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USA Bad Boys: Blackmail and US Intervention in latin America

by Karmen Selis Monday, Feb. 17, 2003 at 1:37 AM

US addictions haunt and terrorize world: OIL, WEAPONS, DRUGS. US BAD BOYS and friends in Latin America held power for decades. Now they are run out of town by Hugo Chavez, people of Bolivia and New Ideas. Guns and Money aren’t enough anymore–Hope lives –Struggle Consumes…


The People of Latin America vs. the Bad Boys of the US Empire


Buddha was wrong: Life is not suffering nor is it explained by the attachments of individuals. Buddha was a socialist, but he couldn’t have known the terror and the power of a modern Capitalist’s Greed.








“There are 5 major challenges facing the great majority of humanity:

1- U.S. imperialist drive for world domination through the Bush doctrine of "permanent wars"… in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq… North Korea, Iran and the Arab East… Colombia …Cuba and the support for a military coup in Venezuela.

2- The recolonization of Latin America via the imposition of ALCA [FTAA] and the transfer of sovereignty to a U.S. controlled ALCA commission. Washington's application of the doctrine of "extra-territoriality", which asserts the right of the U.S. to override international and national laws. The rejection by the U.S. of the International Criminal Court in order to allow its military forces to commit crimes with impunity. The U.S. has assumed the "right" for its military and intelligence agents to commit homicide - to assassinate - political adversaries within the frontiers of any country.

3- The pillage of the Third World - particularly Latin America- leading to the reversion to earlier more retrograde forms of exploitation including white slavery, economic pillage, the appropriation of all the major sectors of the economy and the de- industrialization of Latin American economies via free trade while retaining protective barriers and export subsidies.

4- U.S. hegemony over the political class, from the electoral parties of the center-left to the far right, leading to accommodation to the imperialist project and perpetuation of the system of pillage and re-colonization.

5- The uneven growth of powerful socio-political movements throughout the world…” James Petras

The US is always on the side of violence. The US is violence. From Iraq to the drug war violence against the ecology and people of Colombia and Ecuador; from Teddy Roosevelt’s Big Stick to the mining of the Nicaraguan harbors in 1983 – violence is the natural choice of Imperialism and arrogance. The rightwing think tanks of the US and its corporate empire are the architects of global violence. They create novel forms of imperialism like the “Genetically Modified” free trade neoliberalism – also known as Globalization, the WTO and the War Against a word these are Imperialismo.

Faces of the Final Imperialism

Globalization is imperialism and the IMF is the accounting agency for the corporate globalists. The US armed forces are the auditors for the IMF. As James Petras illustrates in the above excerpt, there are many examples of this US structure of violence. One place stands out above the media spin. In Colombia all of the sins of the rightwing and its imperialism merge and climax. The corporate mass media allows governments to blame the left and the outgunned guerrillas. Some of the worst atrocities in 20 years have been in Colombia, many are US linked.

Officially, 2003 is the first time that US combat troops have entered the Colombian war. Special Forces and US Green Berets and other mercenaries are in the war zones training and leading oil pipeline defenses with the Colombian army. Seventy additional trainers have arrived and soon there will be more. US Special Forces and CIA covert military operations are expanding rapidly, and not just in the jungles of Colombia. [2] In the deserts of Arizona in the southwestern US, elite Special Forces teams train night and day in preparation for covert insertion into Afghanistan, Iraq, and North Korea, Iran, Argentina or almost anywhere. The current “official” US budget for Special Forces is over billion. The real figure including covert operations funding is at least billion.

There are over 7000 US military, DOD employees and dependents stationed in Latin America. Another 2000 work there for the State Department and various intelligence agencies. Worldwide the US hires over 40,000 foreign nationals to do contract work for the US military, DOD, and State Department. [3] Thousands of these are in Latin America. In Colombia alone there are several hundred foreign nationals working for the US and Dyncorp in the herbicide spraying campaigns and other missions.

