Chavez: 'Today I don't smell sulfur.'

Obama: 'Thank you very much.'


[This is in reference to Venezuela President Hugo Chavez' remarks

about President Bush when he spoke at the UN in 2006, saying:

'The devil came here yesterday, and it smells of sulfur still today.']

[Hoje Macau, Macau]



Gazeta, Russia

Latin Americans Will Sooner or Later Come 'Crawling' to the U.S.


"The factual loss of American influence in its neighboring countries under Bush has turned out to be far more painful for Washington than all of its losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. leaders have done nothing but demonstrate their ineffectiveness, destroying with their own hands the unipolar world. It has reaped what it sowed."


"The current American elite say to Latin America, 'We love everyone, all is forgiven, and we will no longer impose on anyone.' Translated into simple language, this means the following: 'We are deathly tired of lecturing you and caring about democracy and human rights in your countries. You will come back to us yourselves (or crawl back, if repentance is belated).'"


By Yevgeniy Trifonov


Translated By Yekaterina Blinova


April 15, 2009


Russia - Gazeta - Original Article (Russian)

In a meeting of great significance to Latin Americans, President Obama greets President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, April 18.


BBC NEWS VIDEO: U.S. neighbors seem to be taking Obama's call for a new start seriously, Apr. 19, 00:01:56 RealVideo

Fidel Castro was right and Hugo Chavez was wrong. The arrival of Barack Obama to the White House really has opened a new era in U.S. relations with its southern neighbors. It seems the current American elite consider that the cost of caring about democracy and human rights in Latin America is unreasonably high.


The fact that American policy toward Latin America will undergo radical changes was clearly expressed by U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden. During a conversation with the Chile President Michelle Bachelet, Biden said, " The time of the United States dictating unilaterally, the time where we only talk and don't listen - is over. We very much … want a conversation. We very much want a partnership." And now, three U.S. House members have flown to Cuba for friendly conversations with the Castro brothers, to tell the press how alert the elderly comandante is, and that Raul Castro would like to normalize relations with the United States and end an almost half-century log American embargo. "Our basic message back to our country would be, it's time to talk to Cuba," emphasized the head of the delegation, California Representative Barbara Lee. The comments of Fidel himself were more than complimentary of the visit.


President Obama then acted to lift additional restrictions imposed by the Bush Administration on travel to Cuba and remittances between the countries (although, according to White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs, this now only extends only to U.S. residents and their Cuban relatives); authorizes U.S. telecommunication companies to resume their work in Cuba; and asks the government to investigate the possibility of resuming regular commercial flights to the island.


By the way, a few days after the visit by American lawmakers to Cuba, the United States made a step toward another Latin American regime - this time, Bolivia. Washington agreed with President Evo Morales on cooperation to combat drug trafficking, allocating $26 million to Bolivia for the purpose. To give this president, who is also leader of the cocaleros [coca growers] money to fight the drug trade, is comical. Presumably, this is a bribe - not to him personally but for the entire Latin-American left, to get them to believe in the sincerity of the updated Uncle Sam.


Implementing a change in American foreign policy in the south is well within the scope of the new Washington administration's geopolitical strategy.


Obama wants to prove to everyone that he's "warm and fuzzy": he's making "come hither" gestures toward the grim Teheran, he's speaking sweet words to the Palestinians and he's pointedly silent about Pyongyang's nuclear shenanigans. But Latin America is right alongside the United States - it isn't far-away Palestine - and the factual loss of American influence in its neighboring countries under Bush has turned out to be far more painful for Washington than all of its losses in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, U.S. leaders have done nothing but demonstrate their ineffectiveness, destroying with their own hands the unipolar world. It has reaped what it sowed.



