Category Archives: Peru

Regime Change Fails: Is a Military Coup or Invasion of Venezuela Next?

Great article from Global Research on US machinations against Venezuela. I am not sure if the US would invade Venezuela, but under Trump, all bets are off. The man is a lunatic and so is his insane political party and he and they are capable of anything. However, if we invaded Venezuela, it would set off a big war because a lot of Venezuelans would fight back.

Chavez has distributed guns and all sorts of arms to his supporters in the barrios and rural areas. These Chavista militias train all the time.

The Venezuelan Military would not surrender. Chavez purged the ranks of all of the rightwingers and he stacked the officer corps with his supporters. This was after the first coup when the officer corps supported the coup but the rank and file soldiers did not. That and countless armed masses marching on government buildings reversed the coup quite quickly.

Speaking at his alma mater, the University of Texas, on February 1, Secretary of State Tillerson suggested a potential military coup in VenezuelaTillerson then visited allied Latin American countries urging regime change and more economic sanctions on Venezuela. Tillerson is considering banning the processing or sale of Venezuelan oil in the United States and is discouraging other countries from buying Venezuelan oil. Further, the US is laying the groundwork for war against Venezuela.

In a series of tweets, Senator Marco Rubio, the Republican from Florida, where many Venezuelan oligarchs live, called for a military coup in Venezuela.

How absurd — remove an elected president with a military coup to restore democracy? Does that pass the straight face test? This refrain of Rubio and Tillerson seems to be the nonsensical public position of US policy.

The US has been seeking regime change in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez was elected in 1998. Trump joined Presidents Obama and Bush before him in continuing efforts to change the government and put in place a US-friendly oligarch government.

They came closest in 2002 when a military coup removed Chavez. The Commander-in-Chief of the Venezuelan military announced Chavez had resigned and Pedro Carmona, of the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, became interim president. Carmona dissolved the National Assembly and Supreme Court and declared the Constitution void. The people surrounded the presidential palace and seized television stations, and Carmona resigned and fled to Colombia. Within 47 hours, civilians and the military restored Chavez to the presidency. The coup was a turning point that strengthened the Bolivarian Revolution and showed people could defeat a coup and exposed the US and oligarchs.

US Regime Change Tactics Have Failed In Venezuela

The US and oligarchs continue their efforts to reverse the Bolivarian Revolution. The US has a long history of regime change around the world and has tried all of its regime change tools in Venezuela. So far they have failed.

Economic War

Destroying the Venezuelan economy has been an ongoing campaign by the US and oligarchs. It is reminiscent of the US coup in Chile which ended the presidency of Salvador Allende. To create the environment for the Chilean coup, President Nixon ordered the CIA to “make the economy scream.”

Henry Kissinger devised the coup, noting a billion dollars of investment were at stake. He also feared the “the insidious model effect” of the example of Chile leading to other countries breaking from the United States and capitalism. Kissinger’s top deputy at the National Security Council, Viron Vaky, opposed the coup, saying,

“What we propose is patently a violation of our own principles and policy tenets .… If these principles have any meaning, we normally depart from them only to meet the gravest threat . . . our survival.”

These objections hold true regarding recent US coups, including in Venezuela and Honduras, Ukraine, and Brazil, among others. Allende died in the coup and wrote his last words to the people of Chile, especially the workers, “Long live the people! Long live the workers!” He was replaced by Augusto Pinocheta brutal and violent dictator.

For decades the US has been fighting an economic war, “making the economy scream,” in Venezuela. Wealthy Venezuelans have been conducting economic sabotage aided by the US with sanctions and other tactics. This includes hoarding food, supplies and other necessities in warehouses or in Colombia, while Venezuelan markets are bare. The scarcity is used to fuel protests, e.g. “The March of the Empty Pots,” a carbon copy of marches in Chile before the September 11, 1973 coup. Economic warfare has escalated through Obama and under Trump, with Tillerson now urging economic sanctions on oil.

President Maduro recognized the economic hardship but also said sanctions open up the opportunity for a new era of independence and “begin the stage of post-domination by the United States, with Venezuela again at the center of this struggle for dignity and liberation.” The second-in-command of the Socialist Party, Diosdado Cabello, said,

 “[if they] apply sanctions, we will apply elections.”

Opposition Protests

Another common US regime change tool is supporting opposition protests. The Trump administration renewed regime change operations in Venezuela, and the anti-Maduro protests which began under Obama grew more violent. The opposition protests included barricades, snipers, and murders, as well as widespread injuries. When police arrested those using violence, the US claimed Venezuela opposed free speech and protests.

The opposition tried to use the crackdown against violence to achieve the US tactic of  dividing the military. The US and Western media ignored opposition violence and blamed the Venezuelan government instead. Violence became so extreme it looked like the opposition was pushing Venezuela into a Syrian-type civil war. Instead, opposition violence backfired on them.

