Source: Global Research
Dutch islands Aruba and Curazao are situated less than 50 miles off Venezuela’s northwest coast. Both small islands host US air force bases as a result of a 1999 contract between Washington and Holland establishing US Forward Operating Locations (FOLs) in the Caribbean colonies. Originally, the contract stipulated US military presence in Aruba and Curazao soley for counternarcotics missions. However, since September 2001, Washington uses all its military installations to combat perceived terrorist threats around the world. The military bases in Aruba and Curazao have been used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaisance missions against Venezuela during the past several years.
In 2006, Washington began conducting a series of high level military exercises using Curazao as the principal zone of operations. Hundreds of US aircraft carriers, warships, combat planes, Black Hawk helicopters, nuclear submarines and thousands of US military troops have been engaging in different military exercises and missions in the Caribbean region during the past years, causing substantial alarm and concern to nations in the region, particularly Venezuela, which has also been subject to hostile and agressive diplomatic actions from Washington.
In 2008, the Pentagon reactivated the Navy’s Fourth Fleet, charged with defending US interests in the Latin American region. The Fourth Fleet was deactivated in 1950, after accomplishing its original defense mission during World War II. The fleet’s reactivation nearly 60 years later was perceived by a majority of nations in Latin America as a direct threat to regional sovereignty and provoked South American countries to establish a Defense Council to deal with external threats. The Pentagon responded by proudly admitting the Fourth Fleet’s reactivation was a “showing of US force and power in the region” and a demonstration that the US “will defend its regional allies”. This was perceived as direct support to Colombia, and an attempt to intimidate Venezuela.
Colombia and the US have signed a military cooperation agreement authorizing US occupation of seven military bases in Colombian territory and all other installations as required. The agreement is seen as the largest US military expansion in Latin American history. Although the two governments publicly justified the agreement as an increased effort to fight drug trafficking and terrorism, official US Air Force documents revealed that the US would conduct “full spectrum military operations” throughout South America from the Colombian bases. The Air Force documents also justified the disproportional military expansion as necessary to combat “the constant threat…from anti-US governments in the region”.
In the case of the latest U.S.-Colombia base deal, many Latin American leaders spoke out against such a move as a dangerous development that can lead to war in the region and act against Colombia’s neighboring countries – Ecuador and Venezuela. Excluding huge presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, there are about 900 U.S. military facilities in 46 countries and territories, accommodating 190,000 U.S. troops and 115,000 civilian employees, according to official figures. However, some analysts say the real figures may be far greater. All together, the Pentagon owns or rents 322,000 hectares of land overseas, with an inventory of weapons worth trillions of U.S. dollars according to some estimate.
Since 2006, Washington has classified Venezuela as a nation “not fully collaborating with the war against terror”. In 2005, Venezuela was labeled by the State Department as a nation “not cooperating with counter-narcotics operations”. Despite no substantive evidence to prove such dangerous accusations, the US has utilized these classifications to justify an increase in aggression towards the Venezuelan government. In 2008, the Bush Administration attempted to place Venezuela on the list of State Sponsors of terrorism. The initiative was unsuccessful primarily because Venezuela is still a principal supplier of oil to the US. Should Washington consider Venezuela a terrorist state, all relations would be cut off, including oil supply.
Nevertheless, Washington still views Venezuela as a major threat to US interests in the region. The US is particularly concerned about Latin American nations engaging in commercial relations with countries such as China, Russia and Iran, perceived as economic threats to US control and domination in the region. Let's see why:
THEIR OWN NEW WORLD ORDER
"We are creating a new world, a balanced world. A new world order, a multipolar world,"
/ Hugo Chavez .
"The unipolar world has collapsed. The power of the US empire has collapsed," he said. "Everyday, the new poles of world power are becoming stronger. Beijing, Tokyo, Tehran ... It's moving toward the East and toward the South."
