Solastalgia wrote:The Soviets may have been a major factor of US foreign policy in Latin America during the Cold War. But US opposition and manipulation of leftist politics in Latin America transcends the Cold War. They have covertly and overtly waged war against leftism in Latin America both before and after the Cold War. That's what I was getting at before. You trying to frame this as only happening when the Soviets were a threat is just not historically true. It was always more about protecting their interests in the region, which were backed by the right-wing. So any leftist reform was a threat to them, not necessarily a Soviet influence.
Which anti-left coups were sponsored by the US before the Cold War?
Solastalgia wrote:No he didn't... Chavez originally campaigned on a strong leftist socialist platform, known as the Fifth Republic Movement. Even the Venezuelan communist and socialist parties allied with him in an official political union for supporting his election.
He definitely didn't run on a moderate left-wing platform. That's for sure...
You may be interested in this video, in which Chávez himself clarifies his positions on the eve of the 1998 election:
Solastalgia wrote:Obama had no control over that. Even when Zelaya visited Washington later on, Obama didn't meet with him. Obama's original comments were all hot air and part of a propaganda campaign.
Either the US caused the coup and definitely had the ability to decide who ruled Honduras or it didn't have such a control and thus cannot be credibly said to be the US' responsibility.
You have made your bed here, will you lie on it?
So please don't tell me anymore about how you believe the Americans might not have known about Zelaya's kidnapper's plane refueling there.
So your source is another left-wing blog?
Solastalgia wrote:The original AP link http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/L/ ... 5-22-26-36 is down, but here's another article about it. http://edition.presstv.ir/detail/103619.html
Very interesting. I find it odd however that she says she believes the US did it but Obama didn't. Does anyone seriously buy that?
Solastalgia wrote:So you're saying that the rest of Latin America cutting off bilateral relations with the interim dictatorship was against a peaceful solution. Of course communication was still open. But cutting off bilateral relations with the illegitimate dictatorship was vital, and all countries did so, aside from the US.
The US was probably in the best position to mediate in the conflict.
Solastalgia wrote:I don't assume. That was what they wanted, the 2012 opposition protests were anti-Kirchner through and through. If they had the chance to, they would have ousted her.
Is it surprising the protesters would take an anti-Kirchner position when they blamed her for the bad economic performance of the economy?
You could also say that the protesters in Cochabamba would have ousted the Bolivian government if they had had the chance to do so, with no evidence of course just like in the case above.
Solastalgia wrote:Did you not read the article I linked to earlier about Goldman Sachs, Clarin, and Argentina. You say Goldman Sachs isn't a relevant player there, but the controllers of Clarin are. Goldman Sachs controls Clarin, buddy (it's the largest, and only major shareholder of Clarin). The editor of Clarin is the irrelevant player. How on earth do you think that she matters, she's easily replaceable.
It seems you didn't read your own source, according to it Goldman Sachs controls 9% of Grupo Clarín. And actually, that's old news since it sold its share in 2012:
Wikipedia wrote:Goldman Sachs sold its 9% share in the group to Fontinalis Partners equity fund CEO Ralph Booth in 2012. Amid ongoing controversies between Clarín and Kirchnerism over a 2009 anti-trust law that would limit the number of radio and television licenses held by the Clarín Group, the Federal Authority on Audiovisual Communication Services (AFSCA) enjoined the group on December 17, 2012, to divest itself of its majority stake in Cablevisión and of up to 213 broadcast licenses that would exceed the number stipulated by law; the 2009 Audiovisual Services Law allows companies to have 24 cable licenses and 10 free-to-air licenses for radio and television, and to cover no more than 35% of the pay-per-view population.
As I said earlier, the controllers are Argentinians.
I'll leave you as a homework to search about their past, they are some very shady figures to say the least.
Solastalgia wrote:Yeah, that was a small point surrounded by many more important points. Not sure what your point of contention is with that though. Basically the US cut off Andean Trade Preference Act, which cost Bolivia 30,000 jobs and more than 70 million bucks priced out of the US market. The reason they cut off the ATPA was because Bolivia didn't cooperate in cutting it's coca production. Bolivia had virtually the same amount of Coca production from 2005-2008, while Colombia saw a 27% increase and they weren't cut off from the ATPA. So what's with the double standard here, besides taking a shot at Boliva because of their leftist reforms under Morales.
