These are very dark days for the people of Brazil and there getting darker. It has been less than two weeks since the South American nations Senate voted to suspend left-wing populist president, Dilma Rousseff for no longer then 180 days and put her on trial for so called "crimes of responsibility." Over the months to come these same men (and their all men) will decide whether or not to make this suspension permanent. Those fine folks in our mainstream media would have you believe that this is an impeachment. I say, BULLSHIT! This is much more than an impeachment. This is a goddamn congressional coup and you don't have to follow the money very far to figure out that the usual suspects back in Washington are behind it.
You see, Dilma's crimes of responsibility, which remain totally unproven, amount to little more then sugar-coating the nation's debt to disguise the size of Brazil's fiscal deficit. A fairly common practice in most western countries, including our own. Ethically questionable? Perhaps but hardly grounds for impeachment. This is made all the more maddening by the fact that more then half of the men who voted to impeach Dilma are currently under investigation for far more serious corruption charges, under the so called Car Wash Scandal. This includes Dilma's backstabbing Vice President, Michel Temer, who is slated to take her place. These men have a few more things in common besides there shared interest in corruption. They are mostly wealthy white men from political dynasties who's relationships with Washington go back generations. In other words, these are our boys in Brazil. This "impeachment" is part of a larger conspiracy to destroy the independent left-wing government of Brazil. Which is itself a part of an even larger campaign to destroy a troublesome wave of independent left-wing governments across Latin America, known as the Pink Tide. Dilma's real crime was defying American hegemony and for that she must be destroyed. Sadly this coup isn't the first of its kind and it wont be the last. The days for Latin America will likely only grow darker from here.
They didn't use to do it this way. The they I speak of being the CIA, NEP and other dastardly tools of American imperialism. Back in the good old days, the all or nothing days, as Frank Miller would say, a Latin American leader got too uppity and tried to improve things for the poor at the expense of American business and we just popped em off, got some School of America alumni in the army to set up a junta and sent in the death squads to mop up the rest. BING! BANG! BOOM! Congress liquidated, constitution shredded, Twenty thousand dead and back to business as usual. Yep, those were the good old days. This all changed thought with the rise of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
The mixed race son of working class parents, Hugo rose through the ranks of the Venezuelan military, only to lead a Free Officers-style revolt against his nations notoriously shameless plutocracy in 1992 with his clandestine brigade of left-wing soldiers known as MBR-200. It failed but it ignited a spark in the Venezuelan people that would not. After a couple years in the clink and a few more raising hell on the outside, Hugo shocked the world by winning the 1998 Venezuelan Presidential Election in a landslide victory. He wasted little time bringing a stick to his old rivals in the oligarchy, nationalizing Venezuela's colossal oil industry and using its profits to fund a rash of radical social programs that brought direct democracy to the destitute favelas and desperately needed free healthcare and education to everyone else. All part of Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution, named after the famed 19th century Venezuelan General, Simon Bolivar, who liberated his continent from the Spanish Monarchy. Hugo's goal was to do the same with the American Empire which had long bled South America dry. It was all marvelous but it couldn't possibly last, could it? Leftists around the world waited in agonizing anticipation for another Yankee coup. But no one could have predicted what happened next.
The 2002 Venezuelan Coup began like any other. Pompous rich kids took to the streets with there signs, doing there best impressions of campesinos. While American trained officers in the Venezuelan Army took control of the Senate and the Presidential Palace. Chavez was kidnapped and whisked away to a covert location where he was likely to be assassinated. A corporate Yankee stooge was unceremoniously declared the new president. The Senate was suspended, as was the constitution. And the crooked liars in the mainstream media, both American and Venezuelan, declared this sickening farce to be a democracy. Then something strange happened. The people woke up and flipped the fucking script.
Irate Venezuelans took to the streets in the millions, many of them coming from the nations poorest favelas, and swarmed the capitol, surrounding the coup leaders and making a massive citizens arrest. Low ranking soldiers in the Army, many from the same favelas, rejected the orders of there corrupt commanding officers and stormed the Senate and Presidential Palace, demanding the immediate release of there rightful Commander In Chief. All of this was totally unprecedented. An American coup had never been reversed like this. But that's precisely what happened. Within 48 hours of his kidnapping, Hugo Chavez was returned to power, triumphant. The masses celebrated there victory in the streets with the kind of festive enthusiasm usually reserved for Carnival. They won. The very poorest people of the once submissive nation of Venezuela had snatched the dragon of American Imperialism by its throat, held that wicked beast above there heads and roared NO MAS! This was the true beginning of the Bolivarian Revolution, waged not by a man or a party but by a people. This was when the Pink Tide came in.
