Nicaragua, ALBA, and Intellectual Betrayal

Posted on January 28, 2010

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This is a long article.  I’m providing you an excerpt of the first several paragraphs and you can go to the site for the full article.

From Venezuela Analysis

Nicaragua, ALBA, and Intellectual Betrayal

January 19th 2010, by Toni Solo

People in Latin America have frequently found themselves fighting regular forces and mercenary contractors coordinated ultimately by the United States Southern Command, the State Department and related US government bodies. That was true in Central America in the 1980s. It has been the case in Colombia for many years. On a smaller scale it is happening now in Honduras. Shortly, they may well find themselves fighting regular forces and mercenary contractors coordinated by NATO.

2009 marked the transition via a practically seamless continuity in US government foreign policy in Latin America from one gangster US government administration to another. The international intellectual and information-media manager classes have failed to report assertively and adequately the US government’s escalating war on the peoples of Latin America. For overstretched US military forces, anxious to apply pressure to perceived enemies in Latin America, resorting to NATO’s mutual defence Article 5 – as they have in Afghanistan – is an attractive option. With its new military bases in Colombia, the US government can readily provoke an incident as they did fifty years ago in the Tonkin Gulf.

The Venezuelan government recently expressed concern about the intentions of the US government in relation to its bases in the Dutch Antilles- Aruba and Curacao. Holland is a member country of NATO. The well known NATO war games known as Plan Balboa posited unequivocally a joint NATO operation against Venezuela. Despite this, leading US intellectuals like Noam Chomsky dismiss the chances of a US government-led aggression against Venezuela. (1) Their failure of imagination only makes sense in the broad economic, political and propaganda context of the Americas.

US economic context

US domestic economic collapse and stagnation seems increasingly to be provoking a militarist US foreign policy in regions around the world. The domestic economic collapse is very clear. The US economy – still losing many tens of thousands of jobs each month (even official figures acknowledge over 2 million jobs lost since December 2007) – needs 100,000 new jobs a month to maintain employment equilibrium. Unemployment in the US is unlikely to recover from current Depression levels – the U-6 unemployment measure is currently over 17% – until 2015 at the earliest. Ignoring the employment crisis, from July 2007 through 2008, the US authorities – the US government and the Federal Reserve – along with allied governments and their central banks, sought to make good the liquidity problems of their vital private sector partners among the major financial companies by stoking inflation.

They hoped to protect bona fide banks and the so-called shadow banking sector from the imploding real estate bubble. For a while, that strategy shored up failing strategic financial partners – US government supported entities, US Primary Government Securities Dealers and their parent companies (2) as well as the giant, world-wide American Insurance Group (AIG). (AIG on its own has been the beneficiary of over US$127 billion dollars in US government (i.e. taxpayer) support. That is ten times Nicaragua’s annual budget). In the end, the inflationary binge, culminating in July 2008 with oil at US$147, failed to make good the bankrupt US financial sector.

In the subsequent phase of the crisis, from July 2008 until March or April 2009, Western Bloc governments, central banks and major financial institutions coordinated action that helped encourage global investors and speculators to buy more US Treasury bonds instead of stocks and commodities. That deflationary dynamic dramatically strengthened the US dollar on the international currency markets. It rapidly depressed commodity prices and stocks. The abruptness, incredible size and sheer volatility of market movements frightened US legislators into bailing out insolvent financial institutions.

This phase of the crisis involved a massive redistribution of wealth from the majority of taxpayers in the United States to a corrupt plutocrat elite. Once their rescue by government was guaranteed, the elite’s indispensable accomplice institutions – principally the Primary Government Securities Dealers and their parent companies – returned to the international casino of currency, commodity and stock markets, reinforcing their gambling reserves with many billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money. By the end of 2009 US banks were paying out record bonuses to staff, while, in the rest of the economy, unemployment, mortgage foreclosures and bankruptcies soared to levels unprecedented in recent history.

Economic crisis : militarist foreign policy

A very strong correlation exists between that blatant domestic intervention by the US authorities to rescue the country’s financial and insurance sector and militarist US government foreign policy. In Colombia, increased direct intervention via seven new US military bases now follows billion-dollar military funding for the US government’s narco-terror ally, President Alvaro Uribe. In Mexico, Felipe Calderon’s usurper government, a few years behind, follows in Uribe’s footsteps. Via Plan Merida, the US government is funding intense militarization of Mexico’s narcotics wars, just as it did in Colombia from the late 1990s onwards.

In Colombia, more than US$5 billion has been spent in recent years so as to deliberately fail to end the “war on drugs”. Narcotics are the economic base of Uribe’s political, army and paramilitary allies. Narcotics profits are also a vital component of the US dominated international financial system. UN Office on Drugs and Crime head, Antonio Costa, has asserted that as much as US$325 billion in narcotics profits helped to fund major international banks through their liquidity crisis in 2008 and 2009. (3) His apparently startling announcement covers up the reality that international off-shore tax-havens routinely channel hundreds of billions of illicit funds every year into the international financial system.

Go to Venezuelanalysis for the full article.