War and Peace in Venezuela

Luis Britto Garcia examines the dynamics of war and peace in Venezuela, its risk to other countries, and the risk of, nature of , and motivations for war towards it, especially by the United States and Colombia.

By Luis Britto Garcia
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WAR

I don’t get tired of quoting Clausewitz, who says that war is a continuation of politics by other means. The United States has failed so completely and successively in its policies that it always has the temptation of war.

PEACE

Venezuela doesn’t represent the slightest risk to the safety of anyone, it hasn’t assaulted anyone nor perpetuated a hostile act against any country, it has a smaller than average army with conventional weapons that don’t threaten its neighbours.

WAR

Venezuela is besieged by seven U.S bases in Colombia, two in Curazao and Aruba, four more in Panama, one in Honduras, and by the IV Float that patrols the Caribbean after military occupying defenceless Haiti.

PEACE

Because of its population of fifty million habitants, because of its agricultural and industrial production, because of the expansion of its capital, Colombia can easily obtain immense benefits from peaceful commercial relations with its neighbours, and enjoy a subregional hegemony without firing a single shot or scattering blood in an ocean or playing its destiny and that of its leaders in the casino of war.

WAR

But with the Plan Puebla-Panama, that consists of a strategic corridor through Central America up to the Sister Republic, and Plan Colombia, that aims to convert [Colombia] into the Hawk Country of the Hired Killer Country, the United States is planning to drive a wedge into the heart of Brazil, its true competitor in Latin America, and carry out Project New American Century.

PEACE

According to Dilip Hiro, the foreign policy of Obama combines overbearing threat with withdrawal in the face of firmness (TomDispatch.com). Obama rejects the Honduras coup as a “terrible precedent”, the coup leaders racially insulted him and he ended up supporting them. After threatening to remove Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, he backed him when he offered to go over the Taliban and declared Iran “our friend, our ally”. After pressuring China to revalue its yuan, threatening it with reports from the treasury department and approving the sale of 6.4 billion dollars in arms to Taiwan, Obama accepted Hu Jintao’s measures against companies who sold said arms and held back the announced reports.

WAR

The 700 billion dollars of Plan Paulson and the 750 billlion euros of financial relief in Europe have sunk into the bottomless well of the crisis. Workers refuse to pay with higher taxes, decreased workers’ rights and pensions. Bankers clash with the social rebellion in Greece and Portugal, Spain confronts 25% unemployment and the United States gives in to the temptation to activate its economy with military spending, with a military budget announced for 2011 of over 726 billion dollars.

PEACE

Brazil is clear about the United States’ intentions and is also clearing the way for independent agreements with Iran and Turkey, countries that are moving further and further away from the United States’ orbit.

Venezuela, apart from its integration in Mercosur and its close relations with Argentina, Cuba, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicharagua, Uruguay and the Caribbean countries, has began multi-polar relations with Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, African countries, the Third World. United States dominance will find it difficult to directly confront a bloc with noticeable multi-polar links and that covers almost two thirds of South America.

WAR

The incoming president in Colombia will be subject to the devastating pressure of almost a decade of United States intervention and a military occupation that guarantees the invaders immunity and impunity from the law and local tribunals. His predecessor sent Colombians to fight the U.S war in Afghanistan. The new president will have little hesitation to sacrifice them as canon fodder in any conflict in the interest of the Empire.

PEACE

In 2007 Colombia had 459,687 civil servants working in security and defence and in that year spent 6.5% of its GDP on internal conflict, some $22 billion annually. Statistics from the Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI) fix the number at 3.7% of the GDP in 2009 ($10.06 billion), which places Colombia as the Latin American country which spends most on arms.

El Espectador on 25 November 2009 announced that Colombia has established a war tax that expects to raise 3.3 billion pesos annually (according to the Real Academia Espanola, a billion is a million million, and one dollar is worth almost two thousand pesos). Such burdens go strongly against its economy and the precarious conditions of life of its people, of which seven million have been forced to emigrate and 4.3 million have been displaced from their land due to military operations.

Despite this, the Colombian government  hasn’t been able to eradicate an insurgency that consists of some ten thousand rebels. Before involving itself in other countries, it would be better that Colombia sort out its own backyard. It wouldn’t be wise to invade other countries to confront the rebellion of thirty million Venezuelans and two hundred million Brazilians.

WAR

The possible future president [Translator’s note: since the original publication of this article, that possible president, Juan Santos, has since won the presidential elections] of Colombia has threatened with kidnapping the Venezuelan mayor Di Martino; has supported the invasion against Ecuador, has explicitly stated that his government would assault any country in order to exterminate the insurgency that it can’t even control within its own borders. As vicepresident he supported the military occupation of his country by the United States and tried to unite his electorate using a war against Venezuela discourse at every opportunity.

PEACE

Venezuela faces the possibility of this declared war with an alarming lack of preparation. Severe deficiencies in education on history, geography and civics make it hard to deepen the national consciousness.

Some 4.3 million Colombians live in Venezuela and almost no Venezuelans live in Colombia. A fifth column of paramilitaries occupies us without any resistance and legalises capital with bingos, casinos, and gambling dens. Part of the opposition and its media call out loudly for Venezuela to be invasive. There’s no norms in Venezuela to exclude people with loyalty, obedience and military defence towards other countries from strategic responsibilities.

Venezuela barely spends 1.5% of its GDP on defence these days, a reduction of 25% compared to previous years ($3.254 billion dollars).

 WAR

Noriega collaborated with the United States and it overthrew him and kidnapped him. Fujimori carried out genocide in the interest of the northerners [U.S] and ended up in jail. Carlos Andres massacred in defence of the IMF and paid with his imprisonment. Saddam Hussein fought against Iran supported by the Yankees and was executed by them. The Taliban, trained, financed, and armed by the Gringos [U.S] today are being reduced to ashes by bombs Made in the USA.  He who initiates conflict in the name of the empire ends up unhappy. Whoever serves the United States commits suicide.

PS: The third edition of my book ‘Peace with Colombia” is in circulation and can be downloaded [in Spanish] from www.minci.gob.ve

Translated by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com