We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, June 25, 2012

Obama's Second Latin American Coup

Click here to access article by Shamus Cooke from CounterCurrents. 

This is the first I've heard of the latest attempt to overthrow a popular government in Latin America. As Cooke writes, the fingerprints of a US destabilization effort are all over this attempt to remove this populist president from power in Paraguay. 

It is likely that the same tried and true neo-imperialist formula has been used: the US operatives establish close ties with the military in the host country, supplies them with training, military equipment, and paid junkets to the US where they are wined and dined by US military generals. This method has been applied to governments of interest to US political operatives since at least the last sixty years. Some of the most notable are Indonesia, Chile, Argentina, Columbia, Honduras, Haiti, and Egypt.
Paraguay's elite has only the military for internal support, which for decades has been funded and trained by the United States.
...it is not remotely possible for Paraguay's elite to act without assurance from the United States that it would continue to receive U.S. political and financial support; the elite now needs a steady flow of guns and tanks to defend itself from the poor of Paraguay.
Unfortunately, after making this spot-on observation, he keeps referring to Obama and his administration which dilutes any real understanding of US power and methods used to subvert and control other countries.

Then the author's analysis is marred by the usual American ignorance of political systems by making this statement:
It's obvious that the President's real crimes are that he chose to ally himself more closely with Paraguay's left, which in reality means the working and poor masses of the country, who, like other Latin American countries, choose socialism as their form of political expression.
There is no socialism anywhere in Latin America. Although Chavez has talked a lot about it, his policies and those of many other Latin American leaders has promoted only what is known as "social democratic" policies to ameliorate the socially disastrous policies of their capitalist elites. Social democracy is merely capitalism dressed up in populist measures (social safely nets) and proponents frequently use "socialist" language to sell it to their citizens. 

Cuba is unique by having followed the model of the Soviet Union and establishing a bureaucratic class to organize and direct the economy and society. I think they can be forgiven due to the emergency situation they have been subject to due to the ongoing efforts of US operatives to destabilize their country.

This article from CADTM entitled "Paraguay: Lugo denounces “a coup against democracy”, although it suffers some translation problems, provides many more details on this event in Paraguay.