It was the year 2000. Standing at attention, a relatively unknown Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, only 18 months after taking office, was positioned right next to one of the world's "most-controversial dictators." Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, then seeking alternative alliances with leaders in other parts of the world, was receiving Chavez with military honors on August 13 of that year. Chavez appeared proud, standing next to his new and powerful friend in North Africa. The friendship between Chavez and Gaddafi solidified in 2004, when the Libyan leader awarded Chavez the Al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights, an honor he had already given to another Latin American leader, Cuba's Fidel Castro in 1998. By 2009, the friendship had become very close. On September 1 of that year, Gaddafi welcomed Chavez to Libya with a warm embrace. Chavez was one of various world leaders attending festivities there, held to commemorate Gaddafi's 40 years in power. Chavez would return the compliment later that month when Gaddafi visited Venezuela, presenting the Libyan leader with a replica of the sword that belonged to South American independence hero Simon Bolivar, one of the greatest honors in Venezuela. It was Gaddafi's first visit to Latin America in his 40-year rule. And just in case there was any doubt about their closeness, Gaddafi named a stadium just outside Benghazi the "Hugo Chavez Stadium." The stadium was renamed in 2011 "Martyrs of February" by Libyan rebels, who would eventually form the National Transitional Council and put an end to Gaddafi's regime. Libya was Venezuela's partner under OPEC -- a relationship that has to be rebuilt as well. In March, after the conflict in Libya had started, Chavez proposed an international goodwill commission to mediate the crisis while accusing the United States and other Western powers of blowing the situation out of proportion to justify an invasion...
"I was talking with (Cuban leader) Raul Castro. He was telling me Gaddafi is going to get killed for sure," / Hugo Chavez
While China's communist leaders have been low-key in response to Chavez's political rhetoric, Beijing's state-run industries have been eager to use Venezuela as a jumping-off point for their entry into South America. Chinese companies in the mining and petroleum sector have been especially keen on securing South American mineral resources.
During his visit to China in 2009, Chavez said he planned to review with Chinese leaders a goal of boosting exports of Venezuelan oil to China from 380,000 barrels last year to 1 million barrels by 2013 - part of Venezuela's strategy of diversifying oil sales away from the United States, which buys about half the South American nation's heavy crude despite political tensions. Included in that strategy are plans for China and Venezuela to build four oil tankers and three refineries in China capable of processing Venezuela's heavy, sulfur-laden crude.
China and Venezuela have also invested in a $12 billion fund to finance joint development projects in areas including oil production, infrastructure and agriculture.
Moscow and Caracas stand for forming a fair new world order that would not depend on the wishes and prosperity of just one country, President Medvedev said, following talks with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez in 2010. According to Medvedev, Russia and Venezuela share a similar stance on many international problems, including combating terrorism, crime, drug-trafficking, addressing ecological challenges, and global economic development.
The two countries firmly stand for “forming a modern and fair world,” Medvedev told a joint media conference with Chavez after their talks at the Kremlin. The Russian President added, there should be “a world order where our future would not depend on the will, desire or mood of some country, but on joint efforts of the international community, and, indeed, internal development.” Medvedev believes that is the only kind of world order that would provide for steady development of humanity in the 21st Century. As a result of the talks, a whole bunch of important agreements have been signed in areas such as energy, defense, finance ventures and construction. One of the most crucial agreements is on Russia building a nuclear power plant in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Venezuela became one of the few nations that have so far joined Russia in recognizing South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.
“We live in the sea of oil. Nevertheless, the population lives in poverty,” adding that imperialism should be blamed for that, Chavez went on to say that his country is at the very beginning of the path to “complete emancipation”
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his Iranian counterpart have also declared they are united in efforts to establish a "new world order" and warned their enemies would be relegated to the "graveyard." The rhetoric wrapped up Chavez's visit to Iran in 2010 meant to boost cooperation between the allies in their oil, gas and petrochemical industries. Iran and Venezuela are united to establish a new world order based on humanity and justice," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said. Chavez has staunchly defended Iran's nuclear energy program, siding with Tehran by insisting it is for peaceful uses and not for nuclear bombs.
