Raúl Zibechi: 2015, a critical and turbulent year


By: Raúl Zibechi


2014 ends with Barack Obama’s decision to re-establish relations with Cuba, after a half century of the blockade and attacks on the island’s sovereignty. The joy that this news stirs up must be shaded. The rapprochement is produced at the moment in which the United States shows marked tendencies towards the provocation of conflicts and wars, as part of a strategy of creating systemic chaos in order to continue dominating.

The year that ends was one of the more tense and intense, since the White House unfurled a group of initiatives that can lead to war between countries that possess atomic weapons. The most critical case is that of Ukraine. Washington sketched a State coup on the Russian border, with the intention of converting Ukraine into a platform for destabilization and, eventually, military aggression against Russia. The US strategy is oriented to establishing a military, economic and political circle around Russia, to impede all approach with the European Union.

Among the gravest acts of 2014, we ought to remember that the United States did not lift a finger to impede the indiscriminate Israeli bombings of the Gaza Strip. White House policy in the Middle East is one of alarming hypocrisy. It endorsed some most dubious elections in Egypt, after a State coup against the first democratic government, which brought its unconditional ally, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to power.

The chaotic situation through which Syria, Sudan, Iraq and Libya travel is a clear example that a strategy of chaos has been designed, as various analysts have been denouncing, as a means for redesigning power relations in its favor. It continues being a mystery how the powerful Western military forces cannot abate the Islamic State, increasing suspicions that the terrorist organization uses the same strategy that the Pentagon impels.

In Latin America, the Obama administration’s silence about the massacres in Mexico calls attention. The White House is denouncing and persecuting Venezuelan government officials for much less.

The fact that the new escalation against the government of Nicolás Maduro is simultaneous with the approach to Cuba warrants non-stop attention. One seems obliged to ask: What intentions does the United States harbor with this new policy towards the island?

It is evident that there is not one United States policy towards Venezuela and another towards Cuba, or towards Mexico. The objective is the same: to continue ruling the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and everything to the north of South America, the area where the United States does not admit challenges. To avoid it, all is valid. The war against the popular sectors in Mexico (with the excuse of drugs) was designed to impede a popular uprising, which was possible in the first years of the new century.

But in Mexico, the United States can count on a political class it trained and financed, loyal and submissive. That is something it cannot count on in Venezuela (where the opposition does not have the cohesion or the ability to lead the country), much less in Cuba, where the technical and political cadres cannot be managed by agencies of the Empire.

In Venezuela it is betting strongly for chaos, as was inferred from the kinds of actions that the most radicalized sectors of the opposition brought forward in the first months of this year. It is probable that the US will attempt to take the chaos strategy to Cuba, with all that implies: from the introduction of capitalist culture (in particular consumerism and drugs) to venal forms of electoral democracy used in the West.

Apparently, because it’s too soon to know if the White House is promoting a turn in its foreign policy, the intention exists of ranking the role of Latin America. The analysis of the Diario del Pueblo, points in this direction. The United States strategy of having influence in the Asia-Pacific Zone was a long night decision and it has now been realized. Now the United States moves its pieces towards other paths. The normalization of relations with Cuba is intended to eliminate the big stone in the way of its active participation in Latin American issues, and let slide a discrete adequacy in its failed strategy of returning to the Asia-Pacífico (Diario del Pueblo, December 19, 2014).

It’s certain that in his talk Obama made reference to the fact that the policy towards Cuba distanced the United States from the region and limited the possibilities of impelling changes on the island. Through Cuba, symbolically, the United States emphasizes its interest in the American community, the officialist (pro-government) Chinese newspaper concludes.

If it were certain that the potency aims its batteries towards America, we would be before a turn of large proportions, as it would also be evidencing the limited consistency of its foreign policy, which since 1945 has been focused on the Middle East and in the last two years was weighted towards the Asia-Pacific.

Anyhow, Latin Americans are facing new problems. In recent years the power of the United States provoked two successful State coups (Honduras and Paraguay), a high intensity war against a people (Mexico), put in check the governability of several countries (Venezuela and to a lesser extent Argentina) and now starts it against the continent’s largest company (the Brazilian Petrobras). It is certain and everyone must say it: the incompetence of some governments eases the task for them.

Everything indicates that 2015 will be a difficult year, in which the tendencies towards war, destabilization and systemic chaos will probably increase exponentially. That’s going to affect both the conservative and the progressive governments, between which there are fewer differences all the time. For the movements of those below and for those that we continue pledged to accompany, it’s incumbent on them to learn to live and to resist in scenarios with high-pitched storms. It is within them where the real navigating is forged.


Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada

Translation: Chiapas Support Committee

Friday, December 26, 2015




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