By Stella Calloni – April 28, 2020
It is enough to look at the faces of the presidents who represent unbridled capitalism in times of decadence or to listen to their “speeches”, to understand some analysts who mention how empires slowly begin to commit suicide and resemble a monster that still maintains its claws extended over various places in the world, which are also contracting, gradually weakening until their final death rattle.
But it doesn’t end there, because it takes years to change the skin of the snake of colonialism, which covers and conceals us.
We would be naïve or overly optimistic if we believed that when we have overcome this unique moment in history – at least for the last two centuries – the day after the pandemic imperialism will automatically expire or disappear.
What is evident is the impossibility of continuing to persist in imposing extreme neoliberalism, the consequences of which were highlighted by the Sars Covid 19 pandemic that is ravaging the world like a fearsome shattered mirror where no one wants to look at himself.
If the countries of the so-called Third World show the traces left by the predatory neoliberalism, a basic instrument in this capitalist period, the European nations, with rare exceptions, applied it thoroughly and the pandemic brought to light the very serious consequences of the neoliberal spell, which in addition to the destruction of what they considered social advances or welfare state, deepened the dependence on the United States to colonial extremes and helped to deepen the cracks in the European Union, which will be difficult to rebuild in the short term.
Precisely with the rest that the empire has left -which, by the way, is enough, but no longer enough to dominate the whole world, especially due to the presence of the millenary China and Russia in the world scenario- it can do infinite damage to humanity if on our side we are not prepared, organized, united and aware that we cannot lose that historical hinge that will inevitably happen.
In fact, presidents like Donald Trump in the United States, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, the powerhouse of Latin America, Boris Johnson in Great Britain, or the Prime Minister of Israel himself, Benjamin Netanyahu, and others who resemble them have achieved the miracle of the greatest spontaneous unmasking in the history of capitalism.
In the case of the United States and Latin America, we are witnessing the return of the Monroe Doctrine (1823) in the 21st century, (resurrected by other presidents before Trump) as well as the Manifest Destiny (1845), whose synthesis was so well expressed by the eternal advisor to U.S. presidents, Paul Wolfowitz, when in March 1992 he published together with the U.S. National Security Council under the title “Washington Must Dominate the World”.
Among other points, he warns that “American (US) foreign policy must aim to convince potential rivals that they need not play a major role. Our status as the only superpower must be perpetuated through constructive behavior and sufficient military force to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging U.S. supremacy. These must take into account the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging American leadership or attempting to challenge the established economic and political order.
A dominant military power must be maintained to deter potential rivals from aspiring to a greater regional or global role.”
“In short, the international order is guaranteed by the United States and the latter must be placed in a position to act independently when a collective action cannot deal with them.
We must act to prevent the emergence of an exclusively European security system that could destabilize NATO”. Here again, they refer to the challenges in the Far East in the face of the dangers of destabilization that would come with an increase in the role “of our allies” in that region (“The game of lies: the great powers, Yugoslavia, NATO and the coming wars” Michel Colon 1999, Editions Hiru. Spain).
This base document, like hundreds that followed it, served for the designs of the so-called infinite and borderless War on Terrorism (without specifying this term well), supposedly aimed at fighting terrorism, declared by George W. Bush in 2001 after the attack (never clarified) on the Twin Towers in September of that year.
But it is also basic to understand the U.S. decision to launch the sinister adventure of re-colonizing Latin America in the 21st century, through a geopolitical mapping of counter-insurgency warfare where the invasion of the main Institutions dependent on the U.S. and especially those under the control of the CIA, and its Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) throughout the continent, responsible for the permanent work of prepare the bases of the governments that “insurrected” during the first years of the 21st century, will play a special role.
The governments of the United States, of both Republicans and Democrats, were surprised by this emergence of governments, first elected by popular vote, after Chile with the first socialist government also elected by vote in 1970, overthrown by a bloody coup led and financed by Washington in 1973.
It was from that moment that the United States began to plant military dictatorships when they already had Paraguay and Brazil under their control since 1954 and 1964 (respectively) in the Southern Cone.
It is worth remembering that with this they tried new strategies after the defeat in Vietnam in 1975 and throughout the 21st century after their first attempts to subdue our region with “soft” but always violent blows, which failed in several countries such as Venezuela (2002), Bolivia (2008), Ecuador (2010) and achieving their goal in Haiti (2004), Honduras, (2009) Paraguay (2012), Brazil (2016.), Bolivia (2019)
In other nations, they achieved, through a media war of continental characteristics, from the infiltration of the judicial structures and the parliament, the installation of some own governments through elections as it happened in Argentina in 2015 that together with Venezuela and Brazil constituted the basic triangle of the regional integration that tried to achieve the definitive emancipation of our countries.
In this task of continental re-colonization, Trump became obsessed with Cuba, under the ruthless action of his advisors, a crime against humanity, like Elliott Abrams, or the Republican representative Marcos Rubio who heads the group of his Cuban-American colleagues, protectors of the terrorists who acted and are acting against the Cuban government and people, causing death and considerable damage to the Caribbean island which is now called “the island of dignity” because of its ability to resist a blockade for more than 60 years and now deepened by the U.S. president’s “death squad”.
But also against Nicaragua in Central America and of course Venezuela, which has endured since that distant 2002, a scheme of attempted permanent coups, without achieving its objective, despite the support of the OAS to overthrow the government of Nicolas Maduro who succeeded the great leader of that country, Hugo Chavez Frias from 2013 and which has been maintained by elections in all cases legal, constitutional and transparent. The blockade, the looting of Venezuelan funds in the United States and in other countries of the world (its associates), the lack of supplies, the drop in oil prices, and the prevention of the arrival of food and medicine, which also constitutes a crime against humanity, are crimes against the Venezuelan people.