This US military-intelligence-corporate complex/conspiracy occupies most of the world. More than 400,000 US military, DOD, contractors, dependents, and thousands of people employed by a host of agencies (Peace Corps, AID, Peace Keeping missions, relief agencies, CIA, DEA, NSA, etc.) are stationed strategically around the world. Another 100,000 US Navy personnel are at any given time also stationed in or near many hot spots. From the illegally occupied Cuban territory of Guantanamo where 600 US military are practicing torture and psychological experiments against 100’s of Taliban, Al Qaida, Arab and Islamic militants to Ecuador where the US has illegally established a large airbase at Manta as part of the Andean Initiative/Plan Colombia Drug War intervention - there are expanding US military operations and rightwing training exercises all over the hemisphere. [4] US weapons and military aid smother Latin America in a sea of corruption, kickbacks and indirect support to rightist military elements and death squads.

The US spends more on its defense (offense) than the rest of the world combined and about twenty times the combined military budgets of all the countries who could even remotely be considered enemies of the US (Iraq, Libya, Cuba, Iran…). (

If you count all of the different kinds of armed security and police forces in the US or working for US corporations worldwide then the US spends about two thirds of the global defense budget. The US is only a small percentage of the world’s population and yet the world allows the US to dominate it, exploit billions and pollute the entire planet. The cumulative effects of this tyranny make it hard to discern which aspect of US imperialism is the worst.

Cultural and information imperialism score high on the list and the media empires of the US and Venezuela’s Cisneros Group skillfully mislead and trick people globally.

“The dawn of the twenty-first century finds us in a position not unlike the one found by Upton Sinclair and his compatriots eighty years ago. The media are exceptionally concentrated, the journalism is of dubious integrity, journalists are demoralized, and the political system is awash in corruption… The political crisis of capitalist journalism remains an unavoidable and central facet in understanding our current predicament, and there is no reason to think the problem will go away of its own volition. Any democratic movement will have to come to terms with the core problems that a capitalist control over journalism and media pose for a free and self-governing society.” – Robert McChesney, Monthly Review, May 2002, p.14.

STUPID STATEMENTS OF THE NEW YEAR from the World Economic – Fat Cats – Forum (WEC) in Davos, Switzerland 2003:

Goldman Sachs banker, Robert D. Hormats: “There’s a sense of seriousness that is far greater than we have seen in many years… a sense that the business community has far less influence… a sense of humility.” And Forum founder, Klaus Schwab: “I would argue that the power of the corporations has completely disappeared.”

Apparently Mr. Schwab and the US bankers haven’t noticed who runs the US and the Bush administration:

Edward Aldridge Jr., US Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology, formerly CEO of Aerospace Corporation; Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, formerly a consultant for Northrop Grumman; Michael Wynne, Secretary of Defense, formerly Vice President of General Dynamics; James Roche, Secretary of the Air Force, President of Northrop Grumman; Nelson Gibbs, Assistant Secretary of Air Force for Installations and Environment, Controller of Northrop Grumman; Peter B. Teets, Secretary of the Army, President of Lockheed Martin; Thomas White, Secretary of the Army, Vice President of Enron; Gordon England, Secretary of the Navy, ex- Vice President of General Dynamics. Of course these are just a few of the many former corporate executives who now run most of the US government, the US Congress and half the biggest corporations in the world. Oh, almost forgot the WTO, FTAA, World Bank and IMF – there must be a few corporate executives in these fine “civic” institutions too!

And the door swings both ways with many former military and high government officials now working for the corporate sector, criminals like Henry Kissinger and Bill Clinton.


“The Bolivian government has taken such a rigid position that no negotiations are possible. It is not correct to say that the US backs the government here. The Bush administration does not back the government, but orders it, pressures it, blackmails it…US foreign policy is lies built on lies coming from a sick society about to devour itself in its own contradictions.” - Luis Gómez, Andean Bureau Chief for Narco News.

