Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Is Venezuela Next in the "Global War on Terror"?

Is Venezuela Next in the "Global War on Terror"


By Ricardo Restrepo

It is now widely accepted that the US invaded Iraq, not under the expressed reason to combat terrorism, but to pursue its energy goals. This idea is supported not only by the failure to find weapons of mass destruction, but by the telling fact that in the struggle to headlock the country into submission, the Baathist conventional weapons arsenals were left unsecured by invasion forces and left for local combatants to arm themselves. [1] Meanwhile, Iraq’s oil fields were brought under US control. Is there reason to think Venezuela is next?

The exchange of rhetorical fire between Venezuela and the US has reached new heights in the past weeks and Venezuelan officials have repeatedly warned that the US is preparing for another intervention in their country. This would not be the first time that the US intervenes in Venezuela under Chavez’s administration. In 2002, the US funded, supported, and provided logistical backing for a coup that took Chavez out of power for 47 hours. [2] Chavez was first democratically elected in 1999 and continues to hold a 60% margin of support, a margin most leaders can merely dream of. When Chavez was brought back through wide demonstrations and military support, the US held the privileged position of being the only state to have endorsed the “transitional” dictatorship of Pedro Carmona as fully democratic. Condoleezza Rice responded to the failed coup – “I hope Chavez learned his lesson.” Former security advisor of the US Hemispheric Command Paul Buchanan says that what coup plotters learned for next time was that Chavez could not be left alive. [3]

Once we notice that the oil motive is enough for the US administration to invade a nation, it is worth wondering how much oil Venezuela has. An internal US Energy Department study, according to BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast [4], classifies Venezuela as containing the biggest oil reserves in the world. However, Venezuela has mostly thick tar-like oil which is very expensive to extract and make usable. Yet with the oil barrel at above $30, this venture is very viable. The barrel is now at $58. Venezuela is also presently the fourth largest contributor to US oil demand.

We would expect that if the US is preparing for intervention in Venezuela that US mainstream media would portray Chavez in an unfavorable light, as they did with Iraq, where all of a sudden Saddam Hussein’s undemocratic credentials became all-important. But unlike Hussein, Chavez was democratically elected and has represented the interests of the Venezuelan public as a guide to his administration. Nevertheless, the US media constantly portrays Chavez as an increasingly repressive strongman of Saddam’s likes. [5]

Further we would expect US officials would be publicly expounding the view that Venezuela poses a threat. Here too we find confirmation. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld have said that Venezuela is a major threat to regional stability. Rumsfeld assimilates Chavez to Hitler. The US Department of Homeland Security says that Venezuela is helping jihadists. [6] And in a classic re-run, Kenneth Rijock presents the view to the House Sub-Committee on Financial Institutions that, based on hard intelligence, Venezuela has weapons of mass destruction. [7] None of these allegations has any evidential support, except for the first where “regional stability” is defined as US hegemony.

How will the US intervene in Venezuela? That waits to be seen. But we do have some indications. We can begin with the hypothesis of invasion. “But this would be crazy.” As was invading Iraq. The US has bought acolytes in the Colombian military and paramilitary death squads that not only have been detected permeating their activities across the border into Venezuela. They are suspected of killing Danilo Anderson, the Venezuelan attorney investigating the perpetrators of the 2002 coup. A group composed of these forces could be used as similar forces were used to invade Nicaragua from Honduras in the 1980’s. Further, the US is building up military facilities and forces in the nearby island of Curacao, which could be easily used. Then there is the possibility of pushing for a “liberation secession movement” in oil-rich Zulia state. US ambassador to Venezuela alludes to the independence of Zulia, while backing its governor and opposition presidential candidate Manuel Rosales, who has 27% popular backing, and is thus likely to lose. An operation like this one could take the canal-hinged secession of Panama as a model. Another is through electoral fraud, and yet another is through the assassination of Chavez. Possibilities abound. Let us not repeat recent imperial history.

The Venezuelan elections on December 3rd 2006 hold centre-stage in US-Venezuela relations. A New Zealand-Australia solidarity group, accompanied by the New Zealand based Activo Productions, will be going to Caracas as international observers over the elections. Activo Productions will be documenting the developments for the Australasian public and will provide further updates on the situation.

FOOTNOTES:
1. James Glanz, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger “The Conflict in Iraq: Tracking the Weapons; Huge Cache of Explosives Vanished from Site in Iraq” NY Times, Oct. 25, 2004.
2. Eva Golinger (2005) The Chavez Code: Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela (NY: Olive Branch Press).
3. In interview August 6.
4. Democracy Now
5. David Edwards “Channel 4 Smears Chavez” ZMag, April 10, 2006.
6. CNN Lou Dobbs Tonight, October 18, 2006.
7. Michael Fox “A US Intelligence Hoax on Venezuela?” Venezuelanalysis, April 19, 2006.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>

ALSO:

Buildup:

Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>

ALSO:


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news