By: Carlos Fazio /II
If preparation for the violent plunder of Venezuela’s oil and other mining-energy, aquifer and biodiversity riches was one of the main hidden objectives of Rex Tillerson’s tour through various countries in Latin America, the other was to continue with the militarization of the subcontinent under the facade of the war on drugs and terrorism and the clandestine policies of regime change.
The “American War Machine,” as Peter Dale Scott calls it, answers to the “Deep State,” that is, to a secret parallel government organized by the military, police and intelligence apparatuses, financed by the criminal economy and integrated into the Wall Street financial and banking system, which is in charge of formulating and instrumenting the White House foreign policy and its open or secret operations for the benefit of the giants of the oil sector, like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Not in vain, the Donald Trump cabinet is in the hands of a troika of generals: James Mattis (Defense), H. R. McMaster (National Security Advisor) and John Kelly (White House Chief of Staff).
Since the epoch of John F. Kennedy, and more profusely starting with the Clinton administration, high-ranking military and intelligence officials have become “partners” of industrial corporations, and through the lucrative business of war helped to extend the market system and open new “economic borders” to large manufacturers of arms and of security and technology sales, like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, United Technologies and Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.
The problem with those corporations is that they need to feed themselves every day with new wars; that’s why they have to invent them. And that is also why all the wars are based on the deception and the manipulation of the masses –like the non-existent chemical weapons of mass destruction of Saddam Hussein in Iraq− and/or the systematic deceit through the mass media and the “internal archives” of the government of the United States (US).
A new factor exists in the conjuncture: the national security strategy of the Trump administration, announced on December 18, 2017, places fossil fuels (oil, gas, coal) as the essential decisive element to ensure the economic vitality of the US, its military strength and its geopolitical weight. Militarization of energy policy will be the axis of Trump’s national security policy, not only for obtaining “energy independence,” but also for confronting the “rival powers” (China and Russia) that challenge US supremacy and for achieving “total energy domination.”
The “results” of the Tillerson tour through the region respond to that dynamic. In the opening of markets variable, the most visible achievements occurred in Argentina, where the Macri government announced the creation of a rapid deployment force integrated by the armed forces for combating terrorism and drug trafficking (the return of the military to internal security functions) under the advice of the Southern Command, and the installation of a DEA “task force” in Misiones, which could configure a covert military base at a strategic site: the triple border with Paraguay and Brazil, in whose subsoil the Guaraní Aquifer is found, the second largest reservoir of sweet water in the world. In addition to that, briefly, we would add the creation of “intelligence fusion centers” among the Argentine armed and security forces with the DEA, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Southern Command, like those that already exist in Colombia and Mexico.
Before Tillerson’s tour, the purchase of a sophisticated package of missiles and torpedoes made in the United States for the Mexican Navy had been announced, for 98.4 million dollars! The construction of a military barracks in Chicomuselo, Chiapas, was also reported, in a zone where the EZLN has a presence, to “care for the security of the southern border,” and the expansion of the naval base in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Last January, the Mexican Navy participated in the Maritime Security Multinational Meeting in Miami, where it signed a letter of intent for joint protection of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and of part of Central America and the Caribbean with the navies of Colombia and the US.
In the second variable: preparations for a direct or covert military intervention within the framework of the Trump administration’s “regime change” policies in Cuba and Venezuela, the advances are notorious; particularly as to the military ring around Venezuela. The Pentagon has achieved the installation of new military enclaves and the mobilization of troops and mercenaries on Colombia’s border zone with Venezuela, especially in the regions of Tumaco, Cúcuta and the Catatumbo of Northern Santander, which in a pincer operation are added US rapid deployment forces stationed in Aruba, Curacao and Honduras. The military encirclement policy is complemented with “humanitarian aid exercises” in Panama and the recent participation of Brazil and Peru in Operation United America under the Pentagon’s command. By way of a parallel, Tillerson himself encouraged an eventual dissidence within the bosom of the Venezuelan armed forces, which might culminate with a military State coup against President Nicolás Maduro.
In that context, the interests of the US arms and oil industries merge with those of the clandestine power parallel to the White House −that “Deep State” where the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA and private companies like Booz Allen− interact and approach the possibility of an outcome like Iraq, Libya or Syria in Venezuela. If Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were the planners of that secret circle during the Bush administration and took us to war in Iraq, Generals Mattis, H. R. McMaster and John Kelly could be the ones responsible for turning the heart of South America into a new Vietnam.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Monday, February 26, 2018
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee