Hugo Chavez: New World Rising

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

The great Bolivarian is gone – which means the U.S. will soon escalate its destabilization campaign against his country. “Washington hopes that Venezuelan socialism cannot survive without Chavez.” But the U.S. cannot roll back the movement that Chavez did so much to ignite, “the dark awakening in the barrios, favelas, rural villages and native highlands of the continent.”


Hugo Chavez: New World Rising

by BAR executive editor Glen Ford

For 14 years, they have painted the Bolivarian Republic as illegitimate, dictatorial, primitive.”

The darker majorities of Latin America mourn the passing of the people’s champion, President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, the man whom the racist white Venezuelan elite called ese mono – “that monkey.” Since 1998 – with a 48-hour break during the 2002, U.S.-sponsored coup – the four-fifths of Venezuela that is some variety of Indigenous-mestizo-mullato-African – like Chavez – has known power for the first time since the conquistadors of Western Europe launched their 500-year war against the rest of planet Earth.

South America’s emergence as the most promising zone of resistance to U.S. imperial savagery is inseparable from the dark awakening in the barrios, favelas, rural villages and native highlands of the continent. Chavez’s triumph, and that of the Aymara-descended Bolivian president, Evo Morales, in 2005, are the most dramatic expressions of what has been called the “Latin Spring” – a reclamation of national patrimony that is, by historical necessity, socialist. As a result, a large majority of South Americans now live under relatively progressive governments.

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 was, of course, the great hemispheric breakaway from Yankee empire in the 20th century, the seminal event in the disintegration of what later came to be called the “Washington Consensus” in Latin America. Chavez’s victory, almost 40 years later, was the other shoe dropping, a phenomenon nearly as racially-weighted, in Latin American terms, as the Haitian Revolution that culminated in 1804. Fidel, the son of a Spanish soldier, declared that “the blood of Africa runs deep in our veins” and that Cuba is an “African Spanish” nation. However, that reality was hardly visible in the Cuban hierarchy. Not so, with Chavez, the pardo whose lineage was obvious and proudly worn. "My Indian roots are from my father's side. He is mixed Indian and black, which makes me very proud," said Chavez – a circumstance of birth and pride that made the whites of affluent east Caracas neighborhoods like Altamira spitting mad, hysterical in their hatred. The racial-political color line has long been plain to see in the complexions of pro- and anti-government demonstrations in Venezuela.

The ‘Latin Spring’ is, by historical necessity, socialist.”

The purported “ambiguity” of race in South America is largely limited to those who belong to the innumerable subgroups of the Not-White, in all their flavors. However, for the fraction of the population that believe themselves to be purely European, there is no ambiguity; they know precisely who they are (or claim to be). Color lines may be fuzzy among the mixed race majorities of much of Latin America, but white elites quickly bring these boundaries into stark relief when fundamental questions of privilege and power arise. Popular power means the rule of people like “that monkey,” Chavez – illegitimate and bestial.

U.S. corporate media speak the language of the pale denizens of Altamira. For 14 years, they have painted the Bolivarian Republic as illegitimate, dictatorial, primitive. Chavez is delegitimized as a “strongman,” rather than a remarkably popular politician and icon who has won more elections than any other head of state in the western hemisphere during the same space of time. As former U.S. president Jimmy Carter said, last year: "As a matter of fact, of the 92 elections that we've monitored, I would say that the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world."

In assessing Chavez’s “legacy,” the global bourgeois media cite the “divisions” that plague Venezuelan society and, in the words of Business Week, an economy in “shambles.” But, Chavez and his comrades would have been abject failures – and been tossed from office – had they not drawn lines between the oppressed majority and the privileged exploiters. Division is good and necessary. Consequently, the economy has succeeded in reducing the proportion of households in poverty from 44 percent in 1998 to 27 percent in 2011. Chavez has served the people.

The racial-political color line has long been plain to see in the complexions of pro- and anti-government demonstrations in Venezuela.”

Just before Chavez’s last electoral victory, former Brazilian president Lula da Silva, a product of the post-1998 wave of leftist triumphs at the polls, said: "A victory for Chávez is not just a victory for the people of Venezuela but also a victory for all the people of Latin America … this victory will strike another blow against imperialism."