So, his flerting with the "Axis of Evil" and his friendship with the "Evil dictators" around the globe, makes him a clear and present danger to the original New World Order designers and their next target. Socialism, nationalization of oil-industry, economic independence, bipolar or multi-polar world... these are all very bad and dangerous ideas. What can be done? Let's see...
Recent years have seen a series of leftwing Latin America leaders diagnosed with cancer including Brazil's current president, Dilma Rousseff, Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, and the former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In late June Chávez admitted he was also being treated for cancer, telling Venezuelans that doctors had removed "cancerous cells" from his body.
"It is very hard to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some leaders in Latin America. It's at the very least strange, very strange," / Hugo Chavez
"Evo take care of yourself. Correa, be careful. We just don't know," Chavez said, referring to Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador.
Chávez said he had received words of warning from Cuba's former leader Fidel Castro, reputedly the target of dozens of failed and often bizarre assassination plots including a fungus-infected diving suit and an exploding cigar.
"Fidel always told me, 'Chávez take care. These people have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat … a little needle and they inject you with I don't know what," he said.
Chavez has warned that the disease may be a "new weapon of the empire to eliminate unwanted leaders." Maybe, but oddly enough, the result was the opposite. All politicians not only did not stop their political life and moved away from responsibilities, but on the contrary, dramatically increased their rating and rallied around the supporters.
First, in August of 2010 60-year-old Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo was diagnosed with a tumor of lymphatic system. After six sessions of chemotherapy in Sao Paulo and Asuncion, doctors reported that the tumor was gone. He was elected in 2008 with a mandate for five years. He resigned his ecclesiastical rank and became the second leftist president in the history of the country.
66-year-old former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was diagnosed with larynx cancer in October of 2011, nine months after the transfer of power to Dilma Russef. The doctors did not operate on Lulu, saying that as a result he may lose his voice forever - an extremely important tool for policy and communication. Lula, who was in power from 2003 to 2010, reduced poverty in the country, united Latin America and made Brazil one of the world's largest economies.
57-year-old Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez began treatment for cancer at the end of June of 2011. There is still no official data on what type of cancer he has. He was operated in Havana on July 20. After four rounds of chemotherapy, a series of medical tests confirmed a positive trend.
Finally, in late December, the media reported that 58-year-old Argentine President Cristina Kirchner will undergo surgery in early January of 2012 for cancer of the thyroid gland and the prognosis for recovery is quite favorable. Kirchner was re-elected for the second term in December of 2011 and takes a firm anti-American stance.
President Hugo Chavez has yet again been democratically elected by the people of Venezuela with 54.42 per cent of the vote. Democratically elected as he has been numerous times since 1998, and why?
Maybe because he has implemented social justice, has curbed the power of the elites which ruled the country for decades, because he created jobs and wealth by injecting money into the economy, because he distributed wealth instead of harnessing it, because all Venezuelans are stakeholders in their society and not just a few born with a silver spoon in their mouths, because he is reducing levels of poverty, because he paid off the country's debts to the leeches in the IMF, because he has invested in education, he has invested in the creation of jobs, he has invested in housing programmes and he has invested in healthcare.
Let us examine a few shining examples of the Bolivarian Revolution: reduction of extreme poverty from nearly 50% to under 10%. In 14 years. The Human development Index of Venezuela rose from medium to high development, Venezuela is officially free of illiteracy. Unemployment has decreased by 50 per cent, the minimum wage has risen to around 400 USD, workers receive a monthly food subsidy, pensions are indexed to the minimum wage, basic food products are distributed directly to the people for low prices without the hand of intermediaries and as a result, agricultural produce was increased substantially, creating jobs in rural areas, and for those who accuse Chavez of squandering money, Venezuela's international reserve fund has quadrupled.
Now if one state needs a coup d'état, it certainly isn't Venezuela. However, watch your back, Comandante Hugo!