Hugo Chavez and his War on The Empire
Early this year Chavez called upon Latin American leaders to move their cash reserves out of U.S. Banks citing an impending financial crisis. Latin leaders and others who heard the call, may or may not have listened to his advice. However, Uncle Sam was listening and will now likely argue that these instructions were the catalyst for the biggest bank run in World History.
In recent months, Hugo Chavez has turned down his rhetoric and is now trading words for substance.
He has found friends in old American adversaries like Russia and Iran and is building economic, social and military ties with these countries that will complicate any attempt for the US to isolate Venezuela.
The Venezuelan Military, through billions of dollars in investment, is emerging as a serious force in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ak-47 factories, the purchase of submarines, fighter jets and missiles are being facilitated by Russia.
On the economic front, Chavez has just announced the formation of what will be “the largest petroleum consortium on the planet” in partnership with Russia.
The fear generated by this development is that this consortium will allow for the manipulation of oil, gas, currency and financial markets. Further more, creating this consortium, a bank and possibly an oil exchange will diminish the US Dollar’s status as the global oil currency and reduce demand for the US dollar.
There is no doubt that Hugo Chavez is making strategic moves to advance his war on the Empire and the creation of ALBA is another tool that will be used in his cause.
ALBA. A NEW DAWN
What is ALBA?
ALBA (The Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America) is an organization with the goal of attaining the political, social and economic integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. Currently the member nations include Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Dominica, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Vincent and Grenadines and Honduras.
The ratification of ALBA (in Spanish “dawn”) by Congress has caused much speculation as to the future of Honduran relations with the USA. The heart of the controversy is not so much the concept of ALBA but with the masterminds behind it.
Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro founded ALBA in 2004. The first agreement made under the ALBA is an ongoing trade deal. Cuba has sent 20,000 medical personal and thousands of teachers to Venezuela’s poorest regions and in return Venezuela sends 96,000 barrels of per day to Cuba.
Since ALBA’s creation, Hugo Chavez has been on a drive to find new membership and allies including the Sandinista leader and President of Nicaragua Daniel Ortega. After entering ALBA, Nicaragua benefited by Venezuela forgiving 31 million dollars of debt.
There is speculation that there will be a military wing to ALBA and when commenting of the function of the proposed Army of ALBA, President Daniel Ortega said, "an attack on any member country of ALBA would be considered an attack against all countries."
It is not clear what the benefit of Honduras joining ALBA will be and we will not really know what ALBA is for some time. But, it is now possible to imagine people being gathered to fight a war in Bolivia or exported to Cuba to cut cane fields, to pay an oil debt. On the other hand, Hugo Chavez may lead us in the creation of an Utopian society and rid Latin America of poverty, corruption, capitalism and hunger. This remains to be seen.
Current trade agreements between Latin American countries and the United States are being perceived as one sided and in favor of large Corporate interests. The ALBA is said to be in favor of trade between member Nations and structured in a way that all member Nations are equal. The ALBA Bank provides funding for development and social projects that are in line with ALBA principals.
The reason ALBA, with its anti-American stance, has gone so far seems to stem from US Foreign Policy. The Iraq war, both politically and financially, has undermined the way the World sees America. The war has caused the United States to lose focus and ignore their southern neighbors. Further, many see the Iraq War as an illegal act due to the fact that WMD’s were never found.
The Iraq War and the continued occupation have created the perfect environment for a Hugo Chavez to rise in Latin America as a symbol of resistance and reform with his Bolivarian Revolution.
Next month the Russian Fleet will be visiting the Caribbean and conducting military exercises with the Venezuelan Navy in the largest display of Russian military might since the Cold War.
It is no coincidence that this operation is being conducted at one of the United States weakest moments, The Presidential Elections.
The vessels in the armada include the nuclear-powered heavy missile cruiser “Peter the Great”, attack submarines and anti-submarine ships and aircraft. Escorted by the fleet is a Russian oil drilling ship.This fleet will be conducting drills and making port calls in undisclosed locations in the Caribbean Basin.
This announcement coincides with Cuba’s declaration that their oil reserves are double that of the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) estimates. New estimates by Cubapetroleo double Cuba’s oil reserves at 21 Billion Barrels, an amount almost equal to total US Oil reserves. Cubapetroleo has stated that the USGS surveys did not accurately understand Cuba’s offshore geology and it can be proven that Cuba’s off shore area is much larger than thought.
Russia has been clear in its displeasure in what it sees as NATO expansion along its borders. The arrival of the Russian Armada in the Americas is thought of as a measured response to U.S and NATO activities related to Russia’s bordering countries. However, the activities of the Russian Fleet, while here, remain to be seen.
If Hugo Chavez is right and George Bush is indeed “The Devil” then the people of America will have the chance to defeat "The Beast".
On November 4th either John McCain or Barak Obama will be elected as the new President of the United States of America and on January 20th 2009 Chavez’s Devil will be gone.
The question is will the next President bring new wisdom and rekindle the respect that The United States once had around the World or will “The Devil” enter into the new President and give Chavez his much needed enemy.
Time will tell.