Category Archives: Latin American Right
In many respects, Trump and Trumpism looks like the Latin American Oligarchic Right. He also looks a lot like the rightwing, basically fascist Right in Latin America. Every time I look at his regime, I think of the Venezuelan Opposition Right. In fact, the Republican Party increasingly looks like the Latin American Oligarchic Right, and it has been slowly resembling them for some time now.
The rightwing fascists in Latin America do not all have Brownshirt street gangs, do they? Where are the Brownshirts of the Latin American rightwings? They have death squads, yes, in a number of countries, and they have street rioters, but Brownshirts who actually go around attacking the Opposition? Not really.
But there is something like this in the Chilean Right, which regularly engages in all-out street riot-wars with the street fighters of the Left. In this sense, Chile represents Germany in the interwar period.
Something similar goes on in Venezuela, where the Right engages in relatively continuous rioting, and sometimes there is fighting with leftwing mobs. Most of the fighting is with the police though.
The death squads of El Salvador were often made up of the fanatical anti-Communist street thugs of the lower middle class neighborhoods. Have you ever seen an ARENA rally in El Salvador? That looked something like a Brownshirt mob, but they did not take to the streets.
Yes there is a thuggish rightwing in Brazil, but is it really of the Brownshirt variety? The recent coup was a legislative one.
There are something like Brownshirt mobs in the east of Bolivia (who also fashion themselves as White supremacists), but they have not been very active lately, and they are countered by leftwing Indian mobs in the capital and east of the country.
There were rightwing Peronist mobs a while back, but that seems to be through. The only mobs in Argentina anymore are with the Left. The Right only has the support of the out of touch Rich.
The only rioting mobs in Peru are on the Left, and riot they do, on a near-constant basis. There is no rightwing presence on the streets in Peru, as once again, the Right here is simply an out of touch White wealthy elite.
There are death squads in Ecuador, but they are not active anymore. The Right only has a presence in the security forces. The huge street mobs are in the capital and are of the Left.
The mobs in Nicaragua are mostly pro-Sandinista, as the Right down there has no street presence, since nobody much likes them.
The street is owned by the Left in Honduras too. The Right only has presence in a small number of rich and the security forces.
There are no street mobs of any kind in Guatemala. The murderous Right is present in the security forces.
In Colombia, the Right does have support, but there are no rightwing street mobs. The violent Right down there are the death squads run by the security forces who work in concert with civilian paramilitaries. There are not even many leftwing protests since a few weeks after huge leftwing protests, 10-15 of the protesters will end up murdered. So the Left in Colombia is armed to the teeth yet underground by necessity.
I do not think you need Brownshirt mobs to have a deadly fascist state as many examples in Latin America show us. When the rightwing government is running around murdering the Left, I am not sure if it matters whether that government is classically fascist or not. They are murderous rightwing thugs whether they earn the official fascist moniker or not. Officially fascist or not, they are still coming out to kill you, so at the end of the day, what difference does it make?
Jason Y: OK, one choice is taking up Ron Paul anti-globalism, which would reduce him to Jimmy Carter uselessness, or just lie and actually be a globalist, and a massively militaristic one at that.
Why is it down to globalism versus anti-globalism? Leaving that aside altogether, looking at his Cabinet appointment shows him to be an ultra-rightwing fanatical reactionary. Look at those Cabinet appointments. That’s all you need to know right there. Those are some of the scariest people I have ever seen in my government.
Actually, the truth is that he is an out and out fascist. That’s no exaggeration. It is absolutely correct. People have been calling the Republicans fascists since the election theft of 2000, and I think they were onto something. That is, they were moving more and more in that direction.
The Republicans are now about as evil as a typical brutal and corrupt Latin American ultraright fascist oligarchy. This is exactly what they remind me of. I look at them and I think of the oligarchical Right in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. The only thing missing is overt coup attempts and death squads. To be more precise, they remind me of the Right in Venezuela, but comparisons to Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Honduras, Haiti and Ecuador are not far off base.
The leaders of the Latin American Right pretty much deserved to get killed based on how they act. I do not blame the Left down there for killing those people. They very much deserve it. Look at how they act!
