Sunday, February 19, 2006

upping the ante against venezuela

In spite of the idiocy that sometimes pours out of their mouths I don't believe that the people governing the US say much by accident. That is to say that when Rumsfeld compared Chavez to Hitler earlier this month it was not simply the man being an idiot. World War 2 represents the ultimate legitimate war in the American memory. At the time of Vietnam policy makers invoked that war to rationalise their action. Comparing Chavez to Hitler was a mechanism for making him and his regime into a legitimate target for intevention. On Friday Rice said Chavez was leading countries away from democracy, referred to him a regional danger, called for a united front against him and stated that "The international community has just got to be much more active in supporting and defending the Venezuelan people,". Of course this is not the first time that the USA has attacked chavez. The point is that US commentary is more and more implying that practical action against Venezuela would be desirable.


AN said...

In my view military action against Venezuela (or Iran for that matter) is very very unlikely in the foreseeable future. Quite apart from the over commitment of the US military to Iraq and Afghanistan (and Korea), there is no sign so far that the USA is intending to impose economic sanctions on Venezuela - and they do not classify it as a country "supporting terrorism", which has economic consequences for export and import.

However, by talking up the possibility - without actualy doing anything about it - the USA are indulging in a form of destabiisation of the revolution.

It will cause Venezuella to divert more resources to the military away from social reform, and also puts pressure on Chavez to crack down on pro-US dissent at home, thus making Venezuela less democratic, which is a slow acting poison.

It also strengthens the hand of the most moderate supporters of Chavez to play safe and not rock the boat.

Particlarly because chavez has to maintain good relations with those capitalist states who may supply him with arms - such as the fighter plane deal with Spain, which in turn is a constraint on how much Venezuela is prepared to act against multi-nationals.

Reuben said...

very very true. Certianly wesholuld not see thsis as ony a bilatteral conflict between a progressive anti-imperialist government and the United states. there are a number of social and political forces operating around and behind chavez - ranging fro mthose talking about a 'revolution within the revolution' to out and out reformists.

The 'nationalist card' (ie the banner of ressistance to Yankee imperialism) has played a somewhat ambiguous role in the history of Latin Ameirca. ON the one hand it has provided a genuine platform for progressive politicians and movements. On th other hand it has deflected attention away from class struggle amnd allowed populist leaders (I fucking hate the word populist) to make gestures of national defiance without challenging the indigineous ruling class (ie the peronist tradition in argentina currently represented by Kirchner)