Since this statement, a massive uprising began on February 12 to unseat the president and the current government of Bolivia. The uprising came in response to tax increases on wages. More than 20 protestors have been killed and the country is paralyzed. Otto Reich is running the show for the US’s Bush and directing the military and media cover-ups.

“Deja Vo-doo–us” - The Bush State Department crew in the Latin America of 2003 looks a lot like the Reagan-Bush operatives of 1980-1993. Here are a few of the ringleaders of the criminal gangs and mayhem-makers who create, direct and execute US foreign policy in South America:

Andrew Messing is a Green Beret trainer and director of the military think tank, National Defense Council Foundation, This group has also been called a military NGO lobbying group and with members and advisers from the likes of Dick Cheney, Orin Hatch, Trent Lott and Dan Burton to Newt Gingrich and Bob Stump it may well be the group advising the White House basement crew and covert actions around the world. In early January Messing’s website began running claims that Hugo Chavez had shut down private TV stations in Venezuela. This sounds like Otto Reich’s handiwork.

Dan Burton and his buddy Ben Gillmore are US Republican Congressmen, always Pro-War and they support the rightwing on Colombian intervention, Iraq invasions and military spending.

John Negroponte, the US Ambassador to the UN, is a key Bush official persecuting the war against Iraq. As US Ambassador to Honduras (1981-85) Negroponte directed the Honduran military to provide protection and assistance to the Contra terrorists who killed ten thousand Nicaraguans with US funding. With Negroponte’s permission the Honduran military also carried out systematic murders of refugees from war-torn El Salvador and of domestic opponents in Honduras itself.

Otto “Contra-Terrorist” Reich: Cuban anti-communist, dirty tricks and dirty words specialist, Reich is famous for arranging the escape of rightwing Cuban terrorist, Orlando Bosch, from a Venezuelan jail. Bosch was pardoned by HW Bush Sr.. Reich consistently seeks out employment with shady characters such as the US-Cuba Business Council and the US government-funded Center for a Free Cuba. He has also represented the liquor producer Bacardi & Co, Lockheed Martin and pro-sweatshop industry groups.

Thomas Pickering: Former Under Secretary of State, Political affairs (1997-2000) also served as US ambassador to India, Israel (1986-1988), El Salvador (1984 during massacres), Russia, Nigeria, and Jordan. He served as US ambassador to the UN from 1989-93. Pickering is currently senior vice president for International Affairs at The Boeing Company. Pickering praises Andrew Messing on the National Defense Council Foundation website.

Peter Romero: This Assistant Secretary of State and Salvadoran massacre veteran, is an OAS proponent of US-backed military intervention in Latin America – most countries rejected this as paternalistic and repugnant. Romero should be considered armed and dangerous.

US General Charles Wilhelm is a notorious military adviser who is close friends with the Death Squads in the Colombian military – people like Harold Bedoya. Wilhelm is also a lunatic wacko proponent of the US militarization of the Panamanian border. Wilhelm should know that the Panamanian border is already well guarded by his friends in the Colombian Military’s irregular rangers the AUC death squads who invaded Panama and killed dozens of indigenous people in early February, 2003.

Republican Senators Richard Lugar and Henry Hyde want the US to adopt a more vigorous policy on Venezuela. Lugar is important not for his connections to Venezuela but because he is president of the Senate Foreign Affairs committee in the Republican controlled Congress. Hyde has made no bones that he wants Chavez Frias out and warned about an "Axis of Evil" brewing south of the border.

Frank Calzon and Joe Garcia of the US funded Center for a Free Cuba of Miami (FNCA) supports Gustavo Cisneros of Univision/Venevision TV and the other anti-Castro terrorists. They vow to use the Cuban lobby in Washington to hurt Chavez.

Roger Noriega: Ambassador to OAS (2000-2002) took Otto Riech’s place as Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America. He is another anti-Castro, pro-Massacre, death squad friend, pro-Venezuelan coup and a former congressional staffer of ultra-rightwing Senator Jesse Helms.