They have an extreme hatred for democracy, and basically their attitude is that they will not tolerate the Left being in power for one day. And when the Left gets in, they will try everything in the book, legal, illegal and in between, to get rid of them. There is nothing too low for them. If they have to tell 10 million lies, they will do it. If they have to steal elections, then they will do it. If they have assassinate leftwingers, they will do it. If they have to destroy the whole economy, they will do it. If they have to riot in the streets, they will do it. If they have to run death squads, then they will do it. If they have to mount coups, military or legislative, than they will do it. The ends justifies the means, and it’s “whatever it takes to get rid of the Left, damn morality.”
Lousy people create lousy countries. We don’t even have a democracy anymore. We have a Latin American style oligarchy with a Latin American style corrupt press that speaks with a single voice. We even have Latin American style corrupt courts all the way up the highest court in the land.
The Legislative branch is as corrupt as any Latin American Congress as 90% are directly on the take and bribing politicians is for all intents and purposes legal thanks to another corrupt Supreme Court act.The Legislative branch has spent most of its time lately dissolving the state (shutting down the government), resembling a typical do-nothing minimal Latin American state in the process. And it attempted an electoral coup with a Latin American style fake impeachment attempt on a sitting president.
The Executive Branch is truly scary like a Latin American dictatorship that just dissolved Congress like they always do, having decided that Congress is no longer needed to declare war, I mean any war anywhere.
George Bush’s caudillo-style signing statements were one of the worst abuses of power the nation has ever seen. The government spent most of its time using the state to target and smear opponents, Latin American-style.
We have state governments who used corruption to redraw electoral maps in the spirit of utter contempt for democracy. The same states spend most of their time trying to prevent people from voting. Sort of like Latin America where armed troops stand outside the polling places and watch you vote. Who ya gonna vote for?
Now one of the political parties is apparently openly fascist in the style of a typical Latin American rightwing party. The other political p0arty of the so-called left is absolutely useless to lift a finger against the oligarchs, or worse, they are the oligarchs, once again in the style of Latin American Christian Democrats (Duarte) and social democrats (APRA, AD, PRI) who are anything but.
And now we have an open fascist running from President while a complaint press cheers. His opponent is an Accion Democratica-style fake left cipher. As usual, there’s no one to vote for. There’s violence in the streets and at the rallies. Politicians are making open violent threats against the opposition. Demonstrations turn into free for all’s between gangs of the hard Left and Right.
And I’m sitting here thinking, “Ok so when do the death squads start? The political assassinations? The cardboard shack slums tumbling down the hills for miles on end?”
I’m thinking I must be in the wrong hemisphere. Banana republic, here we come.
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.
Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.” Gen. Smedley Butler
This man was a general in the US military. And this is what he spent most of his time doing as a general in the US military – rampaging around Latin America overthrowing governments, raping countries, stealing resources and slaughtering people, all so US corporations could rule over their lands as de facto colonies of the United States. None of these countries were even given the opportunity to pursue an independent course of development. None of these actions were ever done in solidarity, instead they were all done in the name of neocolonial imperialism as part of the creation of the American Empire in Latin America, a project which is ongoing as I write this. That is correct, Latin America is still a colony of the United States. A few places tried to liberate themselves from US colonialism and achieve independence, and look what happened to them: Haiti, Grenada, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, and Brazil. Earlier cases involved Guatemala, the Dominican Republican, Guyana, and Chile. Brazil and Argentina just got taken down and the Venezuela is finally in the process of being taken down after over 15 years of unrelenting US warfare.
As you can see, raw, naked US imperialism of the most vicious and brutal kind has always been the way of the United States, dating back all the way to 1900. So we were nice guys before that? Nope. We sucked in the 1800’s too. The US spent most of the 1800’s slaughtering American Indians, stealing their land and stabbing them in the back with fake treaties. That was when we were not invading Mexico and stealing and annexing Mexican land.
Although we didn’t do much in Latin America in the 1800’s, that was only because there was not much to do down there. The US did not have much of a foreign policy period, and US corporations did not tend to operate overseas. Further all of Latin America was in the hands of the vicious and voracious Latin American ruling classes which kept their nations in the most abject poverty and pitiful underdevelopment while the rich stole every nickel the economies ever created, leaving everyone else in rags holding the bag. Rule by the vicious 1% has always been a-ok with the US; in fact, this is how we prefer it. Any nation that overthrows rule by the rich to put in democratic rule by the people is usually taken out sooner or later by the United States, often using the very military that Butler lamented being a part of.