Last week, as Chavez was fading, the opposition leader, Henrique Capriles Radonski, traveled to New York, Miami and Washington – presumably, to get his marching orders. Washington hopes that Venezuelan socialism cannot survive without Chavez. In their state of desperate decay, the imperialists are willing to throw whole regions of the world into chaos rather than be eclipsed by new alignments of trade and international relations. Venezuelans have every reason to expect a renewed U.S. campaign of destabilization, in the wake of their leader’s passing.

Chavez tried to give Barack Obama the benefit of the doubt. On election night, 2008, at a rally in Caracas, Chavez spoke this way of the president-elect:

We are not asking him to be a revolutionary, to be a socialist – no. We just want the black man who is about to be the U.S. president to have enough stature for the times the world is living through.

"I send an overture to the black man, from us here, who are of Indigenous, black, Caribbean, South American race. I am ready to sit down and talk ... I hope we can, and I hope we can enter a new stage."

But the Black man in the White House is smelling like sulphur, just like his predecessor.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected].



Thank you, Glen!

I add this:

"I'm going in the streets with you. I entrust myself to God, but I know that I have been condemned to die."

Hugo Chavez.


I finde it strange when I think about it...

That the well-known and many assasinated leaders that have been rumored or assumed to have been killed by the CIA or those acting on behalf of the US govt have been outlived by Castro. What is it about him that has made him impervious to the purported 600 or so assassination attempts against him? I'm sure the many leaders who have been killed by the US have had as many protective measures in place as Castro. So why is he still living? Not saying he shouldn't be but sometimes the simplest answer is staring us in the face and we simply have been asking the wrong questions.

Castro warned Chavez

Chavez was careless.  All these pseudo-leftists drooling over him could not all be trusted.  He was so free and uninhibited so the risk was always there.  Fidel learned a lot from his association with the soviets; and he was more restrained in his movements.  When he came to America, he made sure he stayed in Harlem, not some fancy hotel.  At the same time, it could be said Chavez was more dangerous to the empire than Fidel in this time of history.  After all, Chavez sat on the largest oil reserves currently known to mankind.  They bloody hell would like to lay their hands on it.  I really pray Nicolas Maduro can rise to the occasion.   There is something about Maduro I percetibly like.  Even when he was foreign minister, he struck me as a future leader.  He can learn from the mistakes of Chavez but he should never betray the legacy of Chavez.  The snake has a 1000 heads.  He should not miss that fact.

Are you saying Castro is not


Are you saying Castro is not working for who we think he's working for?  

Not saying definitively yes or no b/c I don't know...but...

This makes an interesting read...and historically, how many true foes of US Imperialism stay in power 50+ years, esp 60 miles from the mainland? If it is true & he isn't being propped up by the CIA, then he should teach each and every anti-imperialist his secrets..or maybe not b/c it certainly didn't help Chavez..

just Some thoughts that crossed my mind...

Quds Force television (PressTV) let someone post this comment on one of their articles:

"He was in Cuba most of the time of his illness. The Cuban's have some questions to answer."

This comment got the most "down" votes out of hundred comments, but the fact that they posted it says something.

Chavez' death comes at a time when Cuba is taking steps to reform itself.

Chavez was in Cuba most of the time of his illness.

Cuban intel has penetrated all levels of the Venezuelan government.

Guantanamo Bay is on Cuban land.

Fidel has been in power for 50 years on a small Island off the coast of Florida.

Castro tells Iran to stop slandering the Jews:

Iran had strong ties with Chavez.

Why did Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro compare Chavez' death to the death of Yasser Arafat?

Other Latin leaders who deal with Iran get cancer at the same damn time:

By Dr. Kevin Barrett

A little over a year ago, Chavez went on Venezuelan national radio and said: “I don’t know but… it is very odd that we have seen Lugo affected by cancer, Dilma when she was a candidate, me, going into an election year, not long ago Lula and now Cristina… It is very hard to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some leaders in Latin America. It’s at the very least strange, very strange.”

Castro-Che were racist?

