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The Venezuelan Vote

Short Version: mp3, 2.61 MBs, 3:15

Long Version: mp3, 3.13 MBs, 3:55

[Col. Recorded 8/13/04]

"There is nothing perhaps more adverse to nature and reason than to hold in obedience remote countries and foreign nations, in opposition to their inclination and interest." — Edward Gibbon, *The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.*

It has been just over 2 years since the U.S.-backed coup, and what the U.S. couldn't achieve by coup d'etat, it now seeks by the ballot box.

The Americans have targeted the Chavez regime, ostensibly because of the anti-democratic nature of the regime. In fact, as in a nation on the other side of the world, rap about 'democracy' masks something else. Venezuela matters to Washington because of one thing — oil.

And it isn't that Venezuela isn't interested in selling its prize natural resource to the Americans — it is. It's that a truly independent Venezuela, one which chooses its own friends, which dares to establish its own foreign relations, creates a bad example for other Latin American nations, which are almost all under the heel of U.S. business and International Monetary Fund (IMF) domination.

In April, 2002, the U.S. backed a military-business coup against President Hugo Chavez, when the nation's leader was taken prisoner, and wealthy oil interests named Pedro Carmona to head an unconstitutional, military-backed government. Venezuelans wouldn't accept it, and took to the streets in massive numbers to oppose the Carmona dictatorship.

Two days later, Chavez was back in power.

The Bush regime (which recognized Carmona immediately) has seethed ever since at Chavez's reinstatement.

Venezuela matters to the U.S. because its the fourth largest supplier of crude oil to the U.S. \

Consider this: whey you think of OPEC, what nations come to mind?

Most of us would think Saudi Arabia, or perhaps Kuwait.

But no, OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) was formed in 1960 at the initiative of Venezuela.

The capitalist oil-consuming countries have never liked the development of this cartel, and have sought to undermine it ever since.

Consider the imperial arrogance of George W. Bush announcing that he wants an "honest and open" vote in Venezuela. How many millions of Americans, especially Black Americans can say the same thing about the presidential elections of 2000 in Florida?

This is but another attempt of modern-day exponents of the Monroe Doctrine to put a Latin country back in its "place."

A generation ago, the brain-addled Ronald Reagan supported terrorist attacks on the people of Nicaragua because they wouldn't cry, 'Uncle.' Bush is taking a page from his mentor.

What would Americans say if, say, Canadians argued that the U.S. president was an 'illegitimate' leader because of voter fraud, or perhaps more politely, 'irregularities'?
Many would perhaps laugh until their sides split.

Yet the U.S., using the IMF, and other international bodies, forces other countries to do its bidding, with few questioning their actions. This is the mindset of Empire.
We shall know soon whether Venezuela will join the U.S. as another stolen democracy. Or we will learn that the masses support the Venezuelan popular resistance.

Not content with raising hell in the Middle East, the neocons in Washington want to sink their fangs into the oil-rich resources of Venezuela.

We shall soon learn what the people have to say about the matter.

[Sources: John Feffer (ed.), *Power Trip: US Unilateralism and Global Strategy After Sept. 11* (NY: 7 Stories, 2003), pp. 154-55; Clara Nieto, *Masters of War: Latin America & US Aggression* (NY: 7 Stories, 2003), p. 200; *The Spark*, (8/2-30/04), p. 5]

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.