Empire Files: Human Rights Hypocrisy - Colombia vs. Venezuela

dan gavel lock is a human rights lawyer and professor as well as an expert in u.s. foreign policy in Latin America most known for exposing u.s. sponsored human rights abuses in Colombia he's also the author of the new book the plot to scapegoat Russia professor Cavallo just returned from Venezuela as an observer of the country's recent election for the Constituent Assembly I sat down with him to talk about his experience in Venezuela and Colombia the reality behind other both presented by the u.s. Empire so Dan you just got back from Venezuela you're there observing the Constituent Assembly election I feel like you know of course Venezuela is one most crime-ridden countries in a world outside of an active war zone but you cannot look at Venezuela or the violence and a crime without understanding what's happening in Colombia and what the US has done there Colombia remains the US Empire staunchest Ally of course the largest aid recipient in the region receiving at least 10 billion dollars since 2000 it's been called the Israel Latin America it's even been said from a former US ambassador that the US has more involvement in Colombia than anywhere else in the world including Afghanistan right now people might be really shocked to hear that you've called it an invisible war for a good reason talk about the US military presence in the country today and what this alliance is all about right so the USA operates out of about seven military bases in Colombia and they've been open about the fact that they they want those bases for power projection throughout Latin America so they see they really see Colombia's a beachhead and their last beachhead in Latin America is a means to control the rest of the hemisphere Colombian troops receive more training by numbers at the u.s. School of the Americas than any other country I think over 10,000 military leaders have been trained in the United States Colombian military leaders they then go on to train others like an under earth for example since youths have gun will travel and of course these are some of the most repressive military leaders in the world most notably the the Kombi military which again has been trained by the United States armed by the United States was responsible for the false-positive scandal which people may remember it's fairly recent the high-water markers between 2002 and 2009 where they killed between about four and six thousand civilians that they knew were civilians but they dress them up as guerillas would kill them and put uniforms on them guns on them in order to push up the numbers to justify more US military aid so this is these are our guys in Colombia and under what pretenses is the US selling this for well it shifted as many of our pretenses have shifted so at first it began in 1962 with the national security doctrine and the idea at least that we claimed was to fight communism throughout Latin America beginning in Colombia now as we know from General William Yarborough and the things he said at the time he was the American sent by John F Kennedy to Colombia to create begin the national security doctrine which was a doctrine also built around Yarborough's idea for paramilitary groups he said we needed these extra paramilitary groups that could give deniability plausible deniability to the US and its allies in carrying out the war against communists but he was clear that the comment when he said communists he meant trading demeanors peasant leaders Catholic priests who advocated for the poor etc and that's who we've been fighting in Colombia in fact the FARC didn't even exist till two years after the national security doctor went and effect the FARC was born in 1964 so but then ever since 1964 we have alternatively claimed were we were there to fight guerrillas and we were there to fight drugs but of course if you look at the numbers the drug numbers have actually gone up in terms of coca production and cocaine trafficking from Colombia in fact when I was in I was in Colombia in March and I was at the USM see and there was a bit of chaos going on and they said the CIA had come down the FBI because they said they were going to have to answer for the fact that last year was a bumper crop for Colombia after ten million dollars we put in there to fight drugs the drugs were at an all-time high right and now of course the FARC is gone is a military organization they've now disarmed so now what is the justification I don't think they've given us one yet I think they're working on what the new justification is going to be though I do think part of it will be Venezuela in the need to bolster the Colombian military against Venezuela though Venezuela is not a military power or military threat to Colombia or anyone else I do think that that is going to be part of the of the new justification go back to the national security doctrine under Kennedy you say that the paramilitary groups were basically a creation right of the you absolutely in CIA right I recall them death squads now you know and so the death squads have been used throughout Latin America by the US as a means to prevent social change and Kennedy even though he's will mana sized a lot by the left one of the things that he was concerned about after the Cuban Revolution and after the Second Vatican Council by the way he reacted to that as well what was that bacteria can see so the Second Vatican Council under