And thus the Bolivians should not complain that they don't get American help if they work against American interests.
Solastalgia wrote:You love twisting articles around for your own liking don't you.
I'm drawing legitimate comparisons even if you don't like them due to your obvious hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty.
Solastalgia wrote:This is what, the fifth time in this discussion? The author wasn't "claiming" that autonomists were trying to get the military to topple Morales. That's exactly what they were trying to do.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2008/11/18/ ... n-bolivia/
Exactly, he's claiming that. But, if the mayor of Santa Cruz did call for a coup, then yes I would agree with you the argument is correct.
Solastalgia wrote:If a protest movement wants the democratically elected president out, then yes they can be rightly labelled as coupists. No it's not anti-democratic to call a spade a spade. What's anti-democratic, are the coupists, who want the president out, without proper democratic elections.
And since when did the Argentian protestors, for instance, want that?
Solastalgia wrote:You say you don't support the right, yet your comments could lead people to think otherwise.
Well, I'm discussing with anti-democratic far-leftists so I don't find it surprising.
Solastalgia wrote:Knowing the United States long history in overthrowing governments across Latin America, and now living in the digital era, do you really think that they'd be so stupid as to put together a legal justification for the coup. That would be way too over the top in terms of public support. They were trying to keep it low key via the state department. They have to do things a bit more discreet now a days.
I don't see why they wouldn't. Wouldn't the resemblance of legality actually allow the US to say it wasn't a coup but a constitutional transfer of power like Smertios did above? (I hope he was trolling BTW).
If anything, that's exactly
what the anti-Zelaya Honduran right and the Republicans did.
Solastalgia wrote:Long after. Even after Washington was calling his return reckless and Zelaya was getting increasingly discouraged by Washington's stance, he still had hope. This is why I believe he would have sold out to make his way back into power and go back to being a tepid liberal subservient to Washington.
I would say I don't find it surprising, then, that Obama didn't meet with him.
Solastalgia wrote:Not sure what you're talking about there. Wasn't I the one that proved to you that quote was pre-coup. You were the one trying to pass it off as the day of, and you said yourself that you stood corrected. So how was that showing a lack of knowledge on my part?
My point is that Zelaya himself thought Obama was on his side, which means it isn't obvious the US was involved in coup plotting. It definitely wasn't obvious for him.
Solastalgia wrote:The current problems of inflation in Venezuela were caused by government response to economic warfare waged by the opposition alligned private sector. They're the root of the problem. Blaming the government is just scratching the surface and not looking at the root causes.
Solastalgia wrote:We don't disagree that inflation is high there. That wasn't my point that you responded to with the comments on inflation. My point was about what caused that inflation. Everything I've studied about the current economic crisis in Venezuela points towards the opposition alligned private sector waging economic warfare against the country to prime it for regime change. The reason inflation is so high is because of the goods hoarding and black market sales to avoid government price controls. It's not the government of Venezuela that's causing the inflation, but rather the financial elite. Sure you can say that the government's response is what increases inflation, but what caused that government response. You have to identify the root of the problem here...
I would say that the root of the problem is the excessive growth of money supply that has been going on for years, a malaise that started even before Chávez got to power. How do you explain, then, the similar levels of inflation seen in the '90s
In the above regard, there is no major difference between the different Venezuelan political parties.
Solastalgia wrote:So what? American oil imports from Venezuela have hit a 28 year record low. America has been moving away from Venezuela oil since the late '90s, and especially after the shale boom. In response, Venezuela hasn't as much diversified it's sales, but instead concentrated it on China. China will increasingly take the position of America in the future to come. China already has been giving Venezuela massive loans for their oil.Future
“We are sending more oil to China because it was dangerous for us to depend on the political decisions of the U.S.” Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez
Venezuela Oil Sales to U.S. at 1985-Low Shows China Cost
being a key word here. If the US decided to launch an oil boycott against Venezuela now
, Venezuela would be in trouble. It would have also been in trouble if the US had done so a few years ago.
And of course, the US could definitely do this without much economic damage.
Solastalgia wrote:Sure in the sense that there isn't an inflated red-scare currently happening with China, the way there was during the Cold War with the Soviets. But China's influence in Latin America right now economically, definitely trumps what the Soviets had. Soviet influence in Latin America at the time was mainly confined to Cuba. China is everywhere, and rapidly expanding.