The people across Latin American were equally electrified. Anything was possible. With the shackles of American Hegemony broken, nation after nation launched there own democratic revolutions. In 2003, Nestor Kirchner was elected President of Argentina on a populist, anti-IMF platform. That same year Dilma Rousseff's mentor, the charismatic Lula da Silva took control of Brazil. Followed by Evo Morales of Bolivia in 2006, Rafael Correa of Ecuador and former Sandinista guerrilla leader, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua in 2007 and former Catholic Bishop Fernando Lugo in 2008 and on and on it went with no end in site.
Under the leadership of these men and women, Latin America witnessed a veritable renaissance, the likes of which hadn't been seen since the days of Bolivar. Corruption plummeted (though, clearly hadn't disappeared.) Quality of life among the poor skyrocketed. The rights of women, minorities, indigenous people and even the long ignored LGBTQ community were championed like never before. Groups like CELAC and UNASUR were formed to unite the poorer nations of the America's against corrupt agents of Yankee tyranny like NAFTA, CAFTA, the IMF and the OAS. Perhaps most revolutionary of all was the formation of BRICS by Brazil's Lula da Silva and the leaders of four other rising second-world nations, Russia, India, China and South Africa. BRICS primary goal was to offer poorer nations an economic alternative to the "humanitarian" black male of the World Bank and the creation of a new global currency reserve as an alternative to the tyranny of the Dollar. I always felt that BRICS was a rather fitting title for such an economically dangerous union, for that's exactly what the group created in the pants of the Western banklords, bricks.
Of coarse that wicked old dragon known as American hegemony didn't just roll over. Washington continued to bankroll acts of sabotage and destabilization across the Pink Tide nations from the Bolivian Gas Wars to the failed Ecuadoran police coup. But the most violent and persistent dirty tricks were reserved for the father of the Bolivarian Revolution. In the late 2000's/early 2010's no fewer then four attempts were made on Hugo Chavez's life. Everything from Colombian death squads to radiation poisoning. But they all failed. Hugo seemed as indestructible as the Pink Tide he ushered in appeared to be. Until 2011 that is.
That's the year that the seemingly healthy Venezuelan leader was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive strain of cancer of the gut and just in time for election season. Isn't it ironic, don't you think? The American funded Venezuelan media lost there proverbial shit, spreading vicious rumors of the leaders imminent death. But good old Hugo, like a sword pierced toro, rallied gallantly. In spite of the Kimo Therapy and the softball sized tumor removed from his gut, Hugo won his third and final re-election in 2012. Things looked good, Hugo seemed noticeably on the mend. The cancer went into remission and the long cherubic socialist even regained some of his trademark girth. But then, out of nowhere, the cancer came back with a vengeance. In a matter of weeks, Hugo went from remission to the grave. Just like his arrival on the international stage, no one saw it coming. Hugo Chavez, quite possibly the greatest anti-imperialist leader of the 21 century died at age 58 in Caracas on March 5, 2013.
I know what your thinking. You can't possibly blame this one on the United States. People die of cancer every day. I thought the same thing when I first heard the conspiracy theories percolating of a covert poisoning. But then strange things began happening. Several of Chavez's closest aides and confidantes, including his bodyguard and private nurse defected to the US only months after the President's passing and disappeared into the witness protection program. Both of these people alone would have had more then enough opportunity to poison the President. I also couldn't help remembering the Cold War documents released through FOIA detailing a top secret US Army program to develop an injectable radioactive carcinogen designed for the express purpose of serving as a mode of covert assassination. The results of the experiments were mostly mixed but the one area where this new method of germ warfare showed real promise was in the creation of soft tissue cancers, just like the one that killed Chavez. We'll probably never no for sure but it couldn't have came at a more convenient time.
The US had just perfected a new, more media friendly brand of coup de tat. The congressional coup. You see while left-wing movements had swept the executive offices of many of America's former banana republics, American Quislings funded through the State Department's inappropriately labeled National Endowment for Democracy remained in control of many of these nations legislative offices. Similarly, much of the top brass of these nations standing armies were alumni of the US military's personal war criminal academy, the School of the Americas. The only thing our jizz crusted political sock puppets had to do was create the illusion of democratic change, vis a vis trumped up impeachments and our boys in the military would take care of the rest.