Violent protests are part of US regime change repertoire. This was demonstrated in the US coup in Ukraine, where the US spent $5 billion to organize government opposition, including the US and EU funding violent protesters. This tactic was used in early US coups like the 1953 Iran coup of Prime Minister Mossadegh. The US has admitted organizing this coup that ended Iran’s brief experience with democracy. Like Venezuela, a key reason for the Iran coup was control of the nation’s oil.

Funding Opposition

There has been massive US investment in creating opposition to the Venezuelan government. Tens of millions of dollars have been openly spent through USAID, the National Endowment for Democracy, and other related US regime change agencies. It is unknown how much the CIA has spent from its secret budget, but the CIA has definitely been involved in Venezuela. Current CIA director, Mike Pompeo, said he is “hopeful there can be a transition in Venezuela.”

The United States has also educated leaders of opposition movements, e.g. Leopoldo López, was educated at private schools in the US, including CIA-associated Kenyon College. He was groomed at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and made repeated visits to the regime change agency, the National Republican Institute.

Elections

While the US calls Venezuela a dictatorship, it is in fact a strong democracy with an excellent voting system. Election observers monitor every election.

In 2016, the economic crisis led to the opposition winning a majority in the National Assembly. One of their first acts was to pass an amnesty law. The law described 17 years of crimes including violent felonies and terrorism committed by the opposition. It was an admission of crimes back to the 2002 coup and through 2016. The law demonstrated violent treason against Venezuela. One month later, the Supreme Court of Venezuela ruled the amnesty law was unconstitutional. US media, regime change advocates and anti-Venezuela human rights groups attacked the Supreme Court decision, showing their alliance with the admitted criminals.

Years of violent protests and regime change attempts and then admitting their crimes in an amnesty bill have caused those opposed to the Bolivarian Revolution to lose power and become unpopular.  In three recent elections Maduro’s party won regional, local and the Constituent Assembly elections.

The electoral commission announced the presidential election will be held on April 22. Maduro will run for re-election with the United Socialist Party. Opposition leaders such as Henry Ramos and Henri Falcon have expressed interest in running, but the opposition has not decided whether to participate. Henrique Capriles, who narrowly lost to Maduro in the last election, was banned from running for office because of irregularities in his campaign, including taking foreign donations. Capriles has been a leader of the violent protests. When his ban was announced he called for protests to remove Maduro from office. Also banned was Leopoldo Lopez, another leader of the violent protests who is under house arrest serving a thirteen year sentence for inciting violence.

Now the United States says it will not recognize the presidential election and urges a military coup. For two years, the opposition demanded presidential elections, but now it is unclear whether they will participate. They know they are unpopular, and Maduro is likely to be re-elected.

Is War Against Venezuela Coming?

A military coup faces challenges in Venezuela, as the people, including the military, are well educated about US imperialism. Tillerson openly urging a military coup makes it more difficult.

The government and opposition recently negotiated a peace settlement entitled “Democratic Coexistence Agreement for Venezuela.” They agreed on all of the issues including ending economic sanctions, scheduling elections, and more. They agreed on the date of the next presidential election. It was originally planned for March, but in a concession to the opposition, it was  rescheduled for the end of April. Maduro signed the agreement even though the opposition did not attend the signing ceremony. They backed out after Colombian President Santos, who was meeting with Secretary Tillerson, called and told them not to sign. Maduro will now make the agreement a public issue by allowing the people of Venezuela to sign it.

Not recognizing elections and urging a military coup are bad enough, but more disconcerting is that Admiral Kurt Tidd, head of Southcom, held a closed door meeting in Colombia after Tillerson’s visit. The topic was “regional destabilization,” and Venezuela was a focus.

A military attack on Venezuela from its Colombian and Brazilian borders is not far fetched. In January, the NY Times asked, “Should the US military invade Venezuela?” President Trump said the US is considering US military force against Venezuela. His chief of staff, John Kelly, was formerly the general in charge of Southcom. Tidd has claimed the crisis, created in large part by the economic war against Venezuela, requires military action for humanitarian reasons.

War preparations are already underway in Colombia, which plays the role of Israel for the US in Latin America. The coup government in Brazil increased its military budget 36 percent and participated in Operation: America United, the largest joint military exercise in Latin American history. It was one of four military exercises by the US with Brazil, Colombia, and Peru in Latin America in 2017. The US Congress ordered the Pentagon to develop military contingencies for Venezuela in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act.

While there is opposition to US military bases, James Patrick Jordan explains, on our radio show, the US has military bases in Colombia and the Caribbean and military agreements with countries in the region; and therefore, Venezuela is already surrounded.

The United States is targeting Venezuela because the Bolivarian Revolution provides an example against US imperialism. An invasion of Venezuela will become another war-quagmire that kills innocent Venezuelans, US soldiers, and others over control of oil. People in the United States who support the self-determination of countries should show solidarity with Venezuelans, expose the US agenda, and publicly denounce regime change. We need to educate people about what is really happening in Venezuela to overcome the false media coverage.

