Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Washington Trying to ''Checkmate'' Chavez [?]


This wouldn't come as a surprise especially if the administration could get others to do its dirty work.

According to Venezuelan Popular Unity (UPV) leader Lina Ron, the Chavez government is threatened. She cites a coup d'etat scheme called ''Choquinaque'' to oust it.

So says Heinz Dieterich Steffan - German sociologist, economist, political analyst and Hugo Chavez consultant who claims he coined the phrase "21st century socialism" in the mid-1990s. He currently teaches at the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City and writes often on Latin American issues.

In a May 21, 2008 Kaosenlared.net article and follow-up Montevideo, Uruguay debate, Dieterich was blunt. He said "Washington does not want to lose (Latin America) in competition with India, China and Europe." He called the situation "life or death" and that a military attack against Venezuela from Colombia is possible. Maybe likely, and Ecuador and Bolivia are also targeted.

He laid out a "checkmate" scenario:

-- weaken and destroy FARC-EP and ELN resistance; under Clinton in 1999, Plan Colombia was launched to do it; the Uribe government's March 1 attack against the FARC-EP camp was part of it; all regional aggression has Washington's stamp on it, especially when Alvaro Uribe is involved; he's the Bush administration's closest regional ally and willing co-conspirator;

-- neutralize Evo Morales in Bolivia as well, divide the country, and create a parallel state in its resource-rich provinces;

-- use these successes to "checkmate" Chavez and Ecuador's Raphael Correa; take further measures to do it; use Uribe's military and gunboat diplomacy after the Fourth Fleet becomes active July 1 - after a 60 year hiatus and no regional threat to warrant it;

-- since taking office in 2001, the Bush administration targeted Venezuela for regime change; it extended the timeline after its April 2002 coup failed; it made destroying Colombian resistance more urgent so Washington could use the country unimpeded as a launching platform against Chavez much like Honduras in the 1980s against Nicaragua's Sandinistas; the scheme is vintage Washington; it's still unfolding; it involves waging a "widespread offensive against Chavez and the Bolivarian forces from 2008 - 2009;"

-- regime changes in Bolivia and Ecuador will follow; in Bolivia "through separatism, the Trojan Horse of the Constituent Assembly and the 2006 formation of CONFILAR" - an International Confederation for Regional Freedom and Autonomy; in Ecuador by fostering discontent in the CONAI indigenous movement and weakening the government through destabilization; also by stoking secessionist stirrings in Guayas, the country's most affluent province.

Dieterich says Washington believes that "FARC and Evo Morales (weakening) are irreversible." Time will tell if it's so. That reasoning sets the stage for "subversion and paramilitary-military (actions) from Colombia (and) Fourth Fleet (aggression) against Venezuela and Ecuador." In his judgment, an operation may be "close" with the Bush administration's tenure winding down. He calls America a "bestial enemy" and this moment a "dangerous juncture." He hopes Chavez, Correa, Morales and other Latin American leaders are up to the challenge. The threat is that Venezuelan generals will buckle under a US incursion and not sacrifice themselves "in a war against the gringos."

He envisions a scenario much like against Cuba that led to the 1962 missile crisis - a naval blockade and sees "no cohesion" in Venezuela's military as there was in Cuba. The antidote is Latin American unity. The entire region is targeted. "It's time to seek what unites us," he says, and urges a democratic alliance among regional governments and social forces. "There is no other way because the enemy is very powerful and is made up of the alliance between the oligarchies and the gringos, and backed by Europe and Japan."

Dieterich says efforts in this direction have been proposed and rejected. Nonetheless, the need is urgent because failure is unthinkable - the end of participatory democracy and resurgence of neoliberal triumphalism throughout the hemisphere.

Note: Headline links to source.

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