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Author`s name Ольга Савка

Castro and Chavez light a fire of revolutions in Latin America against USA's supremacy

The US administration takes a different standpoint with it comes to Latin American leaders and organizes bloody coups against democratically elected presidents

The US administration has been paying more and more attention to Latin America recently. US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld toured Latin American states a short time ago. Both of the officials mentioned the name of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in their statements. Washington dislikes Chavez for his anti-American sentiments and his wish to bring the entire Latin American region against the USA. The USA is ready to do anything to overthrow Hugo Chavez taking into consideration the fact that Venezuela provides 13 percent of the USA's need in crude.

The US interest in Latin America is easy to explain: the region borders on the USA. That is why Washington has always viewed the region as the zone of its exclusive interests. American officials have been trying to extend their influence in the region since the beginning of the 1820s, when President James Monroe formulated the “America for Americans” doctrine. It seemed that nothing could stop Americans from establishing control over Latin America after the two world wars, when Europe's leading states virtually lost their political influence.

Simon Bolivar, the central ideologist and fighter for Latin America's freedom, initiated another theory in the beginning of the 19th century, though. Bolivar urged all Latin American leaders to unite to protect their nation against the growing influence of the USA. Simon Bolivar was certain that there could no union created with the North American continent. 

The beginning of the year 1959, when Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba, became a bucket of cold water emptied on the USA. Castro was not saying anything about socialism at first. However, the new Cuban leader aimed his political course towards the USSR after an attempted coup organized by the CIA. Soviet nukes were deployed on the island, which subsequently resulted in the Caribbean crisis. The nuclear war did not break out, but the ghost of socialist revolution started roaming across Latin America. Soldiers of the pro-American government of Bolivia killed its major hero, Che Guevara, in 1967, but the process could not be stopped.

Salvador Allende came to power in Chile in 1970 – one of the most developed Latin American states. Allende was keen to nationalize several Chilean enterprises owned by American businessmen. The story ended in 1973, when Augusto Pinochet came to power as a result of the CIA-funded coup. There were no other relevant figures to show resistance to the USA afterwards, although moderate politicians of various Latin American countries, especially Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, were trying to run US-independent policies and unite their efforts. They were missing a new charismatic leader, though; Fidel Castro was too radical a person.

The leader emerged on the brink of the new millennium. The politician appeared in the country, which the USA may refer to as the most important state in the entire Latin American region. It goes about Venezuela, an OPEC member, one of the world's largest crude-mining countries. Hugo Chavez became elected President of Venezuela at the end of 1998: the politician was firmly aimed to relieve his nation of USA's domination.

Chavez declared poverty and corruption to be Venezuela's prime enemies. Chavez raised taxes for US-run oil companies and started searching for other sales markets too. As for foreign politics, Chavez decided to join efforts with Cuba and consolidate Latin America to oppose the USA's influence. It goes without saying that American officials criticized Hugo Chavez for such “undemocratic governing methods,” but the Venezuelan president was inexorable. In addition to Cuba, Chavez was paying attention to Brazil, Mexico and Argentina. His popularity in Latin America was growing; being the head of a large crude-mining country, Hugo Chavez became a politician of global scale. According to Chavez, there should be four strongholds established in the world to resist the USA's supremacy: Europe and Russia, united Asia, Africa and Latin America. The USA concluded that the Venezuelan president was jeopardizing American interests. Oil producers protested against the growing taxes in April of 2002: pogroms and demonstrations against Chavez's regime eventually ended with a coup on April 11th.

The Venezuelan army, the country's regions and the majority of population preserved their loyalty to the president: Hugo Chavez returned to the office a day later. Fifty-eight percent of the Venezuelan population voted for Chavez at the national referendum, which took place on 16 August 2004. The US administration had to shift its hopes onto Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, whose “contras” troops started invading Venezuela. The action was not a success, though.

The USA launched another diplomatic attack against Venezuela. The New York Times wrote in one of its articles that the Bush's administration was aiming to isolate Venezuela diplomatically. It is not going to be an easy goal to pursue because the majority of Latin American governments took the leftist orientation.

When Donald Rumsfeld was visiting Brazil in March of the current year, the US Defense Secretary expressed his concerns about Russia's plans to deliver Kalashnikov guns to Venezuela. Rumsfeld stated that leftist insurgents would take possession of the weapons, but Russia considered such claims inappropriate.

It became extremely important for the USA to win the support of the largest Latin American state, Brazil, with its 170-million strong population. Condoleezza Rice called Brazil the “regional leader,” whereas she accused Venezuela and Cuba of providing illegal arms deliveries to “terrorists.”

Brazilian incumbent President, Lula da Silva, does not conceal his sympathies to Hugo Chaves. Lula da Silva's government is an important ally of the Venezuelan president in his quest to consolidate and expand his "Bolivarian revolution" in the region. Lula da Silva untiringly proclaims the need for Brazil to lead South American integration, a political ambition he shares with Chavez and Fidel Castro, with unequivocal anti-American overtones. Lula da Silva said the revolutionary dream "is close to its fulfillment." Chavez says that the Bolivarian revolution is an alternative to the American model of the regional integration. "I want to tell Chavez that I do not hesitate to affirm that we do not accept defamation against our companeros, that we do not accept insinuations against our companeros... So, President Chavez, you can be certain of our solidarity," Brazilian President Lula said.

One may thus infer that Latin American states have already formed an opposition to confront USA's plans of global supremacy. Washington straightforwardly declares its support to such leaders as Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who also fights against poverty and corruption. On the other hand, the US administration takes a different standpoint with it comes to Latin American leaders and organizes bloody coups against democratically elected presidents. The issue of democracy is not vital for the USA at all.

Ivan Shmelev

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