Elliot Abrams is a senior Bush official on the National Security Council and the head of the administration’s efforts in the Middle East (War and Peace?). Abrams, 55 years old, is a prominent star of the rightist pro-Israel current that emerged towards the end of the 1970s as a response to the moderate policies of former President Jimmy Carter. Other representatives of this pro-Israeli element are Richard Perle, Jean Kirkpatrick, and Frank Gaffney. Abrams is a staunch supporter of Ariel Sharon who is under indictment by the Hague International Court for his butchery of 1000’s of civilians at the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps in Lebanon in 1982. Sharon hides behind his immunity as the leader of Israel.

Abrams was a key Reagan Administration contra-terrorist player in the 1980’s who was convicted of crimes in the Iran-Contra scandal and then pardoned by George Bush Sr. As assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs under Reagan, he was responsible for the repressive and illegal policies pursued in El Salvador and Nicaragua during the 1980s, and played a key role in the US relationship to Manuel Noriega, and then he lied about the whole deal to the US Congress.

Concerning the testimony that got Abrams convicted, retired Admiral and former diplomat, William Crowe described Abrams as a "snake who is hard to kill." And former Republican Senator David Durenburger complained, "I wouldn't trust Elliott any further than I could throw Ollie North."

Abrams met with the Latin American Affairs Chief Otto Reich and several Venezuelan coup plotters in April 2002 just before the kidnapping of Chavez. Somethings never change.

In 2000, Abrams was the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center when he was tapped by Condolezza Rice for a position on the National Security Council (the White House basement crew where all the illegal actions take place) He will be assisted in this job by Flynt Leverett, who is described as being "on detail from the Central Intelligence Agency (C.I.A.)," who will be directly responsible for the issue of the Arab-Israeli Conflict under Abrams? supervision.

Abrams is also on the advisory board of the Media Research Center, an organization that opposes any traces of liberalism on TV or in films. Chairman L. Brent Bozell III publishes the newsletter TV, ETC., with an advisory board that includes Abrams, Mona Charen, Pete DuPont, and Rush Limbaugh. (Website:

A complete list of all the suspected criminals in the Bush administration could be lengthy. Marcel Idels at Ecosolidaridad Andes has a list of 173 Colombians associated with the US and drugs or death squads. (



At his glorious State of the Union address to the US Congress in January, President Bush let the world know that he is deeply concerned about US drug addictions. Bush was so busy smirking (about his war) and invoking the great God of the Yankee-Gringos that he forgot to mention the even deadlier US economic addictions that threaten the world and all 290 million US citizens: oil consumption (SUV-symptoms) and the global weapons trade.

He mentioned his fears that North Korea is trying to blackmail the US but failed to mention European fears that the US is blackmailing them into a war against Iraq that they want no part of. Bush failed to recant the fascinating exchange in February between US Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and a German government spokesperson: Rumsfeld said that France and Germany do not speak for Europe on the war in Iraq and the German retorted that “We no longer live in the world of Cro Magnons where the guy with the biggest stick hits you over the head and steals your Mastadon fur… Unlike the US, Europe has a long history of civilization.”

The US has practically a global monopoly in Arms sales, military power, computers and the oil industry. Military adventures may soon bring much of the world’s oil reserves under US “protection.” But the US and the UK certainly do not have a monopoly on “Bad Boys.”

Our next article on Bad Boys of Latin america will examine a few of the trouble-makers and corporate gangsters from south of the border, well actually they shop in New York and Paris and they live in Miami, but they are Venezuelans by birth or due to the fact of their extensive political and economic interests in that so rich and desperately poor nation that they have pushed to the brink of a civil war.

These US-created wars in Venezuela and Colombia are wars of greed that use the democratic terrorism of “bosses-lockouts” and grandiose media deceptions alongside covert financing of the rightwing, sabotage and deadly toxins.

