Chavez and Clinton to face-off at OAS General Assembly Meeting
utilaeastwind | June 1, 2009 at 06:00 amby
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UTILA EASTWIND JUNE 1st 2009
Hugo Chavez makes no secret of the fact that he is a Marxist or of his desire to expand his Revolution beyond the borders of Venezuela while Hillary Clinton represents the new political face of the Obama Administration, one more of partnership than domination.
The Obama Administration and Chavez’ Revolution are similar in one respect. They both want a sympathetic government in Honduras and to benefit from Honduras’ vast natural resources. While Chavez would like to absorb Honduras into a State within the Bolivarian Revolution through the ALBA scheme, the Obama Administration would like to re-secure itself as the most influential country within Honduras, return to the status quo and continue the integration of Honduras into a Constitutional Democracy similar to and connected with the US system.
Over the last years American Foreign Policy and military resources have been focused in the Middle East and most of their diplomatic resources have been used in that region. Latin America has for over a hundred years been considered under the sphere of control of the United States as sited in the Monroe Doctrine and the rest of the world has not been interested in challenging this philosophy, with the exception of Cuba. Now however, there are New Stars rising in the world of global influence and the USA is being challenged on all fronts.
Hugo Chavez is a Bright and Shining Star in the political sky over Latin America, willing to insult Kings and Presidents, take on and take out Multinational Corporations, consolidating power and crushing opposition, all to further his Bolivarian Revolution. However, he has not been able to rise by himself. The alliances Chavez has formed have fueled his power, influence and support, but alliances come at a price and the price has not yet been paid.
Hugo’s strategy to unify Latin American and Caribbean Countries within ALBA (trans. “Dawn”) (The Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) and his success in doing so has impressed his Masters and every step he takes forward on his plan; they are becoming more and more visible.
Looking at the map you can see that ALBA expansion is not random. Cuba and Venezuela were the first countries to become ALBA States with Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, St Vincent and Grenadines and Honduras following suit. The potential for ALBA States to become a real Union, complete with a standing army, could result in ALBA having control of the entire Caribbean Basin and its rich oil/aquatic reserves, and control of shipping routes. This is the prize.
As is, the threat of these small States to pose a Military threat to the USA is unlikely, but the Economic threat is now real. ALBA mandate states that any development of natural resources must be done by ALBA State Companies. This means that future development within the Caribbean Basin would be controlled by ALBA. By excluding non ALBA Countries, including the USA, Chavez and his allies would be able to dominate Latin America economically.
So who are these allies? One is Iran, the arch enemy of the USA. Iran has been granted Observer Status in ALBA and is expanding its diplomatic influence in Bolivia and Nicaragua by constructing massive Embassy Compounds. Iran is investing in hydroelectric plants, strategic port projects and reportedly aiding Hezbollah in gaining a foothold in the Americas.
Is seems unlikely that a Fundamentalist Islamic State and predominantly Catholic Countries would be allies, but Chavez has been able to sideline the Church in Venezuela and is replacing religious Zeal with the Zeal seen in Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. Iran is more than happy to see both The United States and the Catholic Church marginalized and sees a Chavez Alliance as necessary in order to weaken the USA and force it from its doorstep and out of The Middle East.
The other ally is Russia. This alliance has grown in strength as a reaction to American Foreign Policy including the expansion of NATO along Russian Border Countries, the Declared Independence of Kosovo and most controversial is the proposed American Missile Shield in Europe. The Shield’s stated use is to protect Europe and the USA from an Iranian nuclear threat. However, in Russia these changes are seen as a major change in strategic balance between the USA and Russia, a balance that has existed since WWII.
Militarily, Russia’s countermeasure was the invasion/liberation of South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia. Economically, Russia has joined with Venezuela in the formation of an Oil and Gas Consortium that will rival OPEC and run under the Petroleos de Venezuela (the national oil company of Venezuela).
With Russia partnered with Venezuela and Iran as an observer member of ALBA both Countries will have preferential status within ALBA markets and full access to natural resources. The USA as a non member will be excluded from developing further in the ALBA Block, an uninterrupted economic zone covering an area from South America to the US-Cuba border, just minutes south of Cay West, Florida.
We know that Hugo Chavez has not and cannot challenge the influence of the United States in Latin America alone. Until now, he has rallied his partners by protesting American Foreign Policy under the Bush Administration. But, with Barack Obama now in power, these alliances will demand more from Chavez than insulting rhetoric. Economic results will now be necessary to keep Hugo’s Axis spinning.
A moderate Obama Administration creates problems for Chavez and now it will be less likely more Latin American States will take the plunge and join ALBA without significant economic gain. This means it will be more costly financially and more challenging ideologically, for Hugo Chavez to assimilate Countries into the ALBA.
However, a secret report from Israel was leaked to the Associated Press stating that Iran and Venezuela have created a 200 Billion USD fund to persuade more Latin American Countries to join the Revolution. “Since Ahmadinejad’s rise to power, Tehran has been promoting an aggressive policy aimed at bolstering its ties with Latin American countries with the declared goal of ‘bringing America to its knees,’” the report concludes. Considering the possible truth of the finances committed to sparking Revolution throughout Latin America, the World needs to take seriously, the potential for serious conflict.
Here in Honduras, President Manuel Zelaya signed the Presidential Decree admitting the Country into ALBA. This move was seen by many as an act against the will of the people of Honduras. Further, Zelaya, whose mandate expires this November, is proposing a Referendum to replace the Honduran Constitution and some say this move will open the way for him to continue as President after his mandate ends. President Zelaya has followers who are organized, well financed and willing to do what it takes to see that he remains in power, if the opportunity arises. He has replaced top Military Brass and is now wrestling with the Supreme Court of Honduras pushing for a referendum that has already been ruled illegal by the Court. The coming months will be crucial in determining the fate of Honduras and indeed Latin America for decades to come and with so many interests competing for influence it is difficult to predict the outcome.
It is for this reason that Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State of the United States of America, is coming to Honduras for the OAS General Assembly Meeting, to be held at the Arab Club in San Pedro Sula. She will be here to show “The Americas” the new face of the USA and attempt to prove to Latin America it is better off with a more social, if not, Socialist partnership with The United States than a Marxist/Communist future under Hugo’s Revolution.
Time will tell.
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East Harbour, The Bay Islands, Honduras
East Harbour, The Bay Islands, Honduras
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