Share this article and the interview we did on Clearing The FOG about Venezuela and the US’ role in Latin America.  The fate of Venezuela is critical for millions of Latin Americans struggling under the domination of US Empire.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers are co-directors of Popular Resistance where this article was originally published.

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How the Right Uses Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric to Further Its Reactionary Goals

I am not going to discuss here the rightwing use of anti-immigration policy as a way of politicizing racism, nor as a means of splintering the working class and getting a lot of workers to vote for the parties of the ruling class by voting for rightwing anti-immigrant politicians. Both of those are well-known goals of anti-immigrant discourse.

Not that anti-immigrant discourse is all bad. There are times when immigration is out of control and things need to be brought under order. The use of foreign workers are temporary low wage scabs to increase profits, the abuse of the refugee program, large numbers of problematic immigrants coming to a country, immigrants straining government services, illegal immigrants, environmental degradation by mass immigration, changing the nation’s ethnic and cultural character via mass immigration of foreigners, all of these things are examples of some of the negative effects that can occur via unregulated or poorly regulated immigration.

What I wish to talk about here is something different: anti-immigration rhetoric as a rightwing diversion from rightwing projects, in this case to dismantle the state.

A wildly corrupt and outrageous rightwing parliamentary coup followed by a blatantly corrupt trial of the head of the former president resulted in a hard rightwing putschist state pursuing a radical reactionary project of dismantling all of the progressive reforms of the leftwing PT government under President Lula. Since then, public institutions have been systematically defunded even when they were already underfunded to start with in part because Brazil has never once taxed the rich in its entire existence as a nation. So public services are collapsing due to defunding in the same way that public entities collapsed under rightwing Sam Brownblack in Kansas and the NHS is presently collapsing in the UK due to a death by a thousand cuts via the Tory government.

Public frustration over the collapsing state is at a high level. At the same time, many new immigrants have been coming into Brazil due to the rightwing and US-created collapse of the economy there.

You need to understand about immigration in Latin America. It does not have the racist overtones of the debate here in the US about immigration. Also the income differences between the countries of Latin America are not vast. Latin American nations consider all Latin Americans to be part of a single ethnic mixed race people sharing a single Latin American basic culture. In many countries, the immigrants speak the same language as the residents. This makes even mass immigration much more of a “meh” issue in Latin America than it is here. All Latin Americans are brothers, ethnically, culturally and often linguistically, so why not let your brothers into your house when they desire shelter from a storm?

Hence, even White Argentina has been taking in large numbers of mestizo immigrants from Peru and Bolivia lately with a promise to soon legalize them all. Even heavily White Costa Rica has taken in 1-2 million mestizos from its neighbors who are either impoverished or devastated by street crime with an apparent promise to normalize most of them. Venezuela took in many Colombians fleeing war and poverty without batting an eye, and Colombia took in many rightwing Venezuelans fleeing Chavismo. Except in Mexico, immigrants are seldom deported in Latin America. The idea is to house, integrate and even legalize them as soon as possible.

Nevertheless, the line of Venezuelan immigrants has turned into a flood in some cities.

Brazil’s rightwing gangster state has made clever use of the problems of mass Venezuelan immigration by deviously blaming the collapsed public services (devastated and defunded by rightwing evisceration) on the masses of Venezuelan immigrants! This is apparently not true at all. The immigrants are not overwhelming public services and causing them to collapse. Instead the public services are collapsing via gutting by the rightwing state.

But the government has the people whipped into a wild nativist frenzy over this. This is in spite of the fact that Brazilians and Venezuelans are probably little different ethnically – both being some mixture of Black, White, and Indian. The result has been daily attacks on Venezuelan immigrants in some cities and most recently a spate of high profile arson attacks on buildings housing Venezuelan immigrants.

This could be called attacks on immigrants as a diversion from anti-people rightwing projects. It’s a way of getting people to look the other way and scapegoat innocent people while the state is dismantled by the rich.

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Liberation Theology: Jesus Christ as Marxist Guerrilla in the Jungle with a Machine Gun

From the Sandinistas of Nicaragua to the URNG of Guatemala to the guerrilla column in Honduras led by the Irish Catholic priest in 1983 to Father Aristide’s Lavalas in Haiti to the ELN in Colombia to the Chavistas in Venezuela, all of these radical leftwing groups had one thing in common: they all came out of Liberation Theology, more or less a “Jesus Christ, Marxist guerrilla in the jungle with a machine gun” type of armed to the teeth Catholicism.

Liberation Theology came out a movement of Professors of Pedagogy in Brazil in 1964, especially an influential book written by a priest named Gutierrez. The argument was that teaching in Latin America was an overtly political act, and teachers should ideally by Leftist revolutionaries. Out of this flowed many documents laying out Liberation Theology or “the preferential option for the poor.” It was most powerful among lay workers, of which there are many in Latin America. In heavily Catholic areas, Catholic lay workers are nearly an army.