I would like to point out one very sorry thing. First of all, not one single thing has changed about US foreign policy since Smedley wrote those famous words. This is still exactly what US foreign policy in Latin America and to a lesser extent other places is composed of. And in between the time Butler is describing until our present day, what he describes has been US foreign policy the entire time. We’ve never had a decent foreign policy for a day in this country. Even the most liberal regimes pursued vicious foreign policies. FDR’s foreign policy in Latin America was monstrous – “Somoza may be a sonofabitch, but he’s our sonofabitch.” Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive reformer at home and a monster overseas. “Walk softly and carry a big stick” was his vicious, violent, brutal policy of conquest and dictatorial rule in Latin America. In fact, most of the continent was actually officially colonized under Teddy’s rule. This has always been the way in US politics. That disgusting foreign policy described by Butler has been fully embraced by both parties from Day One. The Democrats were down with it just as much as the Republicans. This is what was known as “the bipartisan foreign policy consensus.” The Democrats were only progressive on domestic issues. They were just as reactionary as Republicans on foreign policy. The two parties have always only differed on domestic policy. This year is no different. In fact, this year Hitlery’s foreign policy is actually much more rightwing and imperialist than even the Republican Donald Trump’s! Trump isn’t really an anti-imperialist, but he’s the closest thing to one in US politics – a good, old-fashioned isolationist. The upshot is that his foreign policy actually ends up being a lot more progressive than “liberal” Democrat Killary’s. Unbelievable! The Democrats are more rightwing that the Republicans!
There doesn’t seem to be any way out of this imperial bullshit. This crap has been the America way for so long that I am not sure that we as a country understand any other way of looking at the world. It’s gotten to where this vicious imperial foreign policy is the only thing we understand. We literally do not know how to act any other way. And when you get both parties in on the program along with ~100% of the media, you have what amounts to 100% US political, corporate and media elite consensus on the outlines of a foreign policy along with a full spectrum dominance way of promoting it. Poll after poll for years shows that Americans almost always support whatever shenanigans US foreign policy is up to at the moment. So the elites do not have to worry about the masses marching in the streets over foreign policy. Americans are always in complete lockstep with foreign policy probably due to media brainwashing. Deep state media control is so complete that the entire media spectrum typically supports anything and everything the Deep State does and believes foreign policy-wise. There’s literally no dissent. The media is that controlled, 100% controlled. With wall to wall 24-7 broadcasting, net and news publishing it’s no surprised that on foreign policy, Americans appear about as brainwashed as a North Korean.
Colombia has a very strange political system. There are two main political parties, the Liberals and the Conservatives, who are striking in that there seems to be so little difference between them. They are both parties of the Colombian ruling class, possibly representing a “liberal” versus “conservative” split in the ruling class a long time ago. Just guessing, the split may have had something to do with religion with the conservatives being the more religious party and wanting a bigger role for the Church in the state and the liberals being more modernizing reformers who were more secular and dedicated to more of a church-state split.
Unbelievably, these two ruling class parties who are barely different at all, spent the entire 1950’s murdering each other by the hundreds of thousands in an insane bloodletting called “La Violencia.” A Leftist politican (I think his name was Galan) was elected in the late 1940’s, but he was quickly murdered by the Colombian ruling class, which is what they always do with any Leftist who wins an election down there. This was the first time that Colombia had elected anyone even remotely resembling a progressive reformer, so of course the ruling class murdered him immediately. His killing set off huge riots all over Colombia that raged for a long time and were difficult to put down.
I believe that this set off the Violencia because I think Galan, a Leftist, actually ran on the Liberal ticket. Most of the people slaughtering each other during this idiotic Violencia were just the Colombian urban poor and the poor peasants of the rural areas. The ruling classes formed armies out of these poor people and sent them out to commit mass murder on each other.
After 300,000 deaths caused by the Colombian ruling class in the Violencia, the roots of the Marxist revolution down there took hold. The FARC were the remains of Violencia fighters who said the heck with this war and took refuge at a place called Mariatelia in Colombia in 1964 and set up communal farms there. They were tired of fighting and just wanted to be left alone.
The Colombian media went crazy screaming about the “Communist government” that seceded from the state had formed down there. The CIA was in on this wild propaganda process from the start.