Some of the co-conspirators of the US in Latin America include:

Rightwing Mercenaries:

Jimmy “Habitat for Corporate Humanity” Carter and the Carter Center: A sell-out pretend peace maker who is a long time friend of Gustavo Cisneros another good ole boy from the South – South Florida ain’t too far from Georgia is it?

US Corporations SAIC-INTESA: One of the top ten US defense contractors and a global high security computer systems management firm staffed with US military, Intelligence and Defense industry good old boys. They were key players in the bosses strike and sabotaged many state oil company computers and other devices before being thrown out of the country.

Cesar Gaviria: OAS Chief, mediator in Venezuelan dispute and corrupt former President of Colombia. He is a friend of deposed Peruvian President Fujimori and the rightwing death squad congressmen who back Uribe in Colombia.

Felipe González is the former Socialist Prime Minister of Spain and a powerful behind the scenes Spanish politician who ruined his own political party and now with the likes of Tony Blair has defied his principles to join sides with the fascists in Spain and the US Bush war machine.

Jesús Polanco of the daily newspaper El País in Spain.

Lt. Col. James Rodgers, the US military attaché in Caracas, and US Army Col. Ronald MacCammon advised the generals who turned against Chavez in April 2002 and stayed with them for 48 hours, until the coup collapsed in the face of mass demonstrations and rioting. They assured the coup leaders of the full support of the U S. Washington denied these reports, making the improbable claim that these two US officers had merely made a “drive-by” inspection of the coup headquarters. “They never got out of their vehicle,” a State Department official insisted. Rodgers’ office was located on the fifth floor of the main building of Fort Tiuna, the largest military base in Venezuela and the place that Chavez was taken after he was kidnapped by US-backed forces. The US was the only country whose military attaché enjoyed this privilege at Fort Tiuna. Chavez had ordered that the office be removed, but the Venezuelan military never carried out his instructions.

Naomi Klein is a US anti-globalization activists and the author of No Logo. While she champions “power to the people” and a decentralist position she ignores her own hypocrisy in attacking Chavez, Lula and their millions of supporters at the World Social Forum. She accuses Latin leaders of hijacking the anti-corporate globalization movement, calls them dangerous and leaves the impression that she considers them terrorists. She and her clique of center-right advisers are the usual ignorant voices that lacking a well-thought-out program just attack others and disrupt movements because they are so afraid of actual change. See the article that put her in the hot seat at and comments from Argentineans at [Links problem?]


EVERYTHING in the world is about blackmail, threat and force. Lula, President of Brazil and possibly the new leader of the world (sorry George W.) – holds most of the cards. Brazil is blackmailing the US over the debt of Latin America. In the past the US bribed or blackmailed the rightwing governments there. “Tio Sam” (US) continuously threatened to stop loans, investments or arms deals unless the Latin American elite did most of what the US wanted: strong militaries, big corporate profits and controlled corruption with a strong dose of “fear for the masses” when needed. The US continues to back this elite of death squads and ex-patriot Miamians with every thing and every vice they need.

Just two years ago the US blackmailed the leaders of the indigenous uprising in Ecuador to back down and turn power over to the corrupt vice president, Noboa, or else face isolation and economic sabotage. The same happened in Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1980-1990), Cuba (Since 1959) and Venezuela today. But this US blackmail/extortion no longer is as effective, since so many countries are rising up together in Latin America.

Now the left has power in South America – and maybe soon in most of Latin America. “Remember the Domino theory?” Well now we have one that can’t be stopped! The caring people of the US had better learn the rules in this new game or they will lose everything – especially the possibility of friendship and solidarity.