The French Communist Party in  France long had Catholic roots as did the PCI in Italy. Near the end of his life, Fidel Castro praised Catholicism and said he was a “cultural Catholic.” Hugo Chavez and the Chavistas were of course a ferocious part of the Catholic Left. Chavez Leftism was heavily infused with the social teachings of the Catholic Church.

Even the viciously anti-Christian Sendero Luminoso in Peru had many supporters in the Catholic Church, mostly at the lay and priest level but surprisingly all the way up to the bishop level. Sendero killed many reactionary Protestant missionaries in their war, but they left the priests alone.

The great Edith Lagos, a 19 year old year revolutionary woman who led one of the first Sendero columns, was killed in battle in 1982. Her funeral in Ayacucho at night a bit later attracted 30,000 visitors, nearly the entire population of the town. Everyone was in line for the funeral – the local police, the local government and of course the entire local  Catholic clergy. The line wormed all through the city for hours far into the night. She was treated to an actual Catholic funeral right there in the church led by the local priest. Her casket stood next to the priest as he delivered his sermon. It had a Sendero Communist flag on it.

A communist flag on a coffin in a Catholic church! The crowd then filed out through the town to the graveyard where she was buried in the middle of the night. Her tomb exists to this day, although it has been repeatedly bombed by reactionaries. Local Indians make patronages to the tomb on a regular basis, leaving flowers at it. Rumor has it that she has obtained informal sainthood and is now Saint Edith Lagos in the local Catholic Churches.

FARC called itself officially atheist, although they had the support of many priests in the countryside where the FARC held sway. Nevertheless, most FARC rank and file were Catholics.

In Paraguay, a former guerrilla was elected president. He was also a former Catholic priest.

The armed Marxist Left in Uruguay and Brazil also had deep links to the Catholic Church.

In the US, we have something called Cold War liberals. This is the pathetic Left of the United States,  people who would be rightwingers or center-right anywhere else on Earth.

 

 

 

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Jesus Was a Socialist

Modern Protestant Prosperity Doctrine is such a perversion of the spirit of Christianity that it can only be seen as a heresy.

Jesus famously said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into Heaven.” This comment is very poorly understood – most seem to think he is talking about a camel actually walking through the eye of a sewing needle, which is of course not possible. However, at the time, “The Eye of the Needle” was a pass high in the mountains of Palestine. It was indeed passable, but it was such an ardous climb over such rugged mountains that many camels simply could not hack the trek and were not able to accomplish the journey. Hence, it was possible for a camel to go through the Eye of the Needle, but it was not an easy task at all, and many simply could not cut it. And so it was with the rich and their chances of heavenly grace and redemption according to Jesus.

Liberation Theology, the Catholic doctrine of the Social Gospel updated and radicalized in Latin America to “Jesus with a machine gun” was utilized by many armed guerrilla groups as a religion of revolution, even armed revolution.

The philosophy of this doctrine was to preach for “the preferential option of the poor,” and this is right in accord with Catholic Social Gospel if not a supercharged form of it. It is seen in Latin America as a nearly subversive and even insurrectionist doctrine, and in a sense it is, although most LT preachers and lay people are not armed.

In fact, Venezuelan Bolivarianism or Chavismo was profoundly influenced by Liberation Theology and there is evidence that many of the other New Left regimes in Latin America were also. LT was a huge influence on the Sandinistas, the FMLN guerrillas and now politicians in El Salvador, the ELN in Colombia (founded by an actual priest with a machine gun, Camilo Torres), the PT of Lula and Dilma Youssef in Brazil, Evo Morales in Bolivia, possibly Correa in Ecuador and certainly Paraguay under Fernando Lugo of Paraguay, a former priest and guerrilla who ruled that land until a US sponsored coup removed him.

The Lavalas Movement in Haiti of Jon Bertrand Aristide, also removed in a US-sponsored coup, was profoundly influenced by LT; in fact, Aristide himself was a preacher of Liberation Theology.

In recent decades, there has been a lot of discussion in Cuba about a “Catholic Communism” and now that believers may join the party, this movement seems to be on an upswing. The novel doctrine was that Catholicism and Marxism were indeed compatible with each other instead of being oxymoronic. Castro himself stated that he was a “social Catholic” a few years before he died.

The extent to which LT has influenced the regimes of Batchelet in Chile or Fernandez in Argentina, the former guerrillas in power in Uruguay under Jose Mujica, or Ollanta Humala in Peru is not known, although there were many LT preachers in Peru a few decades ago, and incredibly enough, many priests actually supported the Shining Path.

But the Social Gospel, Liberation Theology, and the “Catholic Communism” that developed in some European lands in the 20th Century have much more in common with a pure interpretation of Jesus’ teaching than the individualist and materialist Protestantism that developed in the US. “Jesus was a socialist” always makes more sense than “Jesus was a capitalist,” although most Evangelicals are loath to admit this. Nevertheless, they squirm and act uncomfortable when you bring it up, so it shows that on some level they at least worry it is true.

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Something Conservatives Will Never Understand: Armed Leftwing Revolutions Only Happen in Horrible Countries

I will grant that Colombia is more rightwing than the US, but at least they have a great Left. Hell, the Left down there is actually armed for Chrissake! They have guns, bombs, RPG’s full battle uniforms, you name it, and they use their weapons all the time to kill the conservative police and army, who very much deserve it.

This shows what happens when your society goes too rightwing or when your rightwing goes too rightwing. Not only do you get a monstrous, fascist, usually murderous Right, but, just as sure as night follows day, you end up with a very radical Left that in many cases arms itself against the murderous Right.

Extremes beget extremes. Do you really need to read Marx to figure that out? Hell, I bet I could explain that to a 5th grader and they would nod their head in agreement.

But show me an American conservative anywhere who agrees with that statement. Nope, according to the US Establishment, the radical Left rises out of ether for no apparent reason at all other than sheer fanatical evil to overthrow the capitalism that their ideology orders them to blindly hate.

While the USSR was still around, it was a convenient White Whale for any stirrings of the radical Left.

Why is the Left armed to the teeth down there, killing people left and right? Well, Number One is just because they are evil. Idiots, but evil idiots.

Are they taking up arms for any reason? Of course not, there is never an indigenous reason for any Left revolution. Well, what’s the cause of it? Cuba! And the USSR! The Cubans and the Russians put them up to it! Oh God, what crap this is. But this is the ideology of the entire US political establishment and the entire US media for decades now. And it is the lunatic ideology of the vast majority of the American people since 1946.

We lie like this because the truth is hard to swallow.

The Communists were not stupid. The individual CP’s in various countries generally felt that only when the capitalist conditions in the country approached a truly horrorshow of a Hell would there be reason for revolution. Otherwise they would always try to take power by peaceful means. Many a CP ruled many, many times that the country was not in a revolutionary situation and hence taking up arms was not justified. I can’t tell you how many documents I have read that said X country was not in a revolutionary situation right now so taking up arms was illegitimate.

Taking up arms was always an extreme last resort for any CP in any country. And when people did take up arms in what was seen as a non-revolutionary situation, as with the Shining Path in Peru, the vast majority of the Left lined up with the state against the Marxist rebels. Nevertheless, even in those cases there were variables. Towards the end the situation in Peru had gotten so horrific with the war and the monstrous turn of the state into a murderous charnelhouse that a number of parties around 1992 declared that the country was now in a revolutionary situation and it was acceptable to take up arms. That is why a number of other groups took up arms in 1992 at the peak of the war.

In many cases, CP’s even cruelly denied help to local CP’s on the grounds that they were not in a revolutionary situation.

Every American hates North Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh, but he was a rational man and North Vietnam was a reasonable state.

After the cancelled elections of 1954 which were ruined by the US (the UN ordered elections in the country, and the US ordered South Vietnam not to participate), the South Vietnamese Communist Party (really the Viet Cong) tried to obtain power by peaceful means. They were not armed with a single bullet. Nevertheless, with strong US support, the South Vietnamese government murdered 80,000 unarmed South Vietnamese Communist civilians between 1954-1960.

All this time, the South Vietnamese Communists were asking for permission from North Vietnam to take up arms. The North consistently refused armed support, so 80,000 Communists died. This shows you how grave most CP’s thought the decision to take up arms was. Finally in 1960, the North gave the South permission to take up arms, and the war was on. As you can see, South Vietnam started the Vietnam War by killing 80,000 unarmed civilians with the enthusiastic help of the US. The Viet Cong actually took up arms in self-defense. They simply got tired of sitting in their villages and waiting for the government to come murder them. They decided that if the state was going to try to kill them anyway, they might as well pick up a gun and defend themselves against the killers.

If you study most Communist revolutions in the 20th Century, this was the case in almost every single one of them. The decision to take up arms was only a last resort when conditions in the country deteriorated drastically and in particular when all peaceful methods of change were blocked. In the 20th Century, Communists almost always took up arms grudgingly, as a last resort and typically in self defense.

If you had a decent country, you never had to worry about an armed Left rebellion. If you had a shithole, well, a Left revolution was definitely something to worry about. The conclusion here is that every country that had an armed Left revolution in the 20th Century basically asked for it and got what they deserved. It was the fault of the leaders of every one of those countries for making conditions so horrible that the Left took up arms in the first place.

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Anatomy of a Lie: All Latin American Revolutions Came from Cuba and the USSR

Jason: Also, the left not only believes the other side will torture them like on Hostel, but they believe the US is aiding the right. I suppose at one time, the right thought the USSR was aiding the left, but I think the real facts were exaggerated.

