Sunday, May 14, 2006

BUSH PROVOCATIONS AGAINST VENEZUELA - Military threat and striking out blindly

SINCE last April 4, the fundamentalist administration of George W. Bush has been provocatively hanging about in Caribbean waters with 6,500 soldiers, several aircraft carriers, an impressive number of F-16 fighter planes and a couple of nuclear submarines in tow, according to the Pentagon’s own statement, with the objective of "confront unconventional threats such as drug and human trafficking."

The U.S. military maneuvers in the Caribbean are a sham of something that could eventually evolve into an armed aggression against the Bolivarian Revolution and terrifying actions against those nations of the continent that are participating in – or expressing a desire to do so – the process of cooperative integration advancing on the continent or that are questioning the political-economic-social model imposed on the region from Washington.

If this is not the case, then why are charges against revolutionary Venezuela accompanying those exercises of force? Why did the State Department, in subliminal agreement with the Department of Defense, accuse the Andean country of being the "the key transit point" for drug trafficking originating in Colombia?

Why in its doctrine of asymmetric warfare, did the U.S. Army Institute of Strategic Studies describe President Hugo Chávez and his Bolivarian process as the most serious and dangerous threat since the Soviet Union and communism?

Why did U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confide in a public fit of sincerity that Venezuela is the Republican administration’s principal concern in Latin America?

Similar terms can be read in documents or statements intentionally announced by the CIA and the Pentagon along the lines of "for its undermining of democracy and attempting to destabilize the region," Venezuela is to be added to the list of nations that the empire will attack first and foremost at the hour of unleashing a "preventive" strike, which is part of the new National Security Strategy document presented by George W. Bush on March 16.

And if anyone does have any doubts as to all that, just a few days ago, on April 28, in a mixture of cynicism and immorality the Secretariat headed by Ms. Rice accused Venezuela of having virtually ceased "its cooperation in the world war on terrorism." This would be like saying that the person refusing to extradite the terrorist Posada Carriles is Chávez and not Bush.

The report, invoking the old doctrine of whoever is not with me is against me, warned that "President Hugo Chávez has strengthened collaboration with state sponsors of terrorism," in a new and more serious attempt to fuel a growing matrix of opinion that would provide the U.S. with a "justification" to launch an assault on the Bolivarian Revolution.

It should not be overlooked that just a few days ago, one of the warships participating in the Caribbean military maneuvers landed military troops on the island of Aruba, only 15 miles from the Venezuelan coast.

Likewise, an article published on April 25 in Colombia’s El Tiempo quoted investigative journalist Eva Golinger confirming that the USS Virginia nuclear submarine was patrolling in the vicinity of the Venezuelan coast on an "espionage mission in support of the war on terrorism."

The article also noted that John Negroponte, the U.S. National Intelligence director admitted in an interview with Time magazine that U.S. intelligence agencies are increasing their presence and work in places where they have not been recently, and where things have been allowed to slip since the end of the Cold War, especially in Latin America and Africa.

The USS Virginia, added Golinger, is equipped with four torpedo launchers, Tomahawk missiles and a storage space for special forces’ equipment and vehicles. It also has sufficient space to accommodate a large number of troops conducting special operations.

Impotent given successive failures in its attempts to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution—oil strike, fascist coup, discrediting media campaign, recall referendum, regional and legislative elections—the resource always at hand – military aggression – has resurfaced.

Faced with that possibility, Vice Admiral Armando Laguna has announced that the Venezuelan Marines are to begin what they have called the "Patriotic Naval Integral Defense Operation" in which 13,500 troops will participate, 3,500 of which as civilian members of rescue teams, the new military Reserve and the Territorial Guards.

In addition to fortifying the capacity of the Armed Forces, the objective of the operation is to consolidate civic-military unity and to enlist the reserve in the overall defense of the nation, explained the high official.

Equally, just a few days ago, alluding to the U.S. maneuvers, Army General Commander Raúl Isaías Baduel emphasized that the Andean country was sufficiently prepared to repel any threat or aggression.

The National Armed Forces (FAN) is assessing the potential dangers hovering over the country’s security, Baduel stated in the capital of Guárico state, San Juan de Los Morros, where he was an invited guest for the visit of Papal Nuncio Giacinto Berlocco, according to a PL report.

So that nobody would be taken by surprise, he also noted that the FAN is constantly following any act that could indicate a treat to national territory and has evaluated possible scenarios against Venezuelan security.

The U.S. government is caught in a trap. Its vocation of interference does not allow it to maintain respectful relations with Venezuela and its desperation at being unable to find a social base for its destabilizing activities in that country, has left it blindly striking out, thus running the risk of prompting the response of a nation that has already started taking control of its own destiny.