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Commentary :: Peace & War

CoupsRUS: Haiti and Venezuela

An argument that the CIA is involved in both Haiti and Venezuela and the techniques and criteria that the CIA uses in overthrowing governments.
Every time there are coup d'etats, demonstrations or rebellions in Latin American countries, the corporate media pretend that the US government is merely an innocent bystander. Haiti is a perfect example of this. If the United States does send military forces to the region, this is usually portrayed as simply protecting American citizens living in the area. Naturally, if the wrong kind of rebels, i.e. leftists, are threatening the government of Haiti, as in a 1959 rebellion against "Papa Doc" Duvalier, then the US marines are instructed to engage in actual combat against them. Watching the double standard in how they treat right-wing death squads versus leftist guerrillas is very instructive in learning the true motivations for intervention in Haiti or other countries.

The US corporate media only reluctantly mention the business interests of American corporations in Latin America like the oil in Venezuela or the sweatshops in many countries such as Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Anyhow, they pretend these economic interests play only a small part in US foreign policy. The history of the region is completely forgotten. The Monroe Doctrine essentially informed the European colonial powers that South and Central America were completely the province of US commercial interests and warned the European colonialists to stay out. Of course, the Monroe Doctrine was a long time ago and now the corporate media tell us the United States is this global Santa Claus bringing all good things like democracy, freedom, the rule of law, Starbucks and McDonalds to suffering people everywhere. Rapidly disappearing down the media memory hole is the fact that Haiti was occupied by the US military from 1915 to 1934, and both the brutal dictators, "Papa Doc" and "Baby Doc" Duvalier were supported by the United States. The Haitian death squad called FRAPH was organized by the CIA and DIA. Many of its members are now returning from exile to take part in this recent attempt to oust President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

The coup attempts in Haiti and Venezuela are examples of the techniques employed by the CIA, usually with great success, to undermine governments which practice some form of redistributive economics. President Jean Bertrand Aristide wanted to raise the minimum wage for sweatshop workers. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela wants to use the taxes on oil revenue for the benefit of poor people, redistribute land to the peasant farmers and barter oil with Cuba in return for Cuban teachers and doctors serving the poor communities in Venezuela. The United States considers the public wealth of other countries to be exclusively for the enrichment of multinational corporations. They do not like policies benefiting the poor as they consider them to be manifestations of socialism and antithetical to US business interests.

Domestically in the United States, they are doing the identical thing by legal means which they obtain by military force in other countries. Here at home, they are rolling back most programs for the public so that more money is available to corporations and the military-industrial complex. Recently, Alan Greenspan said that Social Security payments would have to be cut. They are already so low that many elderly people have to choose between taking their medicine or buying food. This is the reactionary order that they are trying to impose on the whole world. Lots and lots of money to defend the far flung reaches of the US corporate empire. No money for desperate old people in need of medicine to extend and make bearable their last years. As Marie Antoinette said: "Let them eat cake."

The CIA has developed great expertise in undermining the governments of other countries. They use a great variety of methods, including propaganda, disinformation, fabricated incidents, infiltration of labor unions and other organizations, using the Agency for International Development or the National Endowment for Democracy as conduits to funnel money to opposition groups and so on. The American Institute for Free Labor Development was a CIA-organized union, which taught many Latin American labor leaders to have a friendly, sympathetic view of capitalism, rather than an antagonistic, Marxist viewpoint. The CIA itself controls media outlets in most countries. The rich media corporations not directly controlled by the CIA are usually very sympathetic to the CIA agenda anyhow and are willing to cooperate with them.

Chile prior to the overthrow of Salvador Allende is an excellent example of how the CIA uses propaganda. Thousands of posters were produced showing Chilean children with a hammer and sickle stamped on their forehead. A radio spot was produced featuring the sound of a machine gun followed by a woman's cry: " They have killed my child-the communists." The announcer then added in impassioned tones: "Communism offers only blood and pain. For this not to happen in Chile, we must elect Eduardo Frei president." All sorts of lurid gossip about the private lives of targeted leaders like Salvador Allende are produced to sway public opinion about them in a negative direction. They use agent provocateurs in demonstrations to create incidents and sometimes deaths that reflect unfavorably on the government. A striking example was in Italy, where the CIA in collaboration with Italian fascists blew up the Bologna railway station and blamed it on communists.

The CIA has no morality. They will do anything necessary to stop the spread of any form of socialism or even nationalism if it interferes with US corporate profits and power. They are capitalism's international army. They never give up and unlike leftist organizations, they have all the money they will ever need. Haiti and Venezuela are not isolated incidents of unrest caused solely by the dissatisfaction of people in those countries. They are vivid illustrations of the CIA in action.

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