Barack Obama’s tour of Latin America (Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador) on March 19-23 is proceeding amid the current intensely dramatic events in Libya and around it. The Western coalition’s military action against “Gaddafi’s bloody regime” is growing increasingly fierce. The launching of a land operation is but a matter of time.
Obama’s feigned order to attack Libya that he gave on the 42nd minute of his confidential conversation with his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff proved a most shocking episode of the US leader’s stay in the Latin American country. A US presidential adviser walked up to Obama in defiance of all diplomatic protocol standards and handed out a sheet of paper. The US President cast a glance on it, took a mobile phone from his adviser and said in a harsh voice “Go ahead!”. The Afro-American President clearly sought to impress Dilma with his resolution, and to show her that there were moments when diplomacy and good manners were cast away.
The Brazilian Ambassador at the United Nations abstained during the Security Council voting on the Libya resolution. Dilma Rousseff seems to be more flexible in bilateral relations than her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Lula said he was interested in developing relations with the United States, but would often support Chavez. This time, too, Lula, – the only one of the four former Brazilian Presidents who were invited to attend an official dinner with Obama, turned down the invitation. But Dilma acts differently. She put it bluntly that she would seek a removal of customs barriers for Brazilian goods, such as ethanol, pork, orange juice, cotton and steel. Brazil also needs US support for gaining the status of a permanent member of the UN Security Council. These are, of course, far-reaching interests, but Brazil is open for bargaining, including through changing its stand on a settlement of the so-called “Chavez problem”.
Televised reports on developments in Libya are broadcast to Latin America following target-oriented processing at US studios. NATO airstrikes at military facilities, cruise missile attacks on the Jamahiriya government and party buildings, Gaddafi-hunting through the use of drones, – all these are being alternated with reports on Obama’s visit to South America. The visiting and receiving Presidents in Brasilia, Santiago de Chile and San Salvador shook hands, delivered friendly speeches, bowed and scraped, to show that Latin America is allegedly unconcerned (not much anyway) about what is going on, on the other side of the globe, – in Libya.
The Presidents of Washington’s clique in Latin America invariably applaud the use of force by the United States against those “who are not with us”. The Presidents of Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Peru and Paraguay have voiced their support for the current military action against Libya. The Presidents of El Salvador and Chile, Mauricio Funes and Sebastian Piñera, are Washington’s reliable partners that are always ready to line up with Barack Obama.
But the countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, – Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and, of course, Cuba realize only too well the underlying reason for the events in Libya. And the reason is oil. Fidel Castro predicted that war was inevitable long before the operation “Odyssey Dawn” was launched. The UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 are a show of contempt for any and all international law provisions. Those who disagreed were “ground to dust”, as Hugo Chavez put it. We are bearing witness to the consecutive implementation of the chronogram of globalism to create “controlled chaos” under pretexts for interfering in the internal affairs of the countries that got a “black mark”. The end objective of the project is the annihilation of those opposed to globalisation American style. Now it is Libya that’s under attack, but Iran is next in turn. This looks like a methodical mopping-up operation against the countries that cooperated with Russia, to ensure a strategic encirclement of the latter.
Hugo Chavez has made several statements on the events in Libya recently. He says he is certain that the Western coalition has attacked the Arab country to seize its richest petroleum reserves and to physically destroy Gaddafi. “Unfortunately,Chavez said, the United Nations supports the war although this runs counter to the fundamental principles of the Organization”. When addressing Latin Americans during his televised programme “Hello, President!”, he asked this question “Who gave these countries, – the United States, France etc. the right to bomb Libya? Civilians are already reported killed in airstrikes. It is obvious that Libya is being shelled from the seaside, with 300 or 400 bombs and shells hitting houses and hospitals. This is a merciless military operation that fails to discriminate between those who are right and who are to blame. We demand that aggression be stopped”.
The pronouncements of Hugo Chavez were shared by his Bolivian, Ecuadorian and Nicaraguan counterparts. Daniel Ortega urged the Western coalition countries “to come to their senses and show understanding towards Gaddafi’s proposal to launch dialogue”. It is obvious to Ortega, as well as to Chavez that the aggressors’ basic objective is to seize Libya’s oil and gas riches: “The aggressors are competing with one another in who will be the first to occupy Libya”. President Evo Morales of Bolivia denounced the West’s military action against Libya and voiced certainty that all foreigners guilty of the death of Libyan citizens “would have their identity established and put on trial”. When addressing reporters, Morales said: “We still do not know the whole truth about what is actually happening in Libya, therefore out mass media should continuously struggle for obtaining unbiased information”.
Anti-American sentiment is rapidly growing due to the events in Libya. US Ambassador to Brazil Thomas Shannon asked just two or three weeks ago for Cinelândia Square, in central Rio de Janeiro, to be used for Barack Obama’s public address to 30,000 Brazilians. The US President clearly sought to emulate, even if in absentia, with Hugo Chavez, to see if he could prove just as popular in Latin America. But the US expectations proved short-lived, and the Embassy had to cancel the planned speech. It became difficult to guarantee Obama’s personal security. Brazilians were so much outraged at the bombardment of Libya that those in charge of the US leader’s security had every reason to expect problems. The short slogan “Obama, go home!” became very popular in Brazil. Barack Obama instead spoke at Rio’s Municipal Theatre to a much smaller audience of 2,000 selected guests, of which US security service officers, diplomats and police officers made up more than a half.
Protests against anti-Libyan aggression are being reported from all Latin American nations. 42 left-of-centre parties have met at an international seminar in Mexico to adopt a declaration on Libya. Some of those who signed it are members of ruling parties, such as Bolivia’s Movement for Socialism, Uruguay’s Broad Front, Brazil’s Workers’ Party, El Salvador’s Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front etc. A demonstration was held in Santiago de Chile under the slogan “For Peace, Against War”. More protests are being prepared in Chile to denounce “aggressor Obama’s” visit. Security was tightened at US Embassies in Central and South American nations. US officials fear reprisals from Gaddafi’s radical supporters. Several generations of Latin American revolutionaries have been brought up on Gaddafi’s main theoretical work, – his Green Book.
One of such revolutionaries is William Izarra of Venezuela, a retired conspirer officer who travelled to Libya long before Lieutenant Colonel Chavez emerged on Venezuela’s political scene. Army veteran Izarra is now in charge of the Centre for ideological training of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. A “Communiqué” was spread on behalf of the Centre, saying this, in particular: “We are sounding the alarm because of the implementation of the plans for the US and NATO military invasion of Libya. This destructive might will descend on the people of Libya and will create a traumatizing stereotype of the perception of a “fourth-generation” war in Africa, Asia and Latin America”.
The “Communiqué” urges that propaganda efforts should be geared up in support of Libya, and to condemn the “axis” of the United States-Canada-the European Union-the Arab League allies. Izarra has no doubt that aggression against Libya will whip up the processes of destabilization in Venezuela and prompt active moves by Chavez opponents in 2011 and 2012, in the run-up to presidential elections. The plan will obviously rely on concerted action by external (the US) and internal (the opposition, the “fifth column”, “Chavism without Chavez”) forces that all seek to prevent the Venezuelan leader from running in the future presidential election.