10
Nov
2005

The Rise of America's New Enemy

by John Pilger

I was dropped at Paradiso, the last middle-class area before barrio La Vega, which spills into a ravine as if by the force of gravity. Storms were forecast, and people were anxious, remembering the mudslides that took 20,000 lives. “Why are you here?” asked the man sitting opposite me in the packed jeep-bus that chugged up the hill. Like so many in Latin America, he appeared old, but wasn't. Without waiting for my answer, he listed why he supported President Chavez: schools, clinics, affordable food, “our constitution, our democracy” and “for the first time, the oil money is going to us.” I asked him if he belonged to the MRV, Chavez's party, “No, I've never been in a political party; I can only tell you how my life has been changed, as I never dreamt.” It is raw witness like this, which I have heard over and over again in Venezuela, that smashes the one-way mirror between the west and a continent that is rising. By rising, I mean the phenomenon of millions of people stirring once again, “like lions after slumber/In unvanquishable number,” wrote the poet Shelley in “The Mask of Anarchy.” This is not romantic; an epic is unfolding in Latin America that demands our attention beyond the stereotypes and clichés that diminish whole societies to their degree of exploitation and expendability...

//www.dissidentvoice.org/Nov05/Pilger1110.htm



Vulnerable Venezuela
by Bill Berkowitz

Since Hugo Chavez became President of Venezuela, Team Bush has done much to destabilize and isolate the Chavez government, as well as to demonize Chavez: A U.S.-backed coup in April 2002 failed to remove him, and a recall election -- during which the opposition received U.S. support, particularly from the National Endowment for Democracy -- was unsuccessful. (Since he came to power, Chavez has held eight elections, referendums and plebiscites.) Late last month, Israel acceded to U.S. demands that it put on hold, or cancel, a large arms deal it had brewing with Venezuela. In mid-September, President Bush issued “Presidential Determination No. 2005-36,” which branded Venezuela (and Burma) outlaw countries in the drug wars. Dan Feder, writing for The Narcosphere,

//narcosphere.narconews.com/

a project of the Narco News Bulletin, characterized the president's decision as another component of the “Cubanization of Venezuela.”...

//www.dissidentvoice.org/Nov05/Berkowitz1110.htm
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