Paki is joined by CODEPINK Latin America Campaign Coordinators, Leonardo Flores and Teri Mattson, to illuminate the hypocrisy of the United State’s treatment of Venezuela and Honduras. Latin America has been suffering for 500+ years under European and American colonialism and more recently from corporate intervention and extractivsm.
Leonardo starts us off by reviewing policies that that has led Venezuela to it’s current standing. First, aggression started with the 2002 coup under the Bush Administration. Under the Obama Administration, an executive order was signed that VZ was an unusual threat, even once calling VZ the greatest threat to the US in the Western Hemisphere. The Trump Administration doubled down on policies by enacting sanctions that have killed approximately 40,000 Venezuelans and counting.
Next, Teri, recently back from a trip to Honduras, discusses the massive Neo liberal economic model in Honduras that 100% privatization has created much more poverty than alleviated, heinous violent attempts to grab land, especially on the Caribbean coast, and mining concessions, that all cause disastrous effects. President Hernandez's brother is on trial for Narco-Trafficking just started last week. The brother of US installed president resulted from a coup and named as a co-conspirator in the trial, so then why are we only hearing about VZ being a Narco-Trafficking state? Why is none of this covered in the media? Honduras houses the largest military base in Central America. Once a country accepts a base, the US does not challenge (human rights violations, corrupt government officials). What happens in Honduras purposely stays out of the media.
We discuss the impact of the assassination of Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres for her work against the extraction industry. She is a martyr that inspired many indigenous environmental activists. The Honduran indigenous community is up against giant transnational corporations. It is comparable to what the western expansion was in the States, using land grabbing to exterminate native people. This is the modern version of it, but we hear so little by the media, especially the violence inflicted.
We compare the stark contrasts between the foreign extraction industries. VZ president, Chavez believed the natural resources should be used for the benefit of the developing society. He re-nationalized the oil industry to put profits to work. Oil profits lead enormous strides, including 2.8 million public housing units, approximately 9 million people housed. The contrast to this in Honduras is telling of US corporate interest. We hear so little about the impunity, land grabbing, water and gold extraction which comes with devastating violence all for external benefits backed by OUR tax dollars. The Irony and hypocrisy in profound, VZ is vilified even though they support their people and Honduras is kept out of media.
Recently, we learned at the trial of Hernandez’s brother that El Chapo was financing right wing candidates. Who hired him to finance, the most powerful cartel working to undermine the Venezuelan government? The right wing in VZ has links to military and aims to portray VZ as a Narco state. On a global scale, there are five to seven battling cartels that will control all capital resources beyond borders. This is rooted in ideology and global capital. These cartels exist to supply to the US’s high demand for drugs.
With Indigenous People’s Day next week, we remind you indigenous people represent a culture, a heritage and spirit and have always been on the front line.