They have good reasons to think that. Do you realize that hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans have in fact been tortured like in Hostel? All with the approval, coaching, cheerleading and assistance of the US?

The USSR was aiding the Left only in a sense. In only a very few countries had an armed revolutions had sprung up and Cuba was aiding them. Russia gave the Cubans lots of arms and the Cubans smuggled them to Nicaragua and then to the rebels in El Salvador. That was it as far as I can tell.

The revolutionaries in the following countries never got one bullet or one nickel from Cuba or the USSR:

Guatemala: URNG and others 1954-1994
Colombia: ELN, FARC 1964-present
Peru: focos in the 1960’s, Sendero Luminoso 1980-present, MRTA 1984-1996
Ecuador: Sendero Luminoso 1990
Venezuela: small focos in the 1960’s and 1970’s
Brazil: urban guerrillas in the 1960’s
Uruguay: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Bolivia: Sendero Luminoso 1990, MIR 1960’s
Paraguay: recent guerrillas supported by the FARC 2012-present
Argentina: Tupamaros 1970-1983
Nicaragua: Sandinistas 1964-1979
Honduras: small guerrilla bands in the 1980’s
Chile: Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front 1970-1989, Lautaro Front 1990’s

As you can see, armed revolutions started up in all of those countries at one time or another usually for very good reasons. The Right tried to blame all this revolutionary activity on the USSR bogeyman. But the USSR never gave any of those groups one bullet or one dime. The Right also claimed and still does that everything was peachy clean and hunky dory in all of those countries except for the evil Soviets coming in and stirring things up by giving those university students all those funny ideas. This is complete nonsense. The truth is that if you have a decent country, you never get Left guerrillas, rural, urban or otherwise.

You only get an armed Left when your country is a complete Hellhole. The way to defeat an armed Left is to create at least a semblance of a decent society. If you do that, the Left will lay down its arms and even join the government.

The US always wants to say that rebels have no agency.

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Latin American Politics Finally Comes To America

I guess Chile has their version of the mighty keyboard warrior like the US. No shortage of white shit for brains running around say they’re going get rid of all the Jews and blacks.. then you have a fair number of blacks running around saying they’re going to get rid of their white oppressors.. etc. Totally delusional twats. Maybe rightists are a serious problem in Chile but I don’t consider YouTube comments a proper gauge of sentiment and support.

I have been engaged off and on in deep study of this region since 1989. 28 years.

You don’t understand Chile. You don’t understand Latin America.

Really the entire rightwing down there is exactly like this. The rich, elite Whites’ basic attitude in almost every country down there is “All Communists must be killed.” And Communist means anyone even slightly left of center. A huge % of the population in Chile is still pro-Pinochet, and this is precisely how they think.

The Left stages marches and protests all the time, often is support of Allende. Rightists, of whom there are many supporters still meet them and there is wild street fighting. Rightists then stage marches often in support of Pinochet. The Left shows up and there is wild street fighting.

Did some searches.. looks like the bigger demonstrations were over education and state (or lack of it) support. Seem to follow the US model – most of the protests are peaceful but then you have “the hooded ones” raising a ruckus. I couldn’t find anything that indicated there were large counter protests by rightists – not saying that didn’t happen but I just couldn’t find them If you have a link or links I’ll take a look.

Ok, well I think I may have read this some time ago. I do remember reading it, but it could have been a while back. It could well have been years ago, or a decade or more ago. But at one time in recent history, this is how it was.

Perhaps the Left vs. Right riots have quieted down in recent years, but that’s the way it was not long ago.

Protests in Chile have historically been far more riotous and violent than demos in the US. There’s not really any comparison. Anyway, violent riots on the US Left are a relatively new phenomenon. Trump is a corrupt, vicious, evil ultraright dictator ruling in a typical Latin American model. All of the Latin American Right is exactly like Donald Trump. That’s why the Left is so violent down there. Trump has succeeded in finally bringing Latin American ultraright fascism to America. So it follows that we are following the Latin American model in that the Left has grown militant, and Left demos now often turn riotous and violent just as they do in Latin America.

This sort of thing is so predictable that you can write near mathematical laws of political science predicting it. A nation can only go so far to the extreme right and it can only become unequal to a certain level. Once it passes that level, it has crossed some sort of Rubicon and now in most any nation you automatically get a militant, riotous and violent Left. It’s as close to a law as the sort you can get in mathematics and physics.

In Chile, the Indians are treated horribly and engage in continuous demonstrations which usually turn into riots.

I was following Latin American politics a lot on the Net a few years back, and most demos in Chile seemed to turn into the typical Latin American demonstration -> riot progression. Most demos in Latin America turn riotous from my observation, at least in Venezuela, Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, and even Mexico. The conditions are so insanely unequal down there that any working class demo quickly turns into a riot.

Violence, riots, coups, extremes of Left and Right politics, lack of democracy and extreme instability are typical of the entire region and now we are importing precisely this model to the US.

