Latin America’s Red Axis

Mon, Jan 6, 2003 - 11:00pm

An essay by Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho poses the question, "What would Lenin do if he were president of Brazil?" Perhaps, on his first day in office, he would breakfast with Hugo Chavez and eat dinner with Fidel Castro. This is not what Carvalho's essay suggests, but it is what Brazil's new president has done. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva used his first day in office to embrace the "axis of the good," an anti-American alliance formed between communist Cuba, Venezuela and Brazil. This "axis of the good," so named by President Chavez of Venezuela, is remarkably similar to the "axis of evil." Both oppose U.S. imperialism. Both are hostile to capitalism and free markets. Both look favorably on anti-Western terrorists and communists.

Carvalho might have also asked, "What would Lenin do if he were president of Venezuela." Recently President Chavez attempted to win the release of Carlos "the Jackal," a Venezuelan terrorist brought up on communism and educated in Moscow. More recently Chavez's presidential pilot (a Venezuelan Air Force officer, Major Juan Diaz Castillo) alleged that Chavez passed 1$ million to the Taliban after 9/11, with $900,000 specifically earmarked to assist al Qaeda. (2)

It may be argued that Lenin would applaud Chavez's support for bin Laden. Anyone who successfully drops the Twin Towers, who sets the Pentagon ablaze, who terrorizes the heartland of global capitalism, is worthy of communist support. If Islamic extremism is useful to the Revolution then it will be used. In terms of global strategy, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." After this fashion Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, has chosen his friends with care (and with a degree of secrecy). Military officers in Venezuela, seeing Chavez's communist and terrorist ties, have realized the danger that Chavez poses to the entire region. Over 135 of these officers have resigned their commissions in protest. They have set up their headquarters in the Plaza Altamira, in the very heart of Venezuela's capital. These officers have warned the country of a growing totalitarian regime. In support of these brave men, Venezuela's oil workers have initiated a crippling strike that promises to affect global oil prices. Their demand is simple: President Chavez must either resign or hold elections.

The strikers say that President Chavez has violated the Constitution of Venezuela. He is governing illegally. He has imported Cuban secret police to train his own security services. These gunned down peaceful demonstrators in the Plaza Altamira last month. The facts of this story have not received the attention they deserve in the North American press. If one hears anything, one hears about a nefarious CIA plot against a democratically elected leader. For the radical left and their agents of influence: Venezuela's popularly supported labor strike against Chavez is "a strike of the rich." This is the position of Michael Ruppert's Web site,, which featured an article by Dale Allen Pfeifer claiming that the vast majority of Venezuelans are not supporting the strike against Chavez: "The strike is a failure in every respect but for the critical shutting down of oil exports," wrote Pfeifer, who goes on to say that "the U.S. may sponsor a coup in Venezuela within the next month or so" in order to assure Venezuela's oil production. "This strike was choreographed by experienced coup plotters in the U.S. The Unions behind the strike ... are financially tied to the National Endowment for Democracy, which is a cover for CIA financing."

On Monday I spoke with Shane Connor, a U.S. businessman recently returned from Venezuela. He was among those who helped President Chavez's pilot, Major Juan Diaz Castillo, escape from certain death at the hands of Chavez's thugs. "The people in Venezuela are trying to avoid the Cubanization of their country," explained Connor. "I spent time with Diaz. His family is getting death threats. All of these men [the military officers who have resigned in protest] have their heads on a block." (3)

I asked Connor if this was a "revolt of the rich," as Pfeifer and Ruppert have claimed. Connor replied: "I flew down there the night before the strike and watched the whole thing evolve. About 80 percent of the people are in favor of getting rid of Chavez. This has coalesced under the military officers who have left him. Chavez has even lost the support of really poor people." (4)

In Venezuela it has been alleged that Chavez, who once dubbed himself a "Maoist," has stashed $4.5 billion in Chinese banks. By common report Chavez is heavily involved in illicit arms and drug trafficking in support of communist revolutionaries. "China has invested more in Venezuela than any other Latin American country," explained Connor. And there is a relationship between Chavez and Moscow that deserves special attention as well. Even more interesting is a statement by Chavez's education minister, Hector Navarro. When he opened the country's leading university, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Navarro talked of Chavez's "Bolivarian principles" which are in solidarity with "Algeria, Cuba, Iran and North Korea." What does one say to this kind of radicalism? "The men of integrity have left Chavez in protest," explained Connor. (5)

According to Army Brigadier General Rene Sericia Garcia, "I know the Chavez government from the inside. This government is a leftist totalitarian dictatorship." Air Force Brigadier General Pedro Antonio Pereira Olivares said, "Chavez is not just a threat to his own people, but to the stability of the entire region. He openly finances terrorism in other countries, and has expressed his hatred for the democratic Western way of life." Further clarifying the reasons to resist Chavez, National Guard Brigadier General Angel Sanchez Velasco said to his fellow citizens, "Wake up. Chavez has smuggled a dictatorship in through the back door. But together, we can give the country a better future and put a brake on Chavez's subversive Castro-Communist project." (6)

"These are decent guys," explained Connor. "They want the president to be forced out legally. They've got two-dozen cases pending against Chavez because of his unconstitutional acts. But he has neutralized the courts. They are daring him to resign or hold an election now, but Chavez is not planning to leave office until 2013."

The dictator would consolidate his power. He would unite with Castro. He would support Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. The main objective is to bring the United States to its knees, to break up capitalism. The labor strike against him therefore has its positive side. "We will burn wood as long as we have to," Chavez has declared. After all, the United States is going to suffer too. The U.S. economy is going to take a hit. Because of this strike there will be unemployment in North America. Capitalism will be blamed. In the end, this lack of fuel serves to fuel a global revolution.

"There's no other place in which the threads of the world's revolutionary net show up as clearly as in Latin America," explained Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho in a recent e-mail. If things are bad in Venezuela they will be bad in Brazil, if not worse. President Lula da Silva has appointed Eduardo Soares to be the National Secretary for Public Security in Brazil. Carvalho describes Soares as a "typical Latin American pseudo-intellectual ... full of moralizing platitudes against the evils of capitalism. Nobody could represent the new government's mentality better than him." It seems that Soares, like a good anti-capitalist, supports the Zapatista guerrillas in Mexico, the FARC guerrillas in Colombia, Fidel Castro in Cuba and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Carvalho asks us if it is a coincidence that all these people "share the same cause"?

And what is that cause? Well, the cause is communism; and in support of this cause -- opposed by the brave men in the Plaza Altamira -- Russia has sent an oil tanker; Cuba has sent security experts; Algeria has sent oil workers. No doubt Brazil's president will follow suit. The entire anti-American bloc will fret in sympathy. The truth is, communism didn't die in 1991. It merely changed its fighting formation. One might even say it "shape-shifted." In this regard, the North Americans have been very slow to realize the encirclement that has been progressing against them. Yes, Latin America has been penetrated and subverted to a great degree. Colombia is fighting for its freedom against a Communist insurgency. Venezuela, Cuba and Brazil have formed into Hugo Chavez's so-called "axis of the good" -- which is merely a western extension of the "axis of evil."

The Western Hemisphere is being subverted before our very eyes. While we are distracted by events in Afghanistan, Iraq and North Korea an enemy combination is forming at our back door. The freedom-loving people of Venezuela have turned against this formation. They have recognized it and they have mobilized. One would like to think that America, under similar circumstances, would do the same. We watch and wait to see if America will realize what is at stake in Venezuela. It is not simply a question of oil. It is a question of freedom.

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