police state and pro-democracy movements in Honduras to an illegitimate US-imposed regime. History provides mixed lessons.

Stalin’s deals with Hitler were a strategic disaster for the Soviet people: once the Fascists got what they wanted they turned around and invaded Russia. Chavez has so far not received any ‘reciprocal’ confidence-building concession from Santos military machine. Even in terms of narrowly defined ‘state interests’, he has sacrificed loyal allies for empty promises. The US imperial state is Santos’ primary ally and military provider.

China sacrificed international solidarity for a pact with the US, a policy that led to unregulated capitalist exploitation and deep social injustices.

When and if the next confrontation between the US and Venezuela occurs, will Chavez, at least, be able to count on the “neutrality” of Colombia? If past and present relations are any indication, Colombia will side with its client-master, mega-benefactor and ideological mentor.

When a new rupture occurs, can Chavez count on the support of the militants, who have been jailed, the mass popular movements he pushed aside and the international movements and intellectuals he has slandered? As the US moves toward new confrontations with Venezuela and intensifies its economic sanctions, domestic and international solidarity will be vital for Venezuela’s defense. Who will stand up for the Bolivarian revolution, the Santos and Lobos of this “realist world”? Or the solidarity movements in the streets of Caracas and the Americas?