I am leaving out Argentina, but the Argentine Right was recently calling for a military coup against Kirchner.

In Paraguay, a legislative coup threw out the leftwinger.

A legislative coup just threw out Rouseff, the left president of Brazil.

There have been many coup and quasi-coup attempts in Venezuela. You could well say there has been a continuous coup since 2002.

In Colombia, yes, left demos usually turn violent or riotous. On the other hand, if you are on the Left down there, you can be murdered by the government at any time.

There was a military coup in Honduras, and now anyone on the Left can be killed at any time. Death squads have killed over 1,000 people.

A US coup removed Aristide in Haiti. The new US installed government quickly murdered 3,000 people.

Why the commenter is trying to polish this Latin American turd is beyond me.

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Alt Left: Civil War? Bring It On!

Well, low level civil war in the present form of pre-civil war or civil strife anyway is just fine. It’s not ok to promote anything beyond that right now though.

Here.

A new article in Salon says that Trump has set off a civil war in America. As a supporter of the very similar Revolutionary movements of the 1960’s and 1970’s, which also erupted into a near civil war, the Alt Left supports this low- level civil war (civil strife) completely. Right now what is going on is like a pre-civil war or what is often referred to as civil strife. The civil war will pretty much only start if and when people start killing each other, and that’s not happening…yet. Hopefully it will not come to that because not only will the enemy start dying but we will too. That means you, me, our friends and loved ones. It’s generally better if civil strife does not move to a shooting civil war level barring extreme circumstances.

The only thing that is happening now is street fights between the Left and Right, similar to the Left vs. Right street thugs fighting in the streets in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s. It also similar to civil strife that goes on in Latin America. Particularly in Chile, left vs. right street fighting is very common. The Right is fascist and supports Pinochet. The Left is almost Communist or socialist and supports Salvador Allende and his followers. A woman from Allende’s own party is now governing the country. The Left regularly stages what can only be called pro-Allende demos, which are regularly raided by fascists who support Pinochet. Similarly, fascists regularly stage what are more or less pro-Pinochet demos which are regularly invaded by leftists. Street fighting between the two is very common.

People do not realize it but rioting is very common in Latin America. Venezuela had regular riots, often led by university students, even before Chavez came to office. After Chavez came in, the Opposition staged regular riots and demos in their neighborhoods. After a while, the Chavista police just sat back and let the Opposition trash their neighborhoods. The Chavista police must have had one of the most hands-off approaches to rioters in the world.

In Chile once again, high school students are now staging regular demos which typically turn into riots. This is because in this wealthy country, the schools are literally falling apart. These riots have been happening about once every three weeks now. The Chilean Indians are a much discriminated against population and popular racism against Indians is at a very high level.

I had a friend in Chile whose father worked for Allende and considered himself a progressive guy. He was majoring in sociology and he planned to go to the Indian regions to do fieldwork. However, this anti-Indian racism was off the charts from an American point of view. He also had wildly classist views which would be shocking in the US. Obviously any country afflicted with crazy high levels of classism and racism along with some of the worst wealth inequality on Earth is a pretty shitty place. In a shitty country, you might as well demonstrate and riot all the time because that is exactly what shitty countries deserve. If they ever clean up their act and turn into decent countries, I think the rioters in general should knock it off.

Rioting should only be for protesting truly noxious systems, not, for instance, against Swedish social democracy. It’s a very civilized and decent system and there’s nothing to riot about. But rightwing shitholes can have all the riots in the world for all I care. They asked for it by being rightwing shitholes. If they don’t want riots all the time, all they have to do is create a decent country.

Needless to say, the Chilean Indians riot on a very frequent basis. And Indian riot is almost banal down there. That’s how common it is.

I was very close to the politics of Peru for a while there and I got regular updates of the situation on the ground. Even leaving aside the fact that there was an armed and very deadly insurgency going on, besides that, on the Left in general (which did not necessarily support the insurgency at all) there were regular strikes and demonstrations.

A lot of the strikes were by people like teachers and physicians. Teachers’ unions are very militant in Latin America, they go on strike all the time, have regular demonstrations and they even riot quite a bit. Schoolteachers rioting seems odd in a US context but down there, it’s just normal. There are also almost constant demonstrations against mining and really for all manner of leftwing causes. It’s quite common for these to turn into riots. Even setting aside the insurgency, Peru struck me as a place where leftwing riots were quite common.

I don’t know much about civil strife in the rest of the continent. I saw a recent video of young people mostly in their late teens to mid twenties who appeared to be actually demonstrating in favor of the FARC guerrillas and against death squad activity directed at civilian supporters of the guerrilla. I was surprised that the FARC had that much support. The demonstration was quite violent to say the least.

I believe demonstrations are very common in Brazil and if I am not mistaken, they regularly become riots also.

