Latin America uniting against neocons of Washington
Wayne Madsen, Online Journal, Sep 15, 2008
Antipathy and disgust for the Bush administration and its neocon ideological ilk, including the key players and advisers in the John McCain campaign, have long taken root in the Middle East and South Asia. Names like Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, and Ledeen are held in utmost contempt throughout the Middle East and Muslim worlds. The same kind of hatred for the United States and its neocon Latin American policy is now sweeping through South and Central America. In Latin America, it is individuals with names like Goldberg, Levey, Shapiro, Mukasey, Berman, Brownfield, and Shannon who have rankled Latin American nerves by their meddlesome actions in not only grossly interfering in the domestic affairs of Latin American nations, including fomenting insurrection and acts of terrorism, but designating certain Latin American leaders and officials as aiding in drug trafficking and terrorism. The lack of non-Cuban exile Hispanic surnames involved in crafting the US’s Latin American policy is astounding considering the percentage of Hispanics in the United States.
Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Thomas Shannon told Rep. Howard Berman’s (D-CA) House Foreign Affairs Committee in July that “several” Venezuelans were providing support to Hezbollah, a rather bizarre mixing of Middle East and Latin American neocon policies in an obvious effort to please Berman, one of Israel’s most ardent supporters in the US Congress. From Bolivia to Venezuela and Honduras to Argentina, Latin American governments are standing firm against the interference by the American administration, which has done everything possible to stoke the flames of insurrection and secession in energy-rich areas of Bolivia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Bolivia’s President Evo Morales, who faces CIA- and DIA-sponsored right-wing rebellions in the energy-rich provinces of Santa Cruz, Pando, Tarija, and Beni, expelled US Ambassador Philip Goldberg for interfering in Bolivia’s domestic affairs and supporting the right-wing rebels. The State Department’s spokesman Sean McCormack, whose snottiness is unprecedented for a spokesperson for America’s seat of foreign diplomacy, responded by expelling Bolivia’s ambassador. McCormack had earlier joked that Russia could send warships to Venezuela if it could find any that could make it that far. In a side quarrel, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly upbraided British neocon and pro-Israeli Foreign Secretary David Miliband by stating “who are you to fucking lecture me?”
Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, in solidarity with Morales and reacting to yet another CIA-planned coup against him, after an April 2002 coup organized by then-US Ambassador Charles Shapiro failed, ordered US Ambassador Patrick Duddy to leave Venezuela. The State Department responded by expelling Venezuela’s ambassador in Washington. In an act coordinated between Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey and the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), headed by Adam Szubin, the assets of two current and one former Venezuelan officials were frozen after accusations that they aided and abetted drug smuggling and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which is attempting to oust US narco-fascists from power in Colombia. Levey and Szubin named Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios, the director of Venezuela’s Military Intelligence Directorate (DGIM); Henry de Jesus Rangel Silva, director of Venezuela’s Directorate of Intelligence and Prevention Services (DISIP); and Ramon Emilio Rodriguez Chacin, the recently-departed minister of Interior and Justice, in the freeze order. The three were named by the Bush regime after DGIM and DISIP uncovered a plot by CIA-based retired Venezuelan military officers to seize the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas and blow up Chavez’s presidential aircraft, killing Chavez and his aides. The coup organization was identified as the “2-D Movement” or the “December 2 Movement.”
A spokesperson for the Venezuelan National Assembly described the plotters as some of the same military officers who participated in the CIA-backed 2002 coup against Chavez. The charges by Chavez came as Morales said the United States was behind the explosion of a natural gas pipeline from Bolivia to Brazil. The charges of American involvement in terrorist plans and attacks in Latin America came while Americans were being subjected to a gross use of another anniversary, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, to whip up nationalistic fervor. Chavez also agreed with Argentina’s President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner that the trial in Miami of Guido Antonini, who is accused of attempting to deliver a suitcase of cash from Venezuela to help the presidential campaign of Kirchner in Argentina, was an attempt to “trash” both he and Kirchner. The Venezuelan and Argentine leaders are both ardent critics of neocons, their international free trade and financial contrivances, and the Bush regime.
The Justice Department of Attorney General Michael Mukasey is using the Miami cash-for-Argentina trial to damage Chavez and his Interior minister, Tarek el-Aissami. El-Aissami’s only crime appears to be that his father was born in Syria, which, of course, for neocons in their myopic and archaic view of the world, is tantamount to having a direct link to terrorism. Argentina has shown solidarity with both Venezuela and Bolivia in their showdowns with the US. However, disgust with neocon-occupied Washington does not end with Venezuela, Bolivia, and Argentina. Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo extended his full support to Morales in his confrontation with the right-wing provincial secessionists. Honduran President Manuel Zelaya refused to accept the credentials of the new US ambassador to Tegucigalpa, in solidarity with Morales and Chavez. Zelaya announced solidarity with Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia, and Venezuela in their showdowns with the United States. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega also supported Bolivia and Venezuela in expelling the American ambassadors and announced that Nicaragua, like Venezuela, was prepared to establish closer military links with Russia. Ortega particularly supported Bolivia sending Goldberg packing, saying the US envoy had interfered in Bolivia’s internal affairs.
Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Samuel Santos also charged that Washington was trying to undermine Nicaragua’s government by pressuring international organizations to cancel aid packages to the country. Nicaragua also recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia from the US- and Israeli-backed Republic of Georgia. After El Salvador presidential candidate for the progressive Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), Mauricio Funes, visited Argentina to meet with Kirchner, the neocon media began to claim that Funes was being funded by Chavez of Venezuela. The neocons, bereft of any hard evidence of “plots,” are always apt to concoct elaborate conspiracy theories that take in everyone whom they have targeted in their political sights.
The signs that the Bush regime and the neocons are on a major political offensive in Latin America are also demonstrated by the discovery in Guatemalan Vice President Rafael Espada’s office in Guatemala City of three hidden microphones — one installed in a telephone, one in a calculator, and the third in a reception room. Guatemala’s progressive president, Alvaro Colom, has expressed solidarity with Bolivia and Venezuela. Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa, who has faced CIA-backed secessionists in the Guayaquil area, also stood in solidarity with Morales and Chavez. Correa has ordered the USAF to vacate a military air base at Manta next year and he accused the US military of assisting Colombia in cross-border raids into Ecuador. Correa said if any evidence emerged of US diplomats violating Ecuador’s sovereignty, they would also be expelled. Peruvian President Alan Garcia also backed Morales against the secessionists as did Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez. Latin America’s political, military, and economic powerhouse, Brazil, also warned against any attempt by secessionists in Bolivia to overthrow Morales. Earlier, Brazil and Argentina announced they were eliminating the US dollar as an international monetary exchange medium. Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s foreign policy adviser, Marco Aurelio Garcia, told UPI that Brazil would oppose any rival or unconstitutional government in Bolivia. There are reports that US “paramilitaries” are active in fomenting unrest in both Bolivia and Venezuela. Washington has also revived the US Navy’s Fourth Fleet, to be based in Jacksonville, Florida, a move that Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia claim is a return to US “gunboat diplomacy.”