Admit it. Hugo Chavez is almost toast. It's only a matter of time before he resides in that old Bolivarian pantheon in the sky. And the press is doing a fairly good job of reporting on what can be gleaned from the secret meetings that Chavez's family and supporters are having in Havana.
But like Sherlock Holmes' The Dog That Didn't Bark, there are volumes of material that cannot and will not be covered by the mass media. The biggest dogs are the dynamics of Latin American politics, particularly as they relate to the American national security state. The forces shaping our relations with our neighbors to the South goes back hundreds of years -- and it isn't pretty.
In the 1840s the principle of Manifest Destiny was put forward. It didn't just apply to the Lower 48. America back then wanted the entire hemisphere under the control of Uncle Sam. And despite the fact that there have numerous iterations and remixes on this theme, it still holds true, particularly with regards to economics.
One nexus of imperialism is the old School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia. Bill Clinton got it renamed WINSEC due to lefty pressure, but its job is still the same. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I strongly suggest that you rent a copy of the movie State of Seige. Yes. 'Merka is still an imperialist -- big time. We train the elites to commit terrorism for fun and profit on their territory, so they can take control.
You need look no further than Honduras. Honduras is most instructive. Manuel Zelaya, the democratically elected President of Honduras was overthrown by a military coup in 2009. At first, Hillary Clinton expressed disapproval of this abrogation of the electoral process,(as did the rest of the world), but she quickly got with the program.
How could this happen in Honduras (or Venezuela for that matter)? For that, we not only have to look at the graduates of WINSEC at Fort Benning. But we also have to look at the lower and mid level career bureaucrats and military in the US Embassy in Caracas and their ties with their political and bureaucratic networks.
The thing you have to know about these mid-level guys is that they have a high degree of autonomy because 99% of the time no one in Washington,DC is really eager to read a big report about the liberal factions in Panamanian goverment. Area specialists at DIA, CIA, or State read them and file them quickly.
The other thing about these six to twelve specialists at the US embassy and their network of friends in DC is that they are Oh So Social. Receptions, cocktail parties, and drinks afterward are part of their job descriptions. And who do they schmooze with? Why none other than old School of America or WINSEC buddies. And do you think it's a possibility that under the current circumstances the words M-I-L-T-A-R-Y and C-O-U-P are being bandied about? You bet your sweet bippy, they are!
This group of mid-levels is the real power source in determining American country policy in Latin America. They are virtually immune to pressure from the White House, because like good pool players, they set up their shots three moves in advance. And so when something happens in Caracas or Havana or whatever -- Hey! I was in another city at the time boss! That's how the cookie crumbles! wink wink nudge nudge.
Honduras, the attempted coup in Ecuador, and the fizzled coup against Hugo Chavez and God knows how many other times and places-- coups are coin of the realm in Latin America. Perhaps it's the water, but it is endemic. Perhaps the greatest historical comparison to what is happening now in Venezuela and Havana is when Eva Peron was on her deathbed. Eva's designated successor Juan did not last long, and he was quickly whisked away to Spain.
Of course the stakes in Venezuela are much, much larger and more important than Argentina. For one thing , we are talking about Venezuela's gigantic oil deposits. When Phillip Agee (the rogue CIA agent and author) was in Caracas, his major job was vetting job applications for Standard Oil. And I would imagine that one way or another, that process stilll goes on.
But wait! It's even bigger than all the oil deposits in Venezuela. The grifter playing the card game on the sidewalk to clean out your wallet would like you to maybe think that this was the case. But you didn't see how he palmed that card to make you look elsewhere.
No, the bonus prize for engineering a government favorable to the United States in Venezuela is Cuba . Uncle Sam has had a hard on against Fidel and the bunch since 1960, and they've never let up. Now that Cuba is doddering with geriatric leadership, a failing economy, and now even cholera -- Cuba is indeed overripe fruit that is just waiting to fall into Uncle Sam's hands if he plays his cards right.
If a coup can be engineered in Venezuela one way or another, then perhaps the new government in Caracas will pull the plug on the generous oil subsidies to Havana. After all, the Venezuelan generals will need their Swiss bank accounts refurbished. Pulling the plug on Venezuelan oil to Cuba is The Great Game that various political, military, and economic interests (including the Mafia) have been salivating about for decades.
Sorry you didn't see where that card is! You lose! Want to play another game?