Saturday, May 05, 2007

A New Black Hole Cashbox

Change can occur at any speed. The revolution in Venezuela is transforming that oil rich nation with increasing velocity and there is also evidence this is only one front of a larger coordinated global revolt against the west.

Paradigm shift in Latin America: Though personally I don't believe in reincarnation or metempsychosis, it seems Late Saddam Hussein has started speaking out through the vocal cord of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. Years back Saddam did deliver a speech full of gravest admonitions that only the fainthearted Arabs are to bow down before the United States as the only power to decide the fate of the pan-Arab security. Chaves is also intoning the same admonitions to the Latin Americans to stand firm against the United States and its hegemonic instruments like IMF and World Bank.

Western Liberals view the events through their class war world view and see only positive progress as Chavez walks away from western financial institutions and calls for others to follow his path. In their view the actions represent liberation from capitalist "debt slavery".

Counterpunch: Unlike what the Wall Street Journal and rest of the US corporate media report or imply, Chavez and others on the "pragmatic left" aren't aiming to destroy capitalism, just tame it. … Hugo Chavez offers them a new choice having announced in March he intends creating a Bank of the South social democratic alternative to the repressive neoliberal Washington Consensus IMF-World Bank model.

Chavez intends to build a separate financial system which will be completely opaque to the auditors of all the European heritage institutions. A banking system where funds from Wahhabist charities, Iranian banks, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) cocaine cash and Taliban opiate profits can work together for common goals. Douglas Farah details the multiple areas of concern emerging down south.

The Growing Terrorism Challenges From Latin America: All told, Venezuela has spent some $4.3 billion on weapons since 2005, placing it ahead of China ($3.4 billion); Pakistan ($3 billion); and Iran ($1.7 billion). … Lt. Gen. Michael Maples, director of the DIA, said Venezuela’s agenda was to "neutralize U.S influence" in Latin America and predicted the buying spree would continue in 2007.

In Latin America Hezbollah (Shia) and Hamas (Sunni) have developed sophisticated but little studied financial structures, largely through the unregulated exchange houses and free trade zones in specific parts of the region, including Panama’s Colon Free Trade Zone, Isla Margarita in Venezuela, Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, the Aruba Free Trade Zone and others. The overarching structure that enables both groups to work along side each other is the international Muslim Brotherhood, the one pan-Islamist group that has for several decades served as a bridge between the two factions.

Non-state armed groups are able to operate with impunity in much of Latin America because the weak and corrupt central governments have not had an effective enforcement presence in many of these regions for years. … While during the Cold War Latin America and Africa received some considerable attention in the competition between the U.S. and the Soviet bloc, today these powers’ interest in both regions has waned -- often replaced by investment, high-level delegations and even military advisors of the People Republic of China (PRC).

Above all, waging war costs money. Without money there are no soldiers with weapons. There are no improvised explosive devices or car shaped bombs. With plenty of cash the enemies of America can find people willing to fight us indefinitely.