[Excelsior, Mexico]


Obama himself, who has done nothing but make abstract speeches, probably truly doubts the possibility of convincing bloody villains from the Colombian FARC, Palestinian terrorists and Iran’s deranged mullahs that killing is wrong, that everyone has to be friends, and that the world has changed. Those who brought him to power are serious people who nurse no illusions. They know: the use of force against recalcitrant countries is for now politically impossible, and launching empty tirades are useless. Let Latin America (and the world) live without the global cop for a while and get by on their own. During the time of the Bushes, junior and senior, powerless shouts toward Latin America amounted to nothing - and America's last show of power, a coup attempt in Venezuela in 2002, was organized so badly that nothing of the sort has been repeated again.


Besides, the U.S. looses nothing: its Southern neighbors can't survive without the U.S. market (Chavez only threatens to stop selling oil to the Americans. In fact, he cannot make good on his threats). Even Hoya de la Torre, "father" of the Latin-American left, warned that since they had no other markets, socialist governments in Latin America would have to learn to cooperate with the United States. For Latin Americans, China, Europe and Japan, even all together, can't substitute for the United States. Cuba is a perfect example of this: free trade with the entire rest of the world isn't capable of compensating Havana for the U.S. embargo, and the economy of "Freedom island" has been in continual decline for the past 50 years.


The current American elite say to Latin America, "We love everyone, all is forgiven, and we will no longer impose on anyone." Translated into simple language, this means the following: we are deathly tired of lecturing you and caring about democracy and human rights in your countries. You will come back to us yourselves (or crawl back, if repentance is belated).


What is described in Gabriel Marques' The Autumn of the Patriarch has happened: the gringo, having put the general in the president’s office, sailed back to the States, shouting to him: "That's it! Stay here alone in this dirty brothel! Lets see how you get by without us!" Now Americans are doing just that - but in a much more sophisticated manner.



[El Nuevo Diario, Nicaragua]


The nanny (the United States) is tired, has gone to bed and has closed the door. The mischievous "children" (marginal regimes - including those in Latin America) are having a festival of disobedience. Although the fun of these "children" is far more extreme than a pillow fight. The Castro brothers, for instance, have decimated the economy to "feed" army and special forces officers. Public and military officials in Venezuela sell drugs with a vengeance and entertain themselves with money from the state budget. Those sober Iranian moralists have turned the country into a concentration camp for the female population. Hamas in the Gaza Strip entertains itself with the killing of Jews. And the Kim Jong-il regime feeds off of racketeering and extorting bread and fuel from other countries by threatening to either explode an atomic bomb or launching a rocket somewhere.


In Latin America, Washington's stubborn support of the failed neoliberal model has brought extreme anger from the populace. And almost everywhere, the left has come to power. Among them are boisterous demagogues like Chavez, accidental señoras like [Argentine President Michelle] Kirschner and [Chilean President Michelle] Bachelet and completely wholesome politicians - Brazil's Lula, Uruguay's Tabare Vasquez and Costa Rica's Oscar Arias.


The later, by the way, are in the majority. The problem lies elsewhere: the majority of Latin American voters - badly educated, angry and poor (thanks to neoliberalism) are bewitched by leftist ideas and drugs. The trouble is that even someone like Lula, who is a fairly successful president, holds on with the support of this dark mass and is forced to act out as though he were Chavez. It's pathetic to read his nonsense about the "blue-eyed blondes" who are responsible for the crisis, but what is Lula to do if the presidential elections are approaching and the candidate of the governing party's approval rating doesn’t even reach 10 percent?


The gringo-bashing Chavez is far more dear to Latin American paupers than the rational Lula. And when the wise [Uruguayan President] Vasquez honestly explains to his people that they must trade with the United States rather than Venezuela [which has only oil] because the U.S. absorbs 83 percent of Uruguayan exports, his own "Broad Front" rises up against him.


At the next election, the Broad Front intends to put into office the former terrorist Jose Mujica - he is one who really knows how to swear at the gringo. His other talents have yet to be discovered, but the poor need nothing more. That is why all the leaders of the continent repeat, as if to chant: "no to the U.S. embargo on brotherly Cuba!"



