Wednesday, March 7, 2007
US President George W Bush is headed Brasilia way to try to counter the growing influence of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. He might as well stay home. Chavez is the king of Latin America, and the number of potential US allies among the pseudo-populist regimes, such as in Brazil, is diminishing by the day.
A Very Good Article
By Pepe Escobar
".....The Bush reception won't be exactly of the Rolling Stones variety. Massive protests are scheduled everywhere - even in countries where he is not showing up. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez - Bush's continental nemesis - will address a huge crowd in Buenos Aires, probably in a soccer stadium, as US Secret Service paranoia turns Sao Paulo into an immense Green Zone.
This had to be, fundamentally, a Bush-against-Chavez tour. Inevitably, it is also a Bush-against-Ahmadinejad tour. Last month, strengthening ties with Latin America, the Iranian president visited Venezuela, Ecuador and Nicaragua, which in the neo-con scheme of things qualify, along with gas-rich Bolivia, as the southern "axis of evil".
For the Bush visit, the White House/State Department tactic is once again imperial "divide and rule'. Mercosur - the South American common market that is evolving as a true, indigenous integration model - will be actively bombarded, via different strategies targeting Brazil and Uruguay. Venezuela became a full Mercosur member last year.
Brazil is the big prize. The White House/State Department dream is semi-officially to crown President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as a "moderate reformist" capable of representing a continental alternative to the revolutionary Chavez. The masses all over South America are not buying it......
Whatever cozy deals with Alvaro Uribe in Colombia and Felipe Calderon in Mexico, and polite reception by Lula in Brazil and Vazquez in Uruguay notwithstanding, the fact is that all along South American streets Chavez is king and Bush is - in the words of Brazilian union leaders - the No 1 "terrorist".....
The masses all over South America have already compared these advances with the abject failure of neo-liberalism. There may be flagrant polarization - but that concerns the absolute majority of national populations, along with most governments, against discredited former progressives, client regimes and small but powerful supporting oligarchies. In a nutshell, this spells doom for Bush's proposed anti-Chavez coalition......
And then there's sinister death-squad expert John Negroponte as Condoleezza Rice's No 2 at the State Department. Rice knows absolutely nothing about Latin America, so Negroponte may soon be in charge of the region. This will mean renewed merciless war against Chavez, Morales and Correa.
It's not coming from Lula, Vazquez or even Kirchner. Millions in South America - and millions all over the world - have already noticed that the shock of the new is coming from Chavez, Morales and Correa. Much more than Asia or Africa, South America, politically, is now the most progressive and hopeful region in the world - forging, in a messy, imperfect, even utopian but always exciting way a compound of real alternatives to the ravages of neo-liberalism while Washington, from the peaks of its unrivaled full-spectrum dominance, has nothing to offer but war, death and devastation. "