The difference is that there are no guerrillas or political parties who want to emulate the Chinese system. That gave an influence to the Soviets that went beyond its mere economic weight at the day.
China is indeed becoming more influential economically, but not militarily - we may do business together, yet no one wants to die for them or the ideals they claim to uphold.
Solastalgia wrote:I don't think the US is really trying to move away from the Middle East as they say. At least publicly and overtly they may be (but hardly, see: Afghanistan), but covertly they will continue to interfere in sovereign states throughout the middle east, at least through their Saudi friends.
I said trying
, not succeeding
What the US wants not only in the Middle East but in general, if you look carefully, is to establish a firm network of alliances that will further their interests without involving the US directly.
If you want to look it through leftist lens, the US wants to leave its empire in autopilot.
Solastalgia wrote:Contain Venezuela? Venezuela isn't trying to expand itself anywhere really. It's got way too many problems domestically. US foreign policy for Latin America is not about containing Venezuela. It's about containing China, just like it's policy towards Africa. The US will continue to try and subvert Chinese expansion throughout both continents. That's for damn sure. At the same time the US has waned off oil imports from both continents. Imports from Venezuela are at a 28 year record low, and they've just pulled 90% of their African oil imports. They believe they'll be fine domestically with fracking and importing tar sands from Canada. It's now about containing China and subverting their economic expansion throughout Latin America and Africa.
I meant contain Venezuela in our regional context. Contain its economic and ideological influence, which (if Venezuela's economy were in better shape) could translate into military power.
Saolstalgia wrote:A lot of those center-left countries are considered part of the Latin New Left revolution over the last decade. They definitely followed the Bolivarian Revolution when it came to their opposition to neoliberalism, and social welfare programs, etc. You really cannot disconnect them all from each other. They definitely all were following that same leftist current. I think the problem is that many disconnect Chavez from the bunch because they think he turned Venezuela communist, which is not the case. Sure, he wasn't center-left, but he definitely wasn't able to turn Venezuela communist. He was really just a socialist reformist in a historically hard capitalist country, that like others throughout Latin America, were under harsh right-wing neoliberal capitalist dictatorships. Nobody can just go from that to communism right away, there's a lot of reform over long periods of time just to get a percentage of the economy in control.
There are fundamental differences between, say, Michelle Bachelet and Nicolás Maduro. Or between Lula and Chávez.
Chávez and his friends belong to the far-left, not the center-left.
Solastalgia wrote:I do know about the Vuskovic Plan. It wasn't as bad as you're making it out to be. At the beginning the Vuskovic Plan performed well, there were substantial increases in industrial growth and GDP, while a significant decrease in unemployment and inflation. Allende also raised workers wages a few times during this initial period of prosperity. Then in 1972 the shit hit the fan as the price of copper nose dived as Nixon and Kissinger started to wage their economic warfare against Allende. So to blame the economic downfall in '72 on the Vuskovic Plan is misleading. It was really all about the copper, which Chile was extremely vulnerable to on the international market which the americans could manipulate and wage economic warfare.
You are forgetting one major part of the Plan, namely, that the money supply would accommodate these increases in social spending.
In the beginning of Allende's administration, there was some slack as the Chilean economy experienced a slowdown starting in 1969. This slowdown left some unused capacity that would be used after the increases in aggregate demand fueled by the Vuskovic Plan, but once production reached its capacity and demand kept increasing
, the obvious happened: Prices and thus inflation began to increase. Of course, this took some time but in the last quarter of 1971 there were signs of this overheating of the economy.
Shit hit the fan, as you said, because copper prices fell but (interestingly, perhaps) the cutting of the US' financing actually had a positive short-run effect as it gave Allende a reason to refuse to pay Chilean debts to the US, and relieved his administration of the onerous interest payments of it (Chile was ball deeps with American debt prior to Allende's government). Allende also managed to get some long-term loans from communist regimes to replace American funding, though the money didn't arrive immediately.
Another issue, too, was the bad performance of government-owned enterprises (including the social sector of the economy, i.e. businesses nationalized by the government), which had massive losses, especially towards the end of Allende's administration. Those, plus the general government deficit, would be financed by printing currency (very much in line with the Vuskovic Plan).
