By Jorge Arreaza
Since its birth Venezuela has been a country of solidarity, aware that it belongs to a great whole, to an immense nation, a potential power that, had it been legally, economically and politically consolidated, would have modified the “balance of the universe”, the balance sheet of power in international relations. Venezuela’s only bellicose action outside its borders was unfailingly tied to its right to native self-determination as a sovereign people. Our soldiers arrived in inhospitable places of Our America, always with the intention of expanding the independence movement, without profit motive, or glory, nor anything other than the liberation from the imperial domination of those times. Our leaders and armies of that time never aspired to reserve spoils or territorial conquests. The only cause was to share freedom, to acquire independence, simply, to be free.
In contrast, the United States was and is an actor who, from the beginning, set out to impose a single valid system of government: his. The system of freedoms and rights for those who accumulate material resources, and the oppression and exploitation of those who do not have fortunes or property. In every political reference and every military action, all marked by a halo of divine predetermination, the American ruling elite always started from the infallibility of their lifestyle and system of government that is destined to be traced and embraced in the rest of the world. From that reduced vision, tyrannical and exceptional, they have developed with special cruelty a continuous exercise on what they consider their “backyard”: Latin America.
Although today we are daily witnesses of Washington’s unilateral practices of domination, it is not something new, it was born at the dawn of its constitution as a State, towards the end of the 18th century, when Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers, pointed out with deep naturalness the illustrious and tremendous sentence:
“Our Confederation must be considered as a nest from which all of America, thus that of the north and that of the south, would be populated; Let us take care to believe that this great continent is interested in expelling the Spaniards, for the moment, those colonies are in the best hands, and I only fear that these hands are too weak to hold them until our population has grown enough to handle them, snatching piece by piece”.
As Professor Vladimir Acosta points out , this desire for domination has always been reserved for whites, Saxons and Protestants, who at no time would have planned to “dirty” their blood and lineage by mixing with the rest of the people of this great continent. Two hundred years later, Donald Trump is a clear exponent of that supremacist theory. In North America, they effectively managed to “snatch piece by piece” the territories from their native peoples, through massacres and deception widely described in historical literature. They bought territories from European powers as if the land were another commodity. Let’s not forget that half of its territory was taken from Mexico, all with the sole purpose of extending its dominions from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
In 1823, the American president James Monroe, under the pen of John Quincy Adams, writes and announces the famous “Monroe Doctrine”, and his celebrated sentence “America for the Americans (US citizens, of course)”. They thus gave perfect continuity to the annexationist project outlined decades earlier by the Founding Fathers, in their obsessive vocation of continental domination, with the firm intention of completely displacing the European powers that still plundered and plundered our territories. However, by that time the Washington elite had not yet developed the military capacity with sufficient robustness to face the empires of that time.
We insist, the will and ambition of the American corporate governing elite to impose “their” model of government, economic and social organization, is described from its origins. In 1839 columnist John O’Sullivan published a fundamental text in the doctrine of American domination: “The great nation of the future”. This is a famous article that establishes what would be the basis of the doctrine of the “Manifest Destiny”, in which, under exceptional rhetoric and deep religious fervor, it states unequivocally that the United States is destined by Providence to rule the whole world. Let’s see a couple of fragments:
“In its magnificent domain of space and time, the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles; to establish on earth the noblest temple ever dedicated to the worship of the Most High — the Sacred and the True. Its floor shall be a hemisphere — its roof the firmament of the star-studded heavens, and its congregation an Union of many Republics, comprising hundreds of happy millions, owning no man, but governed by God’s natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood (…)
(…) We must onward to the fulfilment of our mission — to the entire development of the principle of our organization — freedom of conscience, freedom of person, freedom of trade and business pursuits, universality of freedom and equality. This is our high destiny, and in nature’s eternal, inevitable decree of cause and effect we must accomplish it. All this will be our future history, to establish on earth the moral dignity and salvation of man — the immutable truth and beneficence of God. For this blessed mission to the nations of the world, which are shut out from the life-giving light of truth, has America been chosen; and her high example shall smite unto death the tyranny of kings, hierarchs, and oligarchs, and carry the glad tidings of peace and good will where myriads now endure an existence scarcely more enviable than that of beasts of the field. Who, then, can doubt that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity?”
It was not until the end of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th century, that the United States accumulates enough power and war technology to expel Spain from its redoubts from Cuba and Puerto Rico, as well as from its territories in the Pacific. This was the beginning of what is known as the “Roosevelt Corollary”, a modality of amendment to the “Monroe Doctrine”, exposed in the State of the Union Address by Theodore Roosevelt, on December 6, 1904, in response to naval blockade that took England, Germany and Italy to the Venezuelan coast during the government of Cipriano Castro.
