The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Latin America:
Bush, the CIA and “democracy”

Sep 4, 2006

The U.S. government just created a special CIA department to concentrate exclusively on Venezuela and Cuba, two countries whose governments the U.S. would like to overthrow.

The reasons for focusing on Cuba are clear: Castro’s current health and his age raise the problem of his succession, and Bush hopes to take advantage of it to put an end to a regime the American government has long tried to isolate.

With Venezuela, things are more complicated. The U.S. continues to buy a great deal of oil from Venezuela, and commercial relations between the two countries continue as before. But with Venezuela having large oil resources at a time when the price of oil has reached new heights, President Hugo Chavez has more leverage and more ways to avoid pressure from the United States. And this sets a very poor example for the rest of Latin America, at least as far as the U.S. is concerned!

Bush denounces Venezuela and Cuba for their lack of what he calls “democracy.” But the creation of a special CIA force aiming at these two countries shows that “democracy” is not what the U.S. has in mind.

Since the end of the World War II, the CIA has organized a number of military coups that overthrew regimes – most of which were duly elected. The support given to Pinochet to eliminate Allende in Chile is just one of the better known examples of this policy. During the same epoch, the CIA actively collaborated with a number of dictatorial regimes, such as those in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, as they murdered tens of thousands of their own citizens. And it invaded some countries to overthrow elected regimes – as it did in the Dominican Republic in 1965.

It’s no surprise that neither Venezuela nor Cuba takes the CIA’s new interest in their country as a friendly gesture.