Eventually the Colombian government went down to this area with a large army force and attacked these communes with massive weaponry. The Pentagon and the CIA were involved in the battle. The US and the Colombians even used chemical weapons to try to exterminate these farmers. The farmers fought back, but they were outnumbered. Maybe 90-95% of them were killed, but a few survived.
The survivors realized that there was no way to live in peace with what has always been a genocidal Colombian ruling class, and they took up arms to defend themselves. This is the way that almost all Leftwing guerrilla wars got started in the Cold War. The Left got tired of sitting around waiting for the government to come out and murder them, so they decided that as long as the government was going to come out and try to kill them, they might as well get some guns and try to defend themselves. This is how the FMLN, the URNG, the FARC, the ELN, the Sandinistas and even the MRTA got started.
So this was the beginning of Manuel “Sure Shot” Marulanda and the FARC, essentially created by the mass murders of the Pentagon and the CIA in Colombia.
RL: “The shortages of these goods is occurring because the private sector is refusing to make/import them or make/import enough of them.”
Tulio: I’d need further proof of that. The free market should handle such issues. If one manufacturing of widgets is withholding production that’s an opportunity for another to open up and take his market share.
Well, why isn’t the Venezuelan free market operating as it should then? Does the commenter have any theories on what is causing all of these shortages? If it’s not economic warfare, then what the Hell is causing the shortages? You can’t just shoot down theories you don’t like. You have to shoot them down and then offer another theory instead. What does the commenter think is causing all of these shortages in a capitalist-run economy?
Got any theories?
Hint: The business class is trying to take down the Chavistas by creating an economic crisis and using that crisis to take out the Chavistas.
Has the commenter studied what happened when the US got together with the Chilean business class to wage an economic war and make the Chilean economy scream in order to create an economic crisis that they could use as an excuse to stage a coup against Allende? If you study what happened during the economic war that was waged on Allende, you will see that what is happening in Venezuela is almost exactly the same thing that was done in Chile.
Further, members of the Bolivian business community are quoted on the record as being furious that Evo Morales came into power and vowed to take him out with any means they had. Reporters asked them how they would take down the Morales government, and the business leaders stated that they would wage economic war, stop or slow down all production, create massive shortages and an economic crisis, and then use that to take down the Morales government.
So with the evidence from Chile 1970-1973 and the recent comments by Latin American capitalists in Bolivia, we see that economic warfare to get rid of leftwing governments is very much part of the playbook for the Latin American ruling classes and business sectors.
There are price controls on a lot of the goods. You can make a modest profit on the price controlled goods, and the government keeps raising the price controls all the time under pressure from business. But ever since those price controls went in, the entire business sector has refused to produce or import any price controlled products. Only some basic products are price controlled. Most things you find in the stores are not price controlled.
They would produce something similar to the price controlled product but not quite the same. Rice was price controlled, but the capitalists started importing some special rice products that were not controlled where they could make a huge profit. Chicken was price controlled, but the capitalists just started producing some other sort of chicken (rotisserie chicken?) that was not controlled that got a much larger profit.
This caused terrible problems for a while, but finally the state said, “Ok, you capitalists do not want to produce these price controlled products, then we the state will import them.” So for quite a few years, the state used oil money to import all of the products that were price controlled. This worked very well for a long time, and the shelves were full. The capitalists produced or imported more expensive high profit goods, and the state imported price controlled staples.
However, this all came crashing down with the oil price crash. The state is now broke and can no longer import all of the price controlled staple goods. And the business sector has refused to produce or import price controlled staples ever since the controls went in. So there’s a big reason for the shortages right there.
If the capitalists import products, they can make much more money smuggling the goods to Colombia or selling them on the black market as opposed to selling them on the shelves of Venezuelan stores, so that’s what they do with a lot of imported goods. And any goods they produce may also be smuggled to Colombia or sold on the black market because you can make a much higher profit that way instead of selling them to legitimate outlets.
Also the capitalists need dollars to import products. So they get dollars from the state to import things. So the businesses are always going to the state asking for these cheap dollars saying they want them to import things that are in shortage. So the government gives them the dollars to import things, but instead of using them to import the products in shortage, they play money games with the cheap dollars on the currency markets in the black market.
Also a lot of capitalists have simply stopped making much of anything and instead are playing games with money by speculating in the currency market in the black market, where huge profits may be obtained by selling cheap state dollars at the black market price.