You are going too far

Hugo was not even doing his routine check-ups. Castro warned him.  When the cancer was diagnosed, the cancer had grown really bad.  Why would Fidel want to get rid of Hugo?  You need to understand that Venezuela was never a socialist country unlike Cuba.  Castro himself admits their revolutionary context was different from Hugo's. Also, understand with the Soviet Union collapsing the North American Empire has been emboldened.  The mistakes of the stalinist regimes of the past need not be made by other socialist-oriented countries.  Cuba wants to be modernized and there are fewer friends these days who can help.  You go to Africa, they are very willing to be re-colonized..

Ahmedinejad never demonized Jews.  Outside Israel, Iran has the largest number of Jews in the area.  Ahmedinejad used the words zionist. If Castro cares so much about the nation of Israel, why does he not have diplomatic relations with them?

  Biden is not a Jew but he proudly calls himself a zionist.  To even insinuate remotely Castro is a racist will be such calumny of sordid proportions.  Fidel Castro always talks about the African side of Cuba.  Fidel Castro who helped in the liberation of  Southern Africa when his forces defeated the much vaunted Racist South African army could never be a racist.  If it is not for Fidel, Hugo probably would have been assassinated long ago.  My neighbor is a venezuelan who is not so much a supporter of Chavez.  We had a chat last month about Hugo when my neighbor came back from Venezuela.  He ridiculed me saying Hugo was not going to die but he was going to be weak as Castro.  He added that the Cubans like it that way because they were getting a lot from the Venezuelan economy.  But then he said when he was in Venezuela he told his right wing friends that Castro did not want much but if they ever gave their country back to the Americans, they would have nothing.  Let's please leave Castro out of this; he is the only person Hugo could trust.  Castro is more of a black man than a lot of comprador African descendants I have come accross.

If as you say Castro is more of a black man...

than a lot of african descendants..all the more reason to question why he has survived this long, a mere 60 miles from the foremost imperialists in the world? How does that fact jibe with how the US/CIA has relentlessly gone after those who they view as enemies of their agenda? The list is long & so when you compare Castro with others who share his stated goals, there is a glaring difference. Castro is just a man. He is not mythical but the standard meme is that he has survived over 600 assassination attempts. How do we know that's real and not just a PR campaign? And I find the fact that no less than 5 former & current leftist leaders contracting cancer around the same time as Chavez to be more than a little suspicious and defying the natural laws of probability. And wouldn't Castro be a perfect candidate for taking Chavez out simply b/c he had gained his apparent trust and admiration? Only time will tell. But we know that there are too many former & current heads of state who have later been revealed as having secretly worked for the CIA. Usually we don't discover this fact til they have had a change of mind. Of course, this is my opinion, and just as you are entitled to yours, I think mine is just as plausible. All you have to do is think about how the CIA operates in the world. Their Modus Operandi is generally the same. If you think simply on those terms--Castro doesn't fit the mold of how they have dealt with anti-imperialists-- especially in this hemisphere. It just makes me wonder why that is?

Castro is not a mole

He has survived a lot of assassination attempts because he has been on top of his game.  Castro controls Cuba.  Nothing goes in or out without his knowing.  What is the benefit of the CIA hiding his true identity if he is their asset?  Actually, I don't think Cuba is such a  threat to the Empire.  Cuba is not an oil rich country.  Hugo on the other hand sat on one of the largest oil reserves in the world.  He is a threat as Saddam became and now the Iranians because he did not want them to control the resource.  Let us not overrate the abilities of the CIA.  It is very difficult to assassinate any sitting head of state.  They could not do it on numerous occasions with Gaddafi until they waged a war against him.  Same with Saddam.  They are not even coming close with Assad or Nassrallah.  Castro's surviving all these assassination attempts is not out of the ordinary for any leader who knows the enemy is after him or her. Also, let us not underestimate the intelligence services of countries like Cuba.  They are not sitting ducks.  The CIA could not save the American ambassador in Benghazi.  The CIA modus operandi is to create treachery from within.  That is very difficult to achieve around bigger than life personalities such as Castro.  You can do that around no-backbone leaders such Kabila of Congo but not Castro.  Yasser Arafat survived just as many assassination attempts until they used his own people to poison.