Solastalgia wrote:Of course, it's just that the way you worded it (blaming it on all on Allende) made it seem like you believe he brought the coup on himself (and therefore tacitly support it). This is the farthest from the truth. That was clearly orchestrated from the north. I'm not sure why you aren't admitting to this historical reality. It's been written about extensively.
And it's pretty much wrong for that matter, for the reasons I'm showing above.
Solastalgia wrote:As you admit yourself, there were Latin leaders that embraced Marxism without embracing the Soviets. So I don't think it's fair to say that these countries had as much of a Soviet ideological influence as a Marxist influence. Marxism has influenced many politicians around the world, but to say that they were influenced by Soviet ideology is not accurate.
Sure, though ideologically speaking the USSR was much, much closer than the US or Western Europe as a system to emulate for Latin American leftists. They didn't copy the Soviet system (well, not by the '70s at least as Stalinism was indeed popular in the '40s) but they were in fact influenced by it - hence the nationalizations and all the push for central planning.
Solastalgia wrote:Marxism may have weakened as a political current after the failure of the USSR, but it certainly isn't weak ideologically. In fact, we've seen a resurgence in Marxism in the past years since the global economic crisis. Especially in countries being raddled by austerity and what not. Yes, Marxism is a live and well. I'm not a Marxist, myself, but I believe it clearly is going strong still. I recommend reading: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/j ... of-marxism
I would say even now it's much, much weaker than during the Cold War. Marxism seems to be getting popular among some center-leftists who might have been closer to the left than to the center in any event.
Solastalgia wrote:Also, I don't think it matters that Marxism doesn't have a shining example of a country that did it right. What shining example of a country could we say the same for capitalism? Surely not the United States, as where has capitalism lead us to today (and the rest of the world)?
The US and Western Europe are, as of today, the usual examples to follow in political discourse - they are more prosperous and even egalitarian than your average Latin American country (even Venezuela is more unequal than most Western European countries). Far-leftists don't like either which is why you can see some indigenous alternatives proposed by them (e.g. Bolivarianism).
Solastalgia wrote:No, I think what matters is that many countries have implemented quasi-Marxist policies (whether they want to admit they are or not) that have bettered the livelihood of their people.
Which policies would those be?
Solastalgia wrote:The problem is that the Chavistas are mostly working class and the poor. The rest of the country get's fed a healthy diet of Venezuelan mainstream media which is heavily anti-Chavista and anti-Maduro. That's one of the big issues in Venezuela as I see it. That the privately held media that accounts for a majority of the countries media, as well as the the most popular programming is extremely anti-Chavista bias. So I believe that's why we've seen such a strong support for the opposition there over the years from the middle-upper classes.
Looks like some class warfare is going on.
No, but really, the social divisions in Venezuela are deep and price controls seem to be affecting the upper and middle-upper classes the most, especially the latter while inflation affects the lower and middle-lower classes the most, which is why they are being used to begin with.
Solastalgia wrote:Exactly, this is part of the economic warfare. The opposition aligned financial powers in Venezuela have been trying to bypass the government's price controls for years now, and have hoarded goods causing artificial scarcity, and started selling more to the black market which causes inflation on the real market.
Why would they sell at a price fixed by the government when they can sell it at higher prices in a black market?
Is this economic warfare or simply a matter of incentives? Pegging a low price creates an excess of demand (and thus scarcity) in the formal markets as stuff is cheap and thus more people want to buy and fewer people want to sell than there would be if there were no controls. Informal markets aren't subject to those controls and thus prices are significantly higher and producers will obviously try to get more profits by selling as much as they can there.
Solastalgia wrote:There are still factors of Venezuela's security forces that aren't trusted. The post-2002 coup purges may have helped, but there will always be people bought off and what not. Maduro has already fired many from the National Guard and other security force factions. Mainly for abuses of power and them beating civilians, but also I believe for conspiracy with the opposition. So I don't think we can say that the Venezuelan military is entirely aligned with the government. We must remember that the financial elite aligned with the opposition will always have enough money to lobby for some control of the military. I'd bet there's a few factions that are anti-Maduro in there, that just haven't made themselves known yet.
Maybe, only time will tell.