This low level civil war or civil strife is a good thing in the US right now. Bottom line is we deserve it. We are turning into a true rightwing shithole along Latin American lines, and shitty countries deserve all the riots that rioters can unleash against them. Don’t like the rioting? Fine, put in a halfway decent government. Unless and until that happens, I say let the riots go on.

All of the following are important:

  • Calling or writing to your Congresspeople.
  • Attending town hall meetings of Congresspeople.
  • New laws at the state level
  • Anti-Trump lawsuits by states
  • Anti=Trump lawsuits by individuals and aggrived parties, often being taken by the ACLU right now.
  • Appearances by Congresspeople at areas of controversy, such as Congresspeople who tried to get travelers released from airports
  • Journalists writing highly critical and rabble rousing articles
  • Openly defiant and angry press organs, even such staid venues as the New York Times. There’s nothing with the NYT calling Trump a liar on the front page.
  • Letters to the editor
  • Signing petitions
  • Refusing service to Trump supporters in the workplace
  • Ending as many friendships with Trump supporters as you can handle
  • Various organizations leading peaceful demonstrations of all sorts such as the women’s march. Those demos can get pretty loud and rowdy, but without overt violence, they are still peaceful
  • Blocking highways
  • Walkout strikes
  • Wildcat strikes
  • Boycotts
  • Shopping strikes

And also nonpeaceful protest would seem to be in order. If we are truly turning into a nightmarish Latin American style rightwing shithole, then this country deserves as many riots as rioters can stage. Shitholes deserve nothing less until they clean up their act and turn into decent countries.

Among forms of nonviolent protest:

  • Looting of noxious corporate venues, especially window smashing.
  • Bonfires
  • Fireworks
  • Smoke bombs
  • Rocks, bricks and police barricades at windows of some venues, the purpose being merely to break windows at the venue.
  • Vandalism, especially of corporate property. Window smashing is just fine.
  • Arson, particularly of corporate property but especially of the property of our class enemies, such as the limousine burnt on January 20.

Violence against people.

  • Generally not recommended at this point.

This is a very tricky area and I am wrestling a lot with this one. In wars, the civilian supporters of the insurgency or state are supposed to be left alone. They seldom are in wars anymore, but they are supposed to be. This is why the fire bombings in Germany and Japan were so wrong. Even if Germans were supporting Nazis, it was not ok to set their cities aflame with the sole purpose of incinerating as many civilians as possible. Something very similar but much worse happened in Japan.

Of course the purpose of the atom bombs was to slaughter as many civilians as possible in order to end a war. The argument is typically raised that it was worth it to murder 300,000 Japanese civilians in a couple of days to end the war and that alternatives would have been more costly. Even with a goal of ending a war and supposedly saving lives by ending a war prematurely, it’s awful hard to justify mass slaughter of civilians, even if they are supporting a noxious regime. Killing thousands of civilians even for this purpose seems wrong, not to mention 10,000’s. Killing 100,000’s of civilians even for some supposedly noble goal gets very hard to justify under virtually any circumstances.

So if civilian supporters even of armed insurgencies and noxious regimes are not to be killed or even harmed for that matter, how is it ok to beat up Trump supporters. Now granted, things are much worse in hot wars. If all Assad’s army and supporters were doing was punching out rebel supporters, I doubt if anyone would care. I doubt if many would be bothered by German patriots clocking Nazi supporters during the war, assuming they could even get away with it. Likewise in Japan. The main argument in all of these cases is that state are actually mass murdering civilian supporters of insurgencies and civilian supporters of enemy states during state to state war. The argument never gets down to the level of if it’s ok to punch out guerrilla supporters or people backing a state in wartime in a state to state war.

Nevertheless, attacks on Trump supporters leave me a bit queasy. It may come down to that at some point, but for now, political violence against Opposition civilians doesn’t rub me the right way. Of course the antifa will do it anyway, we don’t have to stamp our approval on it. And it’s a thin line that separates a right hook from a group beating stomping someone to death. Single punches can turn into fatal beat downs faster than you can think.

For right now, nonpeaceful tactics should be limited to property damage, particularly of noxious corporations. Destroying the property of class enemies such as limousines is certainly acceptable. Even arson is ok against their property and that of noxious corporations, especially if you clear out the civilians just stick to burning stuff, not other people. A lot of limousines deserve to be torched and a lot of banks are asking for it too.

But I am going to butt out of attacks on people of the opposition. And surely, attacks with guns, bombs and whatnot are completely out of line at least at this stage. Now it may come down to a 1970’s revolutionary scenario where as late as 1972, 1,900 bombs went off in the US. That’s six bombs a day. Very few of them killed or even hurt other people as they were often set off late at night or preceded with warnings. Nevertheless, once you step it up to setting off bombs, it’s a whole new ballgame. We aren’t there yet, so such activities are not acceptable at the least.

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Are Brownshirt Gangs a Necessary Component of Fascism?

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?

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Trump Is Catastrophic No Matter What His Stance on Globalism Is

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.”

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