May 6, 2009
International News Analysis Today
By Toby Westerman
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently declared that “…ideology…is so yesterday.” Several days after Clinton made her statement, the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, publically described himself as a “Marxist-Leninist” – a distinctly ideological stance. Morales is a close ally of President Hugo Chavez who has made his version of Marxism, which he calls “21st century socialism,” the national dogma of Venezuela.
Clinton’s remarks were made in response to reference to President Barack Obama’s building “bridges” to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and other leaders hostile to the United States.
Chavez is a true believer in the neo-Marxist cause. He refers to his brand of Marxism as the “Bolivarian Revolution,” which associates the theories of Marx with the Latin American liberator Simon Bolivar, and has gone so far as to rename his nation the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Chavez calls Fidel Castro, the quintessential Latin American Marxist, his “ideological father.”
Popular discontent initially put Chavez in office after elections in 1998, but a combination of fraud, graft, and physical intimidation at the hands of pro-Chavez youth groups have kept him in power.
All of these political factors are now at the service of an idea, and ideology, which, in turn, dominates nearly every aspect of the lives of the people of Venezuela.
In his own nation Chavez has declared war on private enterprise, denouncing it in radio and television broadcasts and demanding that schools and universities teach the same message. The new Chavez-sponsored “Law of Social Production” puts teeth in socialist theory by enabling the government to nationalize any enterprise at any time.
Not only does Chavez demand that Marxism triumph, but he is actively seeking to create a “new man” who will be content with the new socialist state.
In a recent speech to Francisco Miranda Front [FFM], an activist group supporting the “Bolivarian Revolution,” Chavez repeated his often expressed belief that true socialism is impossible without a radical transformation of the “spiritual” aspect of humanity. Chavez and those connected with his regime are attempting to abolish the “natural egotism” which they say is behind capitalism and the drive to better one’s economic position.
Chavez’s main political opponent, Manuel Rosales, has been forced into exile. Accused of “corruption,” Rosales did not trust his fate to a Chavez-controlled court. He fled to Peru, which granted him asylum status.
In an audacious move that even former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin might admire, Chavez attempted to use the international police organization Interpol to seize his rival and return him to Venezuela for what promised to be a show trial. Peru’s grant of asylum prevented Interpol from apprehending Rosales, because the police organization does not intervene in political cases.
Chavez is not limiting his efforts to establish his revolution in his own nation, but is a socialist missionary using money, drug trafficking, and violent revolution to carry his message throughout the Western Hemisphere – including the United States.
Chavez has been accused of attempting to turn elections in favor of socialist or pro-socialist candidates from Mexico to Argentina. Despite his denials, Chavez continues to be seen as a supporter of the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia [Spanish initials, FARC] and of the rebel groups drug sales operations.
FARC guerrillas regularly operate on both sides of the Colombian-Venezuelan border, attacking Colombian troops and then disappearing into Venezuelan territory. Colombian authorities believe that FARC leader Ivan Marquez is now living in Venezuela.
Chavez’s Marxist outreach has assisted in the election of Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and the return to power in Nicaragua of Daniel Ortega, the former Sandinista guerrilla leader.
The United States, especially after the 2008 election, is not immune to the “Bolivarian Revolution.”
Chavez has friends in academia and politics in the U.S., but after his warm meeting and “brotherhood” handshake with Obama at the Summit of the Americas in late April, Chavez became particularly convinced that “the changes that started in Venezuela in the last decade of the 20th century have begun to reach North America [a term often used by Chavez and other socialists for the United States of America].”
Chavez has friends who are as ideologically oriented as he is. Chavez admires North Korea, a Stalinist relic ruled by one of the world’s most paranoid individuals, Kim Jong Il (the Beloved Leader). The communist regime of China has assisted Chavez in constructing the Telesur satellite system, giving Chavez a continent-wide platform for his propaganda efforts.
And Russia, ruled by its espionage elite, provides Chavez with the arms he requests, from sophisticated assault weapons to state-of-the-art fighter jets. Publically a democratic state, the spectre of Stalin, his methods and his political beliefs, increasingly overshadow all aspects of Russian society.
Ideology is not “yesterday” as Secretary Clinton claims, but it is as Chavez and his friends point out, a prime motivator of mankind, and will remain so for the foreseeable future.
Mr. Westerman is the author of the just released LIES, TERROR, AND THE RISE OF THE NEO-COMMUNIST EMPIRE: ORIGINS AND DIRECTION, available at this site, Amazone.com and other online booksellers. Westerman is the editor and publisher of International News Analysis Today (www.inatoday.com).
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