06 March 2005
Despite U.S. interests, another Latin state has asserted itself...
Tabare Vazquez for the Happiness of the Uruguayan People
Montevideo.- After more than 170 years of conservative control over power in Uruguay, dictatorships and missing people, this South American country has taken a new path in history with the inauguration of Tabare Vazquez, the first Uruguayan Socialist President.
Tabare Vazquez assumes power in Uruguay surrounded by fellow leftist leaders
This is part of something of a social-democratic revolution sweeping through South America. Although there are obvious comparisons between the modern left in Latin America and its forerunners from the 1960's and 1970's, unlike these forerunners they are clearly democratic and popular. Perhaps this was most graphically illustrated by the Venezuelan population's refusal to allow the U.S. sponsored Rightist coup in 2002 to succeed.
Further, these changes are essentially social-democratic in that though they are sympathetic with some socialist principles, they are not trying to remove their states from the global capitalist order. Instead have adopted the heresy of advocating that the fruits of capitalism be used to help ALL their people as opposed to a small plutocratic elite. The last twenty years has more than adequately illustrated that "globalization" and "free trade" only benefits a small economic elite while leaving everyone else wallowing in ever deeper and ever more hopeless poverty. Of course the same trend has existed in the United States as well, but luckily for Bush, the American poor have been properly trained support their plutocrats despite their own situation. However, in Latin America, where the polarization is much more apparent, the people have opted to assert themselves.
Another country likely to soon go left is Bolivia, whose government was overthrown by the people in October 2003 because of its intention to sell Bolivia's natural gas reserves to U.S. companies for export while in their own country - South America's poorest - the people are in desperate need for energy. After the 2003 revolt, the sitting vice president, Carlos Diego Mesa, came to power. However Mesa remains a supporter of the tiny white elite that holds a monopoly over Bolivian business against the vast majority of his people who are largely native and poor. Mesa decided to advance the prior governments scheme to sell his country's natural gas to the U.S. for the sole benefit of himself and a few wealthy white plutocrats, he simply decided to go about it in a slower and quieter way. Nevertheless, the truth comes out and now the Bolivian people are asserting themselves yet again against Mesa efforts to enrich himself and his friends with U.S. money at the expense of his own people. See, for example:
Bolivia’s Strife Intensifies
Meanwhile, tensions with Venezuela are again increasing. Interestingly enough, U.S. pressure on Venezuela correspnds with Venezuelas efforts to diversify its oil markets. With the U.S. as Venezuelas primary export destination, the U.S. holds considerable clout, so Chavez has decided to break this monopoly by diversifying his export markets. Chavez has been exporting to Cuba and Brazil as well as other countries, but now he is making deals with energy hungry India as well as Russia -
LUKOIL TO BUILD OIL REFINERY IN VENEZUELA?
ST. PETERSBURG, March 2 (RIA Novosti) - Russian oil producer LUKOIL is pondering construction of an oil refinery in Venezuela, LUKOIL President Vagit Alekperov said.
India, Venezuela Sign Historic Oil Agreement
NEW DELHI, 6 March 2005 — India and Venezuela signed a historic agreement yesterday, allowing Indian companies to take 49 percent stake in Venezuelan oil industry.
For context on this and the rise of Chinese and Indian competition for oil, see:
The Axis of Oil - By Jehangir Pocha
Not surprisingly, the U.S. is not reacting well to this infringement of its imperial perogative...
Chavez: Evidence proves Washington murder plot, US denies
NEW DELHI - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Saturday he had evidence that the United States was planning to assassinate him, an accusation that a U.S. official quickly
And of course Chavez isn't one to be easily intimidated...
Venezuelan President renews threat to cut oil supplies to US
See our earlier post regarding the U.S. Southern Command. As the Latin Americans continue to assert themselves and their own interests at the expense of the U.S. empire, the chances that the U.S. will use force - as it has some many times before in Latin America - to suppress the will of the people grows ever more likely.