Likewise, Washington abrogated the ability to determine whether or not a government fits into its civilizational model, and based on that, whether or not to allow it to exist or overthrow it by force. This American vision in Latin America had its first manifestation in 1905 with the invasion and intervention of the customs of the Dominican Republic. During those years the so-called “Politics of the Garrote” were deployed. Through military and economic force, they began to control the main strategic points of Central America and the Caribbean.
Another Roosevelt, in this case Franklin Delano, took a turn at the hard policy of the beginning of the century during his participation in the VII Pan American Conference of Montevideo. In it, the bases of Pan Americanism were established – the integration subordinated to American interests – under the subterfuge of the “good neighbor policy.” This was only a way to soften a common practice of violence on the continent that has not stopped until now. From Pan Americanism the inter-Americanism and all the institutionality around the disastrous Organization of American States, OAS, is derived.
Latin America and the Caribbean has always been intervened in militarily, economically and politically by the United States. John Dower  makes a thorough collection of data contained in declassified reports, as well as in rigorous investigations, not precisely those of left-wing intellectuals. During his investigation he reveals the role that different US governments played in post-World War II conflicts, offering shocking data. Dower cites a study by John Coastword, which concludes that between 1948 and 1990 the US government “sought the overthrow of at least twenty-four governments in Latin America: four directly using their military forces, three through revolts or murders orchestrated by the CIA, and seventeen instigating armies or local police forces to intervene without direct US involvement through coups”. It is an action that never stopped and whose main operational force was the so-called School of the Americas, established in 1963 by John F. Kennedy as an investigating body for the murder, torture and disappearance of hundreds of thousands of people in Our America. Coastworth himself estimated that during the Cold War, Central America witnessed and suffered almost three hundred thousand murders in a population of thirty million people.
But its dominance doesn’t only develop in Latin America. During the Cold War conflicts developed in the peripheries: Vietnam, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Central America. After the fall of the Soviet bloc, in the last decade of the twentieth century, the United States developed a violent campaign to finish seizing the energy resources of the Middle East. The war apparatus has never stopped. In order to equal the amount of money that the United States puts into its warlike apparatus annually, the first eight countries that follow it in that category would have to be added together.
In a world in which the progressive dismantling of the nuclear arsenal has become almost a consensus – after the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with more than 140,000 people dead – in 2017, the country of the stars and stripes invested 90 million dollars a day, 4 million dollars every hour, only for the program of nuclear modernization. In that same year the military budget of this same country was 2,740 million dollars a day, 114 million dollars every hour, to oil the machinery of death and intimidation against the rest of the world.
In a new stage of aggressions against the world, the American elite exercise a new modality of war against countries that do not bow to their designs: the so-called economic sanctions, or unilateral coercive measures. Inspired by medieval sieges, in which aggressive forces besieged castles to deprive them of the most elementary means of subsistence of life, the US government boasts its hegemony over the financial system to suffocate countries, reduce their ability to attend to their populations and tried to bend their wills. It is not a minor fact, it is a formula of war applied since immemorial times. However, the so-called “international community” today turns its gaze and hides its head when the White House applies political coercion with arbitrary measures.
From this collection of supremacist and racist beliefs and schemes, doctrines and unalterable practices of domination, arrogance and ideological intolerance, the rulers of the United States have sought to control the world, impose their model and abort the alternative paths of free and sovereign peoples. 200 years ago the Spanish empire was thrown out of these lands. Today we have to emulate those feats of the men and women of Simón Bolívar, although against another empire, even more grotesque and ambitious. We will raise our sword and our voice, not only for our own defense, but for all those peoples historically oppressed and veiled by the arrogance of the military, industrial, financial and technological complex established in the heart of power in Washington. The imperial eagle will crash against the protective shield of the sovereign will of the peoples of the South, whose libertarian nature has also been and will be, inexorably unalterable.
Sooner rather than later, Our Latin America and the Caribbean will become a great power, will occupy the role that history has given it and that imperialism has denied it, we will be a solid pole of power that will stop and neutralize any exogenous attempt at domination. Until that moment arrives, from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and from all corners of Our America, we will stand firm, in resistance, yes, but in offense at the same time, for human dignity, for the right to be free, to to be independent, the right to build, without interference, the system that gives us the greatest amount of happiness possible; the right to walk with our own feet, the right to win.
Translated by JRE/EF