This is precisely what happened in 2009 to Honduras' moderately populist new leader, Manuel Zelaya. Who was kidnapped under orders from congress and exiled to Costa Rica. The new Obama Administration feigned shock and disapproval but none other than then Secretary of State, Killary Clinton sent her and Bill's favorite impeachment lawyer Lanny Davis to sanitize the image of the new junta for the world stage. It kind of worked. The United States stood alone in applauding the totally rigged election that followed which left this poor tiny nation at the mercy of "elected" pro-Washington thugs with intimate connections to local drug cartels. The resulting carnage and mayhem has led to an influx of Central American immigrants to the United States, most of them women and children trying to avoid becoming child soldiers or sex slaves for the cartels. All because a Democratically elected centrist wanted to regulate a few American Business interests. Change we can believe in my ass.
Next up was Fernando Lugo in Paraguay, a former Catholic Bishop who had ended 61 years of single-party rule in his impoverished country only to find himself at the wrong end of an internationally scorned kangaroo court impeachment for many of the same reasons as Zelaya. So much for spreading the word of Christ.
In countries that managed to create a palpable presence in the legislature, our favorite pig-dog-Americans had to get a little more crafty. Both Venezuela, now under the leadership of Chavez's dauphin, Nicholas Madura, and Argentina, until recently, under the rule of Nestor Kirchner's widow Cristina, were subjected to a labyrinthine myriad of economic and media warfare. Currency manipulation, crooked over-speculation, fudged poll numbers, tabloid hatchet jobs, flooding oil markets with cheap crude, fostering black markets and manufacturing shortages of basic goods through corporate hoarding and self sabotage and staging increasingly violent riots. All connected to the US and/or its allies in the old moneyed aristocracies and all giving the people in these countries the illusion of a government and economy in free fall. Add to this the inescapable carnage created by Wall Street's great recession and you can hardly blame a people for becoming desperate enough to turn against there own democracies.
Cristina Kirchner's heir apparent, Daniel Scioli lost in Argentina's most recent presidential election to Wall Street's favorite Argentine bitch-boy, Mauricio Macri, and surprise surprise, the moment the people of Argentina finally cried uncle by electing another neoliberal hose-bag, the Chicken Little, sky is falling chaos came to an abrupt stop. Macri thanked his countries black-mailers for ceasing there rape by dutifully undoing years of the Kirchner's hard fought struggle for Argentina's economic independence and selling his battered nation back into IMF enslavement, but they weren't alone. That same year saw Chavez's PSUV lose control of the assembly, setting up his predecessor, Madura to become the next Dilma Rousseff. And here we are a again, full circle or should I say ninth circle in the Dante's Inferno that America's most "Progressive" President has turned Latin America back into.
During Hugo Chavez's first meeting with President Barack Obama in the latter's first year of leadership, Hugo gave Barack a copy of Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins Of Latin America, in hopes that the new president might learn something about Latin America's plight under the yoke of Imperialism. Judging by his policies since, Obama appears to have mistaken this tome for an instruction manual. So much for reaching across the aisle.
What do we make of this nasty turn of events. I, like many jaded young leftists across the globe, found hope in the underdog victories of the Pink Tide. I thought if true democracy was still possible in places as woefully corrupt as Venezuela and Argentina, then why not here, why not anywhere. In the years following Hugo's 2002 victory over the powers of imperialism, anything seemed possible. Revolutionary Socialism was winning and it felt good. I felt proud of men like Hugo Chavez and Nestor Kirchner, almost as if they were my own presidents. I would watch them stand before the UN assembly and tell my own corrupt government to go fuck itself and I would cheer like a drunken campesino.
So what am I and people like me supposed to do when the Pink Tide turns back and recedes into the deep dark ocean of the radical imagination from which it sprang. What are the people of those poor countries supposed to do when the Bolivarian Revolution burns out. I'm honestly not sure I can answer these questions. But I think I know what Hugo Chavez would tell us. I can almost hear his voice now, booming from the heavens like a thunderclap calling, " I am not the revolution! YOU ARE THE REVOLUTION!!! You have the power!"
Ultimately as heroic as men and women like Hugo Chavez and Dilma Rousseff may be, the people in the streets were the true saviors of the America's and they can be again. We need to remember the lesson Venezuela taught us back in 2002. That even the biggest imperial dragon can be slain by the united will of the people.
Maybe the Pink Tide has receded. Maybe the Bolivarian Revolution is over. But just like like the tide, revolutions come and go and come again. The Marxist dialectic teaches us that there is no such thing as a failed revolution. Every past revolution furthers the progress of the next. I say it's high time for another revolution and this time it starts right here in the belly of the dragon.The ghost of Simon Bolivar will have his revenge on the American Empire and like I said in my last post, revenge is a dish best served Green. Lets keep the ghost alive dearest motherfuckers. Let the revolution begin in 2016. Things may look dark now but it's always darkest before the dawn.