Imperialism in crisis across the globe

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Bolivian President Evo Morales, Cuban President Fidel Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez represent a consolidating block of anti-imperialist forces in power throughout South America.

As has been reported in The Burning Spear, there has been within the international African community a sector of forces engaged in a dynamic process of uniting and building the African Socialist International to defend the interests and resources of African people worldwide. This is part of an international trend in which colonized people are making significant moves to break the chokehold the U.S. and other imperialist powers have had over us for centuries. Often our victories come from grassroots organizations in defiance of neocolonial governments. In some cases, heads of oppressed nations themselves are defying imperialism’s flagrant attempts to control the resources of their struggling nations.

Iran

One such nation has been Iran. In recent weeks, a showdown between the governments of the U.S. and Iran over the issue of nuclear energy has made headlines in imperialist media. On January 11, 2006, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced his country was on the verge of achieving the capacity to produce nuclear energy.

It has enraged the U.S. government and much of its white citizenry to think that any non-white nation might possess the ability to develop nuclear weaponry. The ideology of white power, which drives U.S. imperialism, demands a monopoly on violence or the ability to commit acts of violence.

It also compounds the imperialists’ anger that, under the leadership of President Ahmadinejad, the Iranian government is one of the few established governments in the world that openly condemns the existence of the colonial settler State of Israel.

In public rallies of hundreds of thousands of people, Ahmadinejad has ridiculed the premise that the Jewish persecution under the Germans during the Second Imperialist War justifies the existence of Israel and its atrocities against the Palestinian people and other Arab nations. He publicly argues that if such a crime occurred by Germans and other European nations, then the State of Israel should be established on European soil.

It should also be noted that on May 8, 2006, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wrote an open letter to George Bush that among other things, criticized U.S. imperialism in Africa. It states, “The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented… Don’t they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth – including minerals – is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?”

Even in the face of open threats of sanctions and the underlying threat of invasion, Iran has been steadfast. Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned the U.S. against attacking Iran saying that the U.S. and its allies won’t be able to provide security for oil shipments crossing the Hormuz Strait near Iran.

Khamenei said, “That a country has no right to achieve proficiency in nuclear technology means it has to beg a few Western and European countries for energy in the next 20 years. Which honest leader is ready to accept this?”

He said, “We have not threatened any neighbor. Unlike the U.S., we have no claim to dominate the world.”

Iraq

Meanwhile in Iraq, the U.S. is receiving the political education prescribed by Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam decades ago when the Vietnamese were sending increasing amounts of U.S. troops home in body bags. The Pentagon reported on March 30, one year since Dick Cheney boasted that the insurgency was in its “final throes,” that the frequency of insurgent attacks against U.S. troops and civilians is at its highest level since American commanders began tracking such figures two years ago.

“We have not threatened any neighbor. Unlike the U.S., we have no claim to dominate the world.”

In its quarterly update to Congress, the Pentagon reported that from February 11 to May 12, as the so-called “Iraqi unity government” was being established, insurgents staged an average of more than 600 attacks per week nationwide. From August 2005 to early February, when Iraqis elected a parliament, insurgent attacks averaged about 550 per week; at its lowest point, before the United States handed over sovereignty in the spring of 2004, the attacks averaged about 400 per week.

In the political arena, U.S. efforts look equally dismal. Efforts to install a puppet government that could hold any credibility among the Iraqi masses while being friendly to U.S. colonial interests has been impossible. For its survival, the fledgling Iraqi government created by the U.S. is forced to criticize the murderous terror tactics of the U.S. military, such as the November 2005 incident in Haditha.

In this Iraqi city, a group of marines went on a killing spree, slaughtering two dozen Iraqi men, women and children after one soldier was killed by a roadside bomb.

In a hopeless attempt to maintain a face of legitimacy, the U.S. government is attempting to explain particular incidents of murder and terror by its military as isolated events. However, U.S. imperialism is not only exposed as illegitimate, but also as beatable.

Afghanistan 

A simmering insurgency threatens to boil over in Afghanistan as well. Recently, a U.S. military vehicle barreled into a crowded intersection in Kabul and killed eight people.

Immediately after the attack, hundreds of Afghans crowded onto the scene chanting, “death to America” and “death to Karzai,” who is the U.S. puppet installed to govern the region. Uprisings ensued for several days in Kabul and other cities.

Palestine

Instability also intensifies for the U.S. and its colonial ally Israel in occupied Palestine. In January 2006, HAMAS, the Palestinian political party that represents the popular armed resistance against Israeli occupation, won popular elections. HAMAS now occupies 74 of 132 seats and is now the majority party of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Like the Iranian government under Ahmadinejad, HAMAS is unflinching in its position that Israel is a State that has no right to exist.

This severely undermined the U.S/Israeli neocolonial strategy that uses the docile Palestinian Authority to isolate HAMAS, which the U.S. characterizes as a “Terrorist Group.”

To punish the Palestinian people and destabilize the HAMAS victory, the U.S. government and Israel attempt to starve out the Palestinian people by denying the pittance of resources it calls aid. These resources, which are stolen from Palestine and other places anyway, come to the Palestinian people only as a consequence of political submission to Israel and the U.S. However, the HAMAS party has refused to compromise the integrity of its political position and continues to enjoy the popular support of the Palestinian masses.

Venezuela

Across the world in Latin America, the U.S. faces a similar crisis in its attempt to maintain dominance over the governments, resources and people there.

Under President Hugo Chavez, Venezuela has provided leadership throughout Latin America for the masses to defend their land and resources from exploitation of the U.S. since sweeping the 1998 presidential elections with the largest margin of victory in Venezuelan history.

“The worst enemy of humanity is capitalism. That is what provokes uprisings like our own, a rebellion against a system, against a neoliberal model, which is the representation of a savage capitalism.”

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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Chavez has publicly declared his intention to use Venezuela’s oil wealth to not only lift the masses of workers and peasants out of poverty, but to also challenge the economic and political stranglehold which U.S. imperialism holds over South America.

In the following years, Chavez’s government initiated unprecedented reforms. He introduced a massive land reform bill. He cracked down on corruption.

He doubled investment in education and schooled over 1 million children for the first time as he tripled literacy courses. He reduced official unemployment from 18 percent to 13 percent.

He introduced a large-scale micro-credit program for the poor and for women. He cut down on tax evasion by the rich. He lowered the infant mortality from 21 percent to 17 percent.

In a manner similar to his Middle Eastern counterparts, Chavez has been unflinching in his criticism of U.S. imperialism, particularly of the current Bush regime. He has characterized the Bush regime as an “imperialist, war-mongering government.” He said it is “eroding the possibility of peace and life” on earth.

Chavez has also been a staunch critic of neocolonialism attacking the neocolonial relationships throughout Latin America. Chavez criticized Mexican president Vincent Fox in November 2005 saying, “How sad that the president of a people like the Mexicans lets himself become the puppy dog of the empire.” Venezuelan and Mexican ambassadors have since withdrawn from their respective posts.

Besides lambasting the U.S. and its puppets the Venezuelan government is creating regional trade alliances throughout Latin America. It is very close with Cuba and Bolivia, and it has a strong relationship with Ecuador, Brazil and Colombia. Essentially Venezuela is in motion and providing leadership to cut the U.S. out of the center of all trade, and ultimately out of the picture.

Bolivia

Alongside Venezuela, Bolivia has been on the move to throw off U.S. domination of their country. In 2005, Evo Morales was elected as the President of Bolivia on a socialist, peasant-based platform. He is considered to be the country’s first indigenous head of state since the Spanish Conquest over 450 years ago.

Morales has stated: “The worst enemy of humanity is capitalism. That is what provokes uprisings like our own, a rebellion against a system, against a neoliberal model, which is the representation of a savage capitalism. If the entire world doesn’t acknowledge this reality, that the national states are not providing even minimally for health, education and nourishment, then each day the most fundamental human rights are being violated.”

As of May 1, 2006, the Bolivian government made a decree stating that all natural gas reserves were to be nationalized: “the state recovers ownership, possession and total and absolute control” of hydrocarbons. Bolivia has the second largest resource of natural gas in South America after Venezuela.

After this announcement the military and engineers of state firm YPFB were ordered to occupy and secure energy installations. He gave foreign companies a six-month “transition period” to renegotiate contracts, or face expulsion.

This power shift occurring in the Middle East and Latin America are two other fronts in the growing standoff between oppressed and colonized peoples and the white ruling class of imperialist nations. The growing motion to unite Africa and African people throughout the world through the ASI is the critical component to realizing all oppressed peoples’ ambitions to be free and self-determining.

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