This quick tour is to place us at the moment that Latin America was living when the pandemic arrived, something like the universal deluge, a moment in which the Trump government, desperate in the face of the changes that occurred in countries like Argentina at the end of 2015 and Mexico at the end of 2018 and the resistance of what little is spoken of in the rest, especially in Colombia, its real base of action where it has installed nine military bases or Peru another of the countries with bases, like Panama, Honduras, also advancing its project of regional militarization to Chile and Argentina.
There is resistance in Central America and the Caribbean and now in Bolivia after the US coup against that country which was at the forefront of its own social and economic development and growth, which is unsustainable for Washington.
Trump had no qualms about doubling his military presence in Latin America and sending the fleet to the South Pacific and the Atlantic (Caribbean) by threatening to invade Venezuela in early April when the virus was already advancing unchecked due to the criminal attitude of the U.S. president who is responsible for the fact that by the end of April there will be almost 800,000 infected and 55,000 dead in his country.
The most serious thing is that on one of the aircraft carriers, the Theodore Roosevelt, sent insanely to intervene in Venezuela, with more than four thousand crew members, stationed on the island of Guam in the South Pacific, the Marines began to be infected with the coronavirus. This was denounced by the commander Captain Brett Crosier, desperate because he was not allowed to disembark the infected, so he ended up sending a letter that was published by newspapers in the U.S. He warned that a decisive action was required which was to let most of the personnel go ashore to avoid a greater contagion,
“We are not at war. Sailors don’t have to die. If we don’t act now, we are not taking proper care of our most trusted asset: our sailors,” Crosier wrote.
Not only did it cost his job, but the arrogant attitude of Tump and his advisors almost revolted the navy, whose acting Secretary eventually resigned. Now almost all the crew of the Roosevelt is infected, so the government decided to forbid the Pentagon any reporting on infected soldiers, and it became known that this is happening on other ships of the fleet sent to threaten to invade Venezuela,
On the other hand, it is clear that the virus advanced in each of the countries where governments like Brazil have followed Trump’s decisions and are leading thousands of people to their deaths. On April 26, a complaint was filed with the United Nations against Bolsonaro for genocide for not taking action against the coronavirus, which to date has left five thousand dead and more than 60 thousand infected.
While UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the suspension of all warfare, and after continuing to threaten Venezuela, Trump has now done so with Iran by warning that if any Iranian ships approach the American ships, provocatively sent to those regions, the U.S. will do “what it must do”.
Broadly speaking, we are witnessing the empire’s leap into the void, its slow suicide, with no signs of taking another course either in the United States or in Israel, Great Britain, where important political changes are being foretold, or in France, when the government faces severe popular resistance.
The difference in the handling of the pandemic that has turned the world upside down as warned by the late Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano in his book “Patas arriba: la Escuela del mundo al revés”.
In this upside-down world, where important analyses and opinions intersect, no one can yet predict what the global reordering will be like, even though it is known that the economic crisis will be unparalleled in history. All the projects of the empire are collapsing. China has placed itself at a very high point on the board of international importance, the small island of Cuba, which is being subjected to a brutal campaign, continues to show its very high level in matters of health, of medicines, but essentially of solidarity to such an extent that the most important countries of the world is seeking its help through medical brigades, effective virus medicines or advice.
Although media campaigns of all kinds are being launched, they crash into a reality that the media in the hands of the hegemonic power cannot cover-up, and although their strategies have zoombified a good part of our societies, nothing is the same anymore. No one listens when death bites the heel and the desperate seek the protection of the most stable, the most dignified, those who give them the answer they seek.
The very technologies that imperialism is so fond of, are left moldy because they do not serve it to foresee the events that are out of their reach, while the peoples of the world are showing their always creative strategies of insubordination, by finding again in, small actions of resistance in the human being that they had forgotten while in their capitalist alienation, where man does not count and does not allow himself to be accepted as such.
The lack of response from a system that was always successful in its policies of domination, plundering, death, and dispossession of humanity, has left them naked. What we all know is that nothing will be the same, but also that about the pain of this tragic moment, where true “massacres” have taken place, especially of the elderly. A Trump fan held up a poster proposing “sacrifice the weak, save the economy” and was not the only one with similar content. This shows us the true face of an enemy with big feet sunk in the mud today. It is in us the possibility of lighting the flames at a time when the most powerful weapons are useless in the face of an invisible virus that can only be seen with the latest series of microscopes and which, as we said before, has left us naked and out in the open.
It is in us, used to an eternal resistance never so necessary as in these moments, to undo the brutal spells of capitalism, to extinguish the empire or at least to begin to do so by resorting to all the capacity of imagination that we have also seen resurface in these times, as our historical memory, creativity, our cultural memory has resurfaced and we have begun to identify ourselves, to touch each other without touching, to mourn our dead together, but also to reinvent life which is in all cases a path of liberation.
Featured image: Photo by Bill Hackwell
Argentina, journalist and writer. José Martí Latin American Journalism Award. Author of the Operation Condor book. She is an international correspondent and analyst.
Stella Calloni#molongui-disabled-linkNovember 20, 2020
Stella Calloni#molongui-disabled-linkApril 8, 2020
Stella Calloni#molongui-disabled-linkMarch 17, 2020