Truth Unmasked

TimeWatch Editorial
May 02, 2017

Our opinions of nations and their circumstances are often based upon partial information. Partial information is sometimes given because partial information is all that is available at the moment, or because improper research has been done. As catastrophic as both of these incomplete processes might turn out to be, there is one other possible reason why partial information is sometimes given. Every now and then, in order to bolster one’s reputation, partial information is given in order to sway the allegiance of the listeners. This kind of thing happens more often than one might think.

Michael McCarthy, in an article he published on May 18, 2016 in the Washington Post entitled 6 things you need to know about Venezuela’s political and economic crisis” opens up with the following description.

“Venezuela is a powder keg. Once a rich country held together by strong leadership and heavy social spending, it is now in economic disaster and could slide into widespread social disorder, triggering instability throughout Latin America. Drastic shortages of food, medicine, electricity and other necessities are causing small riots. Organized crime and extrajudicial police killings have given Venezuela a frighteningly high rate of murder and violence, with narco-traffickers allegedly in cahoots with corrupt allies in the government and security forces. Runaway inflation means that from March 2015 to 2016 a basket of basic goods for a family of five became 524 percent more expensive . According to a local NGO , Venezuela faced 170 lootings or attempted lootings from January to April 2016.” Michael McCarthy,6 things you need to know about Venezuela’s political and economic crisis”

As Michael McCarthy describes it, Venezuela used to be a wealthy nation. But things certainly changed when Chavez died. During those years when Hugo Chavez was in charge, the circumstances were entirely different. In his book, “The Secret History of American Empire” John Perkins, author of the books, “The Confessions of An Economic Hitman” and “The New Confessions of An Economic Hitman,” describes the Venezuelan situation this way.

“Chavez's rise to fame began in February 1992, when, as a lieutenant colonel in the Venezuelan army, he led a coup against Carlos Andres Perez. The president, whose name had become synonymous with corruption, angered Chavez and his followers because of his willingness to sell his country to the World Bank, the IMF, and foreign corporations. Largely as a result of Caracas's collaboration with the corporatocracy, Venezuelan per capita income had plummeted by more than 40 percent and what had previously been the largest middle class in Latin America sank into the ranks of the impoverished.” John Perkins, “The Secret History of American Empire,” Page 109

It was a few years before Chavez was able to change the way things were in Venezuela. What never ceases to amaze me is the ease with which history can be ignored or re-written to fit an entirely different narrative. John Perkins, because of the work he performed in manipulating and controlling the economy and politics of the nations, was able to present some previously ignored elements to the South American situation.

“In 1998 Hugo Chavez was elected president of Venezuela with an impressive 56 percent of the vote. Once in office, he did not bow to corruption like so many before him. Instead he honored men like Guatemala's Arbenz, Chile's Allende, Panama's Torrijos, and Ecuador's Roldos. They had all been assassinated or overthrown by the CIA. Now, he said, he would follow in their footsteps, but with his own vision and charismatic personality, and the staying power endowed on the leader of a country overflowing with oil. His victory and his continued defiance of Washington and the oil companies inspired millions of Latin Americans.” John Perkins, “The Secret History of American Empire,” Page 109

Of course a careful investigation of the history of these leaders mentioned above, Guatemala's Arbenz, Chile's Allende, Panama's Torrijos, and Ecuador's Roldos, would reveal that they had refused to be intimidated by the financial pressures of the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund. Chavez was determined to follow their example.

“Chavez kept his commitments to the poor—urban and rural. Instead of re-injecting profits into the oil industry, he invested them in projects aimed at combating illiteracy, malnutrition, diseases, and other social ills. Rather than declaring huge dividends for investors, he helped Argentina's embattled President Kirchner buy down that nation's IMF debts of more than $10 billion and he sold discounted oil to those who could not afford to pay the going price— including communities in the United States. He earmarked a portion of his oil revenues for Cuba so it could send medical doctors to impoverished areas around the continent. He forged laws that consolidated the rights of indigenous people—including language and land ownership rights—and fought for the establishment of Afro-Venezuelan curricula in public schools.” John Perkins, “The Secret History of American Empire,” Page 110

You can therefore see why the wrath of the powers that be fell upon Chavez, and for that matter anyone else who might act like him. Listen to how Perkins continues the narrative.

“The corporatocracy saw Chavez as a grave threat. Not only did he defy oil and other international companies, but also he was turning into a leader others might try to emulate. From the Bush administration's perspective, two intransigent heads of state, Chavez and Hussein, had evolved into nightmares that needed to end. In Iraq, subtle efforts—both the EHMs' and the jackals'—had failed, and now preparations were underway for the ultimate solution: invasion. In Venezuela, the EHMs had been replaced by jackals, and Washington hoped that they could solve the problem.” John Perkins, “The Secret History of American Empire,” Page 111

So the question would be, who were these “jackals?” in his book “Confessions of and Economic Hitman,” John Perkins explains who they are. On page 20 he says that, the jackals are always there, lurking in the shadows. When they emerge, heads of state are overthrown or die in violent "accidents." 

You can easily see the methodology on display here. We will continue to look at this in our next Editorial.

Cameron A. Bowen

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