Friday, June 19, 2009

5 Reasons Chavez is so Hostile to the US

Hugo Chavez just came out to publicly support Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Iranian elections, even though a toddler could see why the reported election results are falsified. This leads to the inevitable question of why. The answer is that the state of Iran, under Ahmadinejad, is an ally of Venezuela and right now Venezuela can't afford to lose any allies. Chavez broke the cardinal rule of South American heads of state and disrespected the right to unlimited private property through nationalization of the oil industry. If you've read or heard about this, you're probably confused as to why Chavez takes such an antagonistic stance against the US Government, and in particular the conservative administration of George Bush. What is kept under suspicious silence, however, are the very good reasons for his mistrust of American with regards to left leaning administrations. Let me give you just five examples (although the examples are quite literally too prodigious to enumarate in full). I'll list them chronologically

1954 Guatemalan coup- After winning the Presidency of Guatemala in the second election ever to sport universal sufferage in Guatemala, Jacobo Árbenz siezed land from corporations. This land was prime for farming, but it was left completely unused in the hopes that the land itself would one day become more valuable and be able to be resold. Árbenz gave the land to Guatemalan peasants, at which point the CIA decided that Guzman was a communist, and needed to die. Operation PBSUCCESS was enacted to train 400 men to start a revolution in Guatemala. The coup succeeded, a non-democratic government was installed and Árbenz was exiled.

1964 Brazilian coup- João Goulart was the democratically elected Vice-President of Brazil until the President stepped down and he was elevated into the office. His reforms were deemed "too socialist" and Lyndon B. Johnson authorized Operation Brother Sam, which provided the coup with ammunition, gasoline and plane fuel. The coup succeeded, and plunged Brazil into a military dictatorship, rather than a constitutional democracy, until 1985, 21 years later.

1973 Chilean coup- Salvador Allende was the first democratically elected Marxist in the Americas. He pushed for Marxist reforms and was unapologetic in his support for Communism. While you may disagree with his beliefs, he was elected by a majority of Chilean citizens. Although US involvment in this coup is still classified, the Clinton administration declassified documents describing the insertion of CIA operatives into Chile with the goal of destabilizing the Marxist movement there. It's not a stretch to assume US involvment of the coup and Allende's murder, especially as 2 years before Nixon attempted to instigate a coup when Allende took office in 1970 (under the name Project FUBELT). General Augusto Pinochet assumed power after Allende, and established a military dictatorship that lasted until 1990.

4) 1976 Argentinian coup- Isabel Perón was the first female head of state in a democratically elected government in the west. As the Vice President in Argentina, she ascended to the presidency when the current president, her husband, died of heart complications. A military junta was installed with the help and approval of US interests. The Secretary of State at the time, Henry Kissinger, said of the Junta, "Whatever chance they have, they will need a little encouragement" and "because I do want to encourage them. I don't want to give the sense that they're harassed by the United States". The Junta lasted until 1983.

5) The School of the Americas- Perhaps the most striking example is the School of the Americas, what is now known as
The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHISC). This facility is located in Georgia and they focus on training South American natives into military personnel that specialize in overthrowing left leaning regimes. Among the alumnus you can count some of Augusto Pinochet's officers, the military dictators that overthrew the democratically elected Isabel Perón, the now-imprisoned military dictator Manuel Noriega, Hugo Banzer the military dictator from Bolivia and the international terrorist (not to mention ex-CIA operative) Luis Posada Carriles.

So, it's easy to see after even the most cursory look into the history of South America, why Chavez is defensive to a fault when dealing with America and desperate enough to ally himself with unsavory (though impotent in South America) nationstates for solidarity and protection.

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