pope john xxiii was a real sea change for the roman catholic church it gave rise to the Liberation Theology which was a preferential treatment for the poor and so for the first time since Constantine had declared the Catholic Church the Church of the Holy Roman Empire and the church went from being an insurgent Church to the Church of the conquerors the Pope Pope John the 23rd wanted to make it again the Church of the people in the Church of the poor well this was a an incredible threat to the United States because particularly Latin America we have huge percentage of population Catholic the idea that priests would be advocating for the poor and for social change was very dangerous very dangerous idea so these paramilitary groups were formed and as they as they went on the point of them was to destroy the possibility of social change including from the Roman Catholic Church and so one thing they did was to kill priests and to kill bishops like Archbishop Romero in El Salvador right one thing also not discussed in Colombia which again is the epicenter of these death squads is it over 80 Catholic priests have been murdered in Colombia since 1984 80 Catholic priests if this was in Cuba we would have vaporized that country by now right and these are according again to the Catholic Bishops Council of Colombia peat priests who were killed because they advocated for poor people and these are the people that we are trying to destroy in Latin America because they represent a threat to the USS control over the valuable resources in countries like Colombia and Venezuela as well you've argued that the biggest factor fueling the conflict in Colombia is land right the ownership of the land unequal land distribution break down what the ownership is and how it got this way yes well and this is fairly typical throughout Latin America you have a very small percentage of the Colombian population something like 0.3 percent that control about 50 percent of the land and the only way they've been able to do this is by forcibly removing people from their land for example afro-colombians from their ancestral land indigenous people from their ancestral land which has created this incredible problem of internal displacement and and also is pushing about 35 to maybe 65 Indian tribes out of the hundred that exist in Colombia to extinction it's according to our own State Department indigenous tribes are just being or disappearing all the time in Colombia because of this displacement because they happen to be on the most fertile land or land that has minerals that gold that sort of thing and of course this is all happening during the time of Plan Colombia talk about what Plan Colombia did so Plan Colombia which Colombians by the way called plan Washington and this was an idea that the Clinton administration had in the late about 1999 in early 2000 this is when I started getting involved in Colombia because of the debate over Plan Colombia and again they justified a massive influx of aid to the Colombian military making it the third largest recipient of US military aid in the world only third decisional in Egypt which are always number one and two and the idea the claim was to to fight drugs okay so it switched from communism to then drug exactly exactly did a new plan right because the Soviet Union is fell people weren't worried about the Soviet Union Russia anymore although they're apparently they are again but that is another story so it was drugs right but it was interesting I went to a hearing in Washington at that time when they were debating Plan Colombia and it was a hearing that was being sponsored by the Committee on drugs and social policy and so ostensibly the idea was to talk about Plan Colombia as needed to buy drugs in Colombia right what else one of the key people called to testify by Congress for that hearing was the vice president of Occidental Petroleum based here in Los Angeles and he had nothing to say about drugs presumably knew nothing about them but was there to talk about the need for the plan Colombia to defend his pipelines in Colombia and this was at the committee for drugs and social policy I think this is a window into what really the US policy towards Colombia and Venezuela as well as about oil oil oil you mentioned the victims indigenous people peasants the afro-colombians which you have called actually and ethnocide right we know through our policies in fact if you look at some state I've written some articles I've looked at some State Department statements that have come out through WikiLeaks and they've openly talked about the fact that the mining by transnational companies and in Colombia is pushing literally scores of indigenous groups to the point of extinction and yet they laugh literally in these State Department documents they Mock the idea that the mining would stop right they know that what they're doing is literally killing these indigenous groups that's genocide I mean we we know that this is happening and we won't lift a finger to to stop it you bring up a really good point which is the role that corporations have played in all of this dan mining corporations you mentioned 80% of human rights violations have occurred in mining areas and of course we can't forget the fruit companies Chiquita banana just paid twenty five million dollars for its role and also fostering death squads in the country talk about corporations and who have been a worst offenders yeah well Chiquita