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chavez-electionBy Eva Gollinger first published on 19 July in Postcards from the Revolution

From the first time Hugo Chavez was elected President of Venezuela in 1998, Washington and its allies have been trying to undermine his government. When Chavez was just a presidential candidate, the US State Department denied his visa to participate in television interviews in Miami. Later, when he won the presidential elections, Ambassador John Maisto called him personally to congratulate him and offer him a visa. The following months were filled with attempts to “buy” the newly elected President of Venezuela. Businessmen, politicians and heads of state from Washington and Spain pressured him to submit to their agendas. “Come with us”, urged Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, trying to seduce him with offers of wealth and luxury in turn for obeying orders.

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us oas

First published June 2012 in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 227

In the context of deepening economic crisis, the US and Europe are losing their grip on Latin America as Cuba and Venezuela strengthen regional ties.

Bullies, blunders and prostitutes

The Organisation of American States (OAS) was founded in 1948 on lofty-sounding ideals including non-interference in the internal affairs of other member states. In reality, it acts as a cover for US imperialist interests in Latin America. The OAS summit held in Cartagena, Colombia, in April reflected this, as the United States once again vetoed Cuba’s attendance. Leader after leader condemned the US veto and Rafael Correa of Ecuador boycotted the meeting in protest. Even staunch US allies Mexico and Colombia demanded Cuba’s inclusion. Countries belonging to the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) made it clear that without a radical change in the nature of the summits, they would not attend the OAS again. Before President Obama even arrived, his bully boy Secret Service agents were setting the imperialist tone as they were caught taking prostitutes back to their hotel, flaunting their ID cards in an arrogant attempt to get past the reception desk.

The summit ended without a final declaration. Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales abandoned the summit early after the United States refused to recognise or even discuss Argentina’s claim over the Malvinas – which Obama in any case confused with the Maldives. Hopefully this catalogue of errors sounds the death knell for the infamous OAS and signifies the decline of US influence in the region.

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repsol 2200910b

First published June 2012 in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 227

On 16 April and 1 May respectively Argentina and Bolivia reclaimed ownership of energy companies privatised by Spanish corporations during the neoliberal assault of the 1990s. Sharp reactions from the Spanish state and the European Union underline the conflict of interest between those exploited for their resources and labour, and imperialism, which lives off this plunder.

Bolivia and Argentina have distinct histories, but both have long been trapped in the web of financial dealings woven by the imperialist powers. In their national struggles to throw off these parasitic ties, the clash of nationalisation versus privatisation of the main industries has been key. Nationalisation immediately places the surpluses of these industries at the disposal of the state, but provokes intense hostility from domestic and transnational capital which battle to repossess the property or demand huge compensation.

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paraguayFirst published on 26 June2012 by  Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism  

On 21 June 2012, Paraguay’s reactionary Chamber of Deputies voted 76-1 to impeach President Fernando Lugo. The Senate confirmed this with a 39-4 vote the following day.

This ‘constitutional coup’, reminiscent of the removal of President Zelaya in Honduras in 2009, has been condemned across South America. Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and Cuba refuse to recognise the change and Venezuela will cease providing oil.Brazil and Argentina have called their ambassadors home and Uruguay has expressed concern. On 25 June, the Mercosur trade bloc suspended Paraguay from taking part in a summit in Argentina.

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capriles chavez

By Sam McGill. First published in June 2012 in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 227

Tensions are building in the run-up to the Venezuelan presidential elections in October. Hugo Chavez of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) is standing for his third term. Opposing him is Henrique Capriles Radonski, from the Roundtable of Democratic Unity (Mesa de unidad democratica or MUD).

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ricardo-zuniga-6junio

First published by Granma International on 14 June 2012

U.S. functionary Ricardo Zúñiga, grandson of the right-wing Honduran politician of the same name - known for his support to the military dictatorship of Colonel Oswaldo López – has been appointed director of Western Hemisphere Affairs by Barack Obama, having previously run destabilization operations for the U. S. Interests Section in Havana, before going on to supervise these activities from Washington.

Zúñiga is a traveling salesman, distributing the most backward, anti-Cuban ideas wherever he lands. Assuming this new position, Zúñiga is taking the place of Dan Restrepo, of Colombian origin, who was booted after his poor showing at the recent Summit of the Americas, where Obama lost face as a result of both his inability to address Latin American aspirations and the scandalous behavior of his security guards.

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Obama1Much of the information reproduced below is taken from an article first published by Reuters on 15 April 2012 

Unprecedented Latin American opposition to U.S. sanctions on Cuba left President Barack Obama isolated at the Organisation of American States (OAS) summit in Cartagena, Colombia on Sunday 15 April and illustrated Washington's declining influence in the region.

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celac1-630Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 225 February/March 2012

‘For how long are we going to be the backwards periphery, exploited and denigrated? Enough! Here we are putting down the fundamental building block for South American unity, independence and development. If we hesitate, we are lost!’ (Simon Bolivar)

On 2 December 2011 the 33 independent countries across the Americas – with the exception of the US and Canada – founded the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC). CELAC is designed to counter the Organisation of American States, which the US has used as a tool for protecting its interests in Latin America since 1948. The new alliance is committed to promoting economic and social development across the region and undermining the unequal terms of trade with Europe and the US.

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barrio adentroBy Tamara Pearson orginally published by www.venezuelanalysis.com on April 17th 2012

Venezuela’s Barrio Adentro Health Mission now involves 12,898 Cuban and Venezuelan doctors, 4,595 dentists, 7,772 nurses, 6702 community medical surgeries, 551 medical diagnostic centres, 580 rehabilitation rooms, 33 high technology centres, and 459 optometrist centres, according to Vice-president Elias Jaua. The mission, which provides free health consultations, exams and x-rays, rehabilitation therapy, medicine, specialised assistance, and preventative care, among others, celebrated the ninth anniversary of its creation in April 2012.

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