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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.
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
to the U.S. because its the fourth largest supplier of crude oil
to the U.S. \
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.
oil-consuming countries have never liked the development of this
cartel, and have sought to undermine it ever since.
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."
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
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.
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]
2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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© copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.