We can agree to disagree...

"The CIA modus operandi is to create treachery from within.  That is very difficult to achieve around bigger than life personalities such as Castro."

So Malcolm X, MLK, JFK, etc, etc. weren't larger than life personalities? If they could get to these figures, surely they could get to Castro. Assuming that is their goal. The mythology is nice and reads well but I tend to look at the CIA's documented history of political assassinations. Again, Castro's history doesn't match up with how they US non-intelligence has normally conducted themselves when dealing with a designated 'enemy' of US interests. Do you think there will be a seamless transfer of power to Chavez' successor without US meddling in the process? But there certainly was in Cuba. Hmmm.

A Big Difference Between Castro & Malcolm & Martin

Castro is a foreign head of state w a military back-ground & protection. Malcolm & Martin were NOT heads of state & had NO military / Secret Service [SS] protection. JFK's own people at the CIA, SS, military intel & FBI either orchestrated his hit &/or the subsequent cover-up [w VP LBJ waiting in the wings]. 

Then there was the Russian factor. Not only was the KGB giving Castro a heads-up on many plots [IE: at the Bay of Pigs], but after the Cuban Missile Crisis JFK made an agreement w the Russians not to invade & over-throw the Castro's Gov't by force. Thus those attempts on Castro by the CIA had to have an air of 'Probable Deniability'. IMO that's likely why the CIA tried to use the Mafia in its attempts to take Castro out.

Castro's Warning to Chavez

Fidel always told me: ‘Chávez take care. These people [the Americans] have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat … a little needle and they inject you with I don’t know what.”  - Hugo Chavez RE: Fidel Castro's admonishing him to beware [See: -&- {by Wayne Madsen]

On Lame-Stream Presstitute Media's Slander of Hugo Chavez

With the Western Lame-stream Presstitute media's commentary RE Hugo Chavez's death- They're doing just what they've always done RE Chavez. IMO- It ain't just because Chavez was a Latin American populist or even all due to his socialist alliances w Fidel [& Ortega]- although that certainly added fuel to the US media's fire vs Chavez. But often not stated [at least in US & EU media] but understood- was in addition to being anti US / EU /NATO imperialism & a popular-nationalist man of & for the people, & also a 'socialist'- Chavez was from a poor Afro-Native American back-ground. Thus Venezuela's white elites, who ran most of the so-called 'private' media, often called Chavez the by racist insult 'The Monkey'.

Of course Chavez's US & EU detractors were/are too slickly 'PC' conscious to use such a blatantly racist term as 'monkey', so they use terms like 'Strong-man' [meaning they'd preferred him to be a weakling vis-a-vis US imperialism], Dictator [even though, unlike Slick Willie & Bush Jr, Chavez was repeatedly re-elected by clearly decisive & non-controversial majorities that guys like Slick Willie & Bush Jr could only dream of], that he bought off his supporters [he shared Venezuela's oil revenues w the poor- so of-course they supported him over-whelmingly - what's US Blacks excuse for over-whelmingly supporting Obama who avoids even acknowledging them- let alone actually doing something for them -PLUS- Didn't the last POTUS election cost $2 Billion- because after all the SCOTUS says Corps are persons & Corp-$$$ = Corp-speech] & thus destroyed Venezuela's economy [HUHH! The US econ has been going down-hill fast ever since the Tech bubble burst in 2000 {many would say since Reaganomics & the S&L fiasco} & the Euro-zone has been all but drowning for several yrs- such that the people in Greece, Italy & Spain are in an up-roar just short of taking up arms vs EU's so-called technocrats of  'austerity']. In 2008, in the wake of the global financial collapse, Brazil's ex-Pres Lula Da Silva told UK's ex-PM Tony Brown to his face that- 'This economic crisis was caused by white men w blue eyes, who before claimed they knew everything about economics. But now they've proven that they know nothing about economics...'   