Secrets are everywhere… they happen all around us. Secrets and a whole world that even most educated people can’t really factor into their general rap – their spoken worldview… Who does the Venezuelan government’s public relations output? We know who does the right wing Venezuelan PR and media: “Public Enemy” Gustavo Cisneros, and “carlitos” Ortega. They have 50 billion dollars at their disposal, a media empire or two, the whole US- Miami/Cuban – White House basement (Bush Sr. set this up nice!) – and the rightwing in Venezuela also have the US Republican Party “Honchos” (Lugar, and Henry Hide) and 20 or 40 more experts, conspirators and media spinners…


It looks like Hugo Chavez and a few friends ARE WINNING against half the rich manipulators in the world… and now comes Lula da Silva and the powerhouse Brazilian Workers Party and Gutierrez in Ecuador, Morales in Bolivia and Carrio in Argentina. If Bush couldn’t handle Chavez what will he do against a whole region of angry leftists?

The tide of the world has turned – it is so obvious that a lot of chaos is about to happen. It may be “managed” – as in the US and Europe cave-in (to blackmail – self interest) and debt is written off ALL OVER THE WORLD – or else… revolution will come from rising expectations.

Dominoes ARE RISING AND FALLING… in Bolivia and Peru and ? (Chile, Paraguay… Mexico???). A continental revolution is rising up to knock off the elite everywhere. This is not happening so much because the people have planned and organized so well or long. But many are ready to fight because IT IS ALL HAPPENING NOW and people sense that the time has come – the feeling and the yearning for an end to neoliberalism and foreign control is so strong that liberation just happens.

From La Paz, Bolivia to Buenos Aires and the barrios of Caracas we have seen that people learn fast and self-organize. They know to take the streets, block the roads and seize the factories. A great need for a redistribution of wealth and power encourages demands for more and there will be no end. As Chavez said on February 7th : ‘The coup-mongering fascist opposition had their turn at the bat and they struck out three times. Now it’s our turn to bat… the peoples’ turn.” (New York Times, February 7, 2003, p. A6.)

Lula plays the same game as Chavez: wait and see. They don’t have to move fast unless the US forces them to. Let the people learn and lead and fashion their own demands. The Iraq war, terrorism and financial problems are dogging the US Bush agenda – not to mention war in Colombia and grave domestic problems – prisons, pollution and perjury (perdition, perversion sorry God…) A global crisis driven by the US is assured and the US elite will be too busy to deal with an organized resistance in Latin America. … And community organizing is happening fast.


From the New York Times to Bush’s speeches, the word blackmail pops up as often as the words “regime change.” Author Jeffery St. Claire doesn’t use the word blackmail in his article about the US threat to use genetically engineered killer fungi against drug crops in South America. But the immense power and menacing attitude of the US lays thick on this issue and on St. Claire’s article “Agent Green.” Something reeks of coercion and strong-arming and one wonders how much longer the US can escape the consequences of its actions.

“The scandalous drug war-military intervention in Colombia “project” drones on and somehow billions of dollars of guns and US death squad funding flies right under the radar of the mainstream press. They are ever loath to tackle seriously any topic wrapped in the holy robes of the drug war – or the defense department!

But why doesn’t anyone see that 20,000 to 30,000 innocent people are murdered every year – and the blame is all about the Colombian government-elite-drug Lord – corruption reality – not what George Bush or US drug war TV adds tell us. Yet, what it really adds up to is a form of environmental terrorism. The toxic wasteland and human suffering left in the wake of these operations is not accidental, not, to use the fetching term of the economists, a uncomfortable externality of an otherwise benign project. Instead, it is a calculated tactic, designed to evoke fear and terror-the carpet-bombing of the drug war.

Don't say the toxic warriors in the Bush administration aren't bibliophiles. Obviously they've read [the environmental and toxic pesticide bible] Silent Spring. Only not as the stark warning Rachel Carson intended, but as a war plan which they are now bent on putting into global action.” -

This is blackmail of a whole new magnitude and one that may just wake the world up: Bio Terror! Anything less than a Bush surrender at this point will only assist the left and the forces opposing the US and its corporate henchmen. Everyone is watching the US and it won’t be long before someone calls Mr. “Thorny” Bush’s bluff and then we will find out what US political patriotism is really made out of.

Deny the Empire, Stop the US! Find the Bad Boys… and as Arundhati Roy of India says: “Undress the Empire.”





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