[El Espectador, Colombia]


For example, could Honduran President Manuel Zelaya (not a socialist, by the way, but a liberal) say: excuse me, but Cuba under Castro committed acts of military aggression against my country - why should we forgive that, and even defend the interests of this barbaric regime before Washington? But no; Senior Zelaya has been the loudest in demanding a lifting of the embargo: he doesn't want his palace decimated by crazed mobs of barbudos [fans of the unshaven ones like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara]. All the other leaders of the region could also accuse Cuba of deploying terrorists (the comandante only banned the deployment of los revolucionarios to Mexico, which harbored Fidel after his release from prison). Even anti-communist stalwarts like Uribe (Colombia) and Calderon (Mexico) are singing in tune: down with the embargo! Such is the face of Latin American democracy …


Where this "festival of disobedience" in Latin America will lead is hard to predict. Democracy is weak in the region - generally weak governments that are too dependent on the volatile moods of lowest classes of society. The crisis has hit the economy and social sphere of the region hard, reinforcing radical attitudes and groups.


In Mexico the drug cartels are waging a treu war against the government. Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina and huge Brazilian cities are choking on crime and drugs. In Colombia the civil war continues, and in Mexico, "guerrillas" are aflame. New and threatening factors have appeared: around the Chavez-Morales block, an unheard of coalition is forming steeped in "color racism": denial of the continent's European and Christian roots - and the rejection of democratic values. Peruvian Ollanta Humala, an Indian racist who calls for the expulsion of all Whites from Peru and the prohibition of Christianity, nearly became president. He received support from Chavez and his speeches, worthy of Goebbels, gave rise to no complaint from the Venezuelan leader.  



Meanwhile in Peruvian mountains, the ranks of the "Shining Path," a separatist group based on the ideas of Indian racism and Marxism a-la Pol Pot, have been reactivated. Bolivia's new constitution codifies Indian privileges, destroying racial equality in the country. Ecuador's leftist president Raphael Correa also flirts with the Indian racists. In the meantime, Islamic radicals are growing stronger within the region (with the help of the aforementioned Chavez): a huge area of free trade in Paraguay is controlled by the Lebanese Hezbullah, and its fighters have joined the ranks of the Colombian FARC. Of course, Islamists can't spread too widely in Christian Latin America, but they can bring even greater chaos. Moderate reformist regimes and movements of this type are relatively weak because of their limited social base, but the capacity to suppress extremism and banditry is limited by sub-democratic laws and lax law enforcement.


It's unlikely that Latin America will collapse into complete chaos and anarchy as it did in the 19th century, but it will be difficult for it to move toward stability and development, except for countries like Brazil, Costa Rica, and, perhaps, Chile. Even more doubtful than before, however, is the outlook for a unifying ideal: due to the economic crisis, contradictions between nations have only been exacerbated.



Gazeta, Russia: Castro and Chavez Split Over Obama

El Mundo, Colombia: Obama: A Man Who Takes His Promises Seriously

La Razon, Bolivia: President Morales Suspects U.S. Behind Attempt on His Life

Granma, Cuba: Castro: Easing of Cuba Restrictions 'Positive', But Not Nearly Enough

Granma, Cuba: Bay of Pigs Led 'Inexperienced Kennedy' to Make 'Misguided Decisions' …

El Espectador, Colombia: Cuba in Obama's Sights

Merco Press, Uruguay: Lula Vows Not to Embarrass Obama Over Cuba Embargo


In this situation, the "departure" of the United States from the region should increase not only the negative, but the positive tendencies in the economic and social spheres of Latin America. The left no longer has anyone to blame, which means it will be harder to mobilize the masses to support it. And the moderate right will have no one to rely on to come and save it. Both will have to count on themselves. They will have to work more and picket less. They will have to actually, not just verbally, deal with national economies and regional markets, and somehow deal with the issues of terrorism and crime. But in any case, the process will be a long and painful one.










































[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US April 21, 4:29pm]