But as true as Pres Lula's comments were / are- How many in the western lame-stream media accuse Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, Larry Summers, Rob Rubin, Tim Geithner, Ben Bernanke, Hank Paulson & the Wall St bankster elite class [all white-men w mostly blue-eyes] of destroying the US' & the entire World's economy??! Yet because Chavez had poor Afro-Indian roots, when he used Venezuela's own oil wealth to cut poverty in half & extreme poverty by 65% - 70%, & gave all Venezuelans access to free health-care & education- the Neo-Liberal hype is that he [aka the monkey] ruined Venezuela's economy. But then the Tea-Bagger, FOX-Noise, Hush Limpballs, Newt Grinch-witch crowd calls Obama a commie-Muslim [NOT], ape [including Michelle & the girls], the food-stamp Pres, etc...- even as he continuously bends over backwards to make a grand bargain w them!


This is basically the white Alex Jones-Mike Adams-Rand Paul line:

The Venezuelan people don't know what's best for themselves, they keep voting this monkey in because Chavez squanders their nation’s oil money on handouts like healthcare, education and nutrition.


What kind of monster has priorities like that?

Here’s a chart based on World Bank poverty stats–showing Venezuelans living on less than $2 a day falling from 35 percent to 13 percent over three years:

Let's see the black face of Amerikkka do this:

"As president, he didn't hold regular cabinet meetings; he'd bring the many to a weekly meeting, broadcast live on radio and television. Aló, Presidente, the programme in which policies were outlined and discussed, had no time limits, no script and no teleprompter."

[EDIT: I posted the wrong link or they changed the link] Al Qaeda's interesting opinion of Chavez:

White finance capital is going to destabilize Venezuela:

"Washington and its allies also should give some serious thought to providing covert aid, as appropriate, to the likely opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, who lost a relatively close race to Chavez in October and who had pledged to steer Venezuela in a dramatically new, pro-Western direction."

[End Quote]

The wild card in Venezuela: Armed Chavistas!

That many mourners, the people of Venezuela, are in the street

and waiting hours and hours to view his casket to say their goodbye and last view are all the proof you need of Chavez' Presidency being pro-people.   The U.S. media can ignore that he was elected by big majorities, that he was elected!, that Jimmy Carter's vote-watch group said in 1992 that Venezuela had the best election in the world (why don't they monitor here? A rhetorical question.) but not all the people who came out into the street during the U.S.-backed last coup to remove Chavez, who chanted "I am Chavez" and got him back, nor the people out in the street and lining up this week - they cannot be ignored.   The U. S. gov't is scheming, but the people will fight back.  (I heard an NPR host, as I was quickly going past WNYC, "How much will we be involved in the new election in Venezuela?"

That time, the "we" obviously was identifying with power.  The fool.

bev:thanks, your bday greeting's timing is perfect&Update

I was sicker, in escalation mode of CFS/ME(1)footnote is update and offline, abed.  Going to celebrate my nonLeapYear bday all this month as can.

The person to whom I refer in my comment is Brian Lehrer, WNYC.

 (1) "What the heck is CFS/ME?" is the question I am frequently
 asked.  Because it is another perfect example of politically driven
 medical shenannigans in U.S. medical care, I'll explain, briefly.  The source for my information is primarily Hillary Johnson, author of
 Osler's Web, New York:Crown Publishers, 1995, 800plus pages.  She was a journalist, who got the illness, and the first stories appeared by her in "Rolling Stone".  The great review in Publishers Weekly, of the book, that Dec., sent to me by a writer cousin of my spouse, outlines the similarity of the book and the people with it by the book's editor, who also edited, And the Band Played On.  "If people were dying with CFS, like with AIDS, the government would treat them differently.".

     The politics of illness: much happens based on gov't and insurance companies not wanting to pay benefits.  Gulf War Syndrome (mentioned in a chapter in Osler's Web) not only has similar symptoms to CFS, but was dissed in a similar way.

       Some of what I mention is found in the Op Ed by Hillary Johnson, google search, it's still online but my date may be off, "The Case of Chronic Denial", Hillary Johnson, "New York Times", Oct. 20,2008.  Interesting in that it is the NYTimes that was instrumental in dissing CFS since the 1980s, when the CDC Centers for Disease Control (yes, they have a dirty history), wrote the paper for the medical journal "Journal of Internal Medicine", Mar 1988 on How to Diagnose CFS.  In her Op Ed, which get into the paper a couple of decades late(!), Johnson points out how the CDC deliberately decided to name the neurological illness as a "disorder" (implying psychological, as in "it's all in your head" - viz You saw "yuppie flu" all over the place, if you're old enough) and not the name the neurological illness has in the UK, which is  ME: myalgic encephalomyetis (brain reference in name).  The CDC said the real name was "too complicated" and they allegedly didn't want to scare people.  So it goes.  The most famous person with CFS/ME is Laura Hillenbrand, the author of "Seabiscuit" which took her 7 years to write, as did her second nonfiction book.  There are interviews online.  Know that CFS/ME hits all age groups, every color of skin tone, and more women than men (as per autoimmune diseases).  It is like "permanent flu" with extras.  To call it "fatigue" and the implications of that is cruel, but not unusual in U.S. medical "care" to "diss" the ill, and blame them and to minimize.  For comments about my own illness. see where I comment, but not recently, using my whole name for disabiity activism reasons.

 And a further note about the CDC: Congress gave the CDC about $12 million (could be a few more) to research the cause, a few decades ago.  The CDC took the money and spent it on pet projects, including new computers for other things and didn't spend any of it on research for cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (really ME myalgic encephalomyelitis); they got caught, finally, and admitted it circa 2004 in AP Associated Press stories; I don't recall ever hearing the money was restored for research for CFS cause.  And so it goes.


As always, great article

Verdict: Hugo murdered because of ties to Iran & China

"Hugo's Banker"

How China propped up Chávez.


Note: This article also shows why John Atta Mills, Ghana's President, and Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi had to die! (Malawi's president Bingu wa Mutharika, and Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua also MURDERED via medical means in past recent years)


"Exhibit 2: Africa. China has lent more to Africa since 2001 than the World Bank, and CDB's lending is focused on building industry and infrastructure for the next stage of Africa's growth and harnessing its biggest clients, China's elite state-owned companies, to do much of the work. While much of Chinese lending in Africa focuses on the extraction of oil and metals to fuel China's insatiable thirst for raw materials (driven in part by the bank's funding of China's urbanization), that is only part of the story. The bank's private-equity arm, the China-Africa Development Fund, is spurring the continent's manufacturing as labor costs rise at home, helping transform Ethiopia into an exporter of leather and helping Chinese companies such as Chery Automobile open factories. In Ghana, CDB provided a $3 billion loan -- that country's largest ever -- to finance roads, railroads, and an oil terminal and pipeline network. The loan mandates that 60 percent of the money must go to Chinese companies in the form of contracts, guaranteeing Chinese companies will be the big winners." - End Quote

"Iran admits exporting drone tech to Venezuela"

Meanwhile, Venezuela’s stateowned CA Venezolana de Industria Militares (CAVIM) company announced on Monday that it had presented the result of several projects, including a localized version of Iran’s Mohajer-2 drone, the same type as that flown by Hezbollah and by Bashar Assad’s forces in Syria.

CAVIM’s announcement came after Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez admitted in June that Caracas is building UAVs with Iranian assistance as well as with help from Russia and China.

The Iranian Mohajer-2 drone, a reconnaissance and surveillance UAV with a range of around 50km. and an approximate endurance of 90 minutes, were reported in June to be operating from CAVIM’s Maracay factory in north-central Venezuela.

Based on information taken from photographs of the Venezuelan drone, known locally as a Sant Arpia, Caracas appears to have slightly modified the Mohajer-2.

Iran’s supplying of military technology and arms to its proxies and allies is a crucial part of its asymmetric warfare doctrine, designed to allow it to combat a technologically superior enemy such as the US or Israel.

In this light, the growing military ties between Iran and Venezuela – Tehran’s strongest Latin American ally and a gateway for both itself and its proxy Hezbollah – have raised concerns in both the US and Israel.

In August, Spanish newspaper ABC reported that Venezuela had transferred at least one F-16 fighter to Iran so that country’s air force could test its antiaircraft radar systems ahead of a possible Israeli air strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

While Iran’s extended reach in Latin America could pose a threat to US national security, Tehran’s strategies in the region could also threaten Jewish and Israeli interests.

Analysts say that Iran’s proxy Hezbollah uses Venezuela’s Margarita Island free trade zone as a major financing and fundraising center, and has set up cells there.

A recent report by the US House Homeland Security Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management that examined the increased presence of Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah in Latin America found that Iran’s economic partnerships in the region, particularly with Venezuela, have helped Tehran circumvent sanctions.

The House Committee’s report included testimony from analyst Douglas Farah, who said that a 2011 Univision documentary, La Amenaza Irani (“The Iranian Threat”) showed Hezbollah training Venezuelan militias, with weapons and ammunition provided by the Venezuelan military.

Farah’s testimony also noted that Iran is providing financial support to a defense academy in Warnes, Bolivia, which trains soldiers from the ALBA bloc countries (Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines).

Iran’s defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, attended the inauguration of the school, which teaches an asymmetric military doctrine developed by Jorge Verstrynge, who has openly praised Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida’s suicide bombing tactics.

Meanwhile, Iran’s links with Venezuela are set to deepen.

On Tuesday, Iran announced that the first of four Aframax oil tanker ordered by Venezuela would be delivered within the next few months, and last month, Iran said it was investing $200 million in oil refinery projects in the Latin American country.

William Blum: The Anti-Empire Report #114

Hugo Chávez

I once wrote about Chilean president Salvador Allende:

    Washington knows no heresy in the Third World but genuine independence. In the case of Salvador Allende independence came clothed in an especially provocative costume – a Marxist constitutionally elected who continued to honor the constitution. This would not do. It shook the very foundation stones upon which the anti-communist tower is built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that “communists” can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population. There could be only one thing worse than a Marxist in power – an elected Marxist in power.

There was no one in the entire universe that those who own and run “United States, Inc.” wanted to see dead more than Hugo Chávez. He was worse than Allende. Worse than Fidel Castro. Worse than any world leader not in the American camp because he spoke out in the most forceful terms about US imperialism and its cruelty. Repeatedly. Constantly. Saying things that heads of state are not supposed to say. At the United Nations, on a shockingly personal level about George W. Bush. All over Latin America, as he organized the region into anti-US-Empire blocs.

Long-term readers of this report know that I’m not much of a knee-reflex conspiracy theorist. But when someone like Chávez dies at the young age of 58 I have to wonder about the circumstances. Unremitting cancer, intractable respiratory infections, massive heart attack, one after the other … It is well known that during the Cold War, the CIA worked diligently to develop substances that could kill without leaving a trace. I would like to see the Venezuelan government pursue every avenue of investigation in having an autopsy performed.

Back in December 2011, Chávez, already under treatment for cancer, wondered out loud: “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented the technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?” The Venezuelan president was speaking one day after Argentina’s leftist president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, announced she had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This was after three other prominent leftist Latin America leaders had been diagnosed with cancer: Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff; Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo; and the former Brazilian leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

“Evo take care of yourself. Correa, be careful. We just don’t know,” Chávez said, referring to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador, both leading leftists.

Chávez said he had received words of warning from Fidel Castro, himself the target of hundreds of failed and often bizarre CIA assassination plots. “Fidel always told me: ‘Chávez take care. These people have developed technology. You are very careless. Take care what you eat, what they give you to eat … a little needle and they inject you with I don’t know what.” 1

When Vice President Nicolas Maduro suggested possible American involvement in Chávez’s death, the US State Department called the allegation absurd. 2

Several progressive US organizations have filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the CIA, asking for “any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who has just died.”

I personally believe that Hugo Chávez was murdered by the United States. If his illness and death were NOT induced, the CIA – which has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders, many successfully 3 – was not doing its job.

When Fidel Castro became ill several years ago, the American mainstream media was unrelenting in its conjecture about whether the Cuban socialist system could survive his death. The same speculation exists now in regard to Venezuela. The Yankee mind can’t believe that large masses of people can turn away from capitalism when shown a good alternative. It could only be the result of a dictator manipulating the public; all resting on one man whose death would mark finis to the process.