Thirty Years Later

It was thirty years ago tonight that the US Government arranged for my secret arrest in Lima, Peru. I have written three books about that incident which spanned the years 1977 to 1980 so we need not pursue it here. (See WorldCat for direction to university libraries closest to you.) Except to say that from the perspective of thirty years later, what I confronted then, and Latin America today, constitute dramatically different realities. Two things stand out to me, literally, tonight, and I thought they might be of interest to readers of Venezuelanalysis.
First, I remember on this night thirty years ago, the US Government was deeply involved in owning, thus running, many governments south of their borders. Some, governments, such as the Peruvian military dictatorship of then President, General of Division, Morales-Bermudez, busy at the time locking-up Velasco who they killed in a naval hospital) were outright puppets on the Yanqui payroll(s). It wasn’t just Peru, wherever one turned, and one found agents of gringo imperialism causing trouble. Always intervening, in illegal and indeed arrogantly insulting ways, against the interests of the working people of the Americas. Imposing their “latest” programs, one after the other, until they truly wrecked the economies of all of the struggling countries – at least wrecked them in so far as such economies might justifiably be considered to be at least tangentially concerned with the welfare of the mass of the citizenry. What do we see today?
Well certainly the imperialists are still causing as much trouble for the American people as they possibly can. These recent difficulties with Colombia, for Venezuela, are directly engineered by Washington’s pulling violently on the strings of one of its few remaining martinettes, Uribe. But, even this situation masks the fact that Uribe, and the clique of centi-millionaires and billionaire industrialists and traffickers (some of whom I have known for decades), who own him, have been frantically back-treading in the last three years over their earlier ill-thought out commitment to Washington, in light of the US rulers incredibly bad judgment, and the defeats thus suffered by the would-be world conquerors. One can see, that although temporarily successful Gringoism may have been in Colombia, that this “victory” is destined to be short lived.
Secondly, when we look at Latin America today, we see the situation has turned around 180 degrees. Today, everywhere, the popular forces are on the move, and most importantly are being victorious. Just a few years ago when I was in Cuba the situation seemed extremely dangerous and Cuba was isolated without any national partners on the American continent. Today Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and even Brazil and Ecuador, are moving forward, together, toward an economically, socially, politically unified America; politically sophisticated and competent. Gringo imperialism has perhaps two suborned regimes at its disposal on the South American continent (Colombia and Peru) and that situation is going to change within the foreseeable future, one way or another.
So, when I look back over the last thirty years of my involvement in Latin America, I see such tremendous progress that it makes any sacrifice I might have made seem well worth it to me. In fact a miniscule contribution, compared to the successes we can now record, and the future we see so brightly shining before us.
Working people of the Americas are throwing off their chains and we should all rejoice. My mentor, the Mexican communist playwright Carlos Prieto, may be turning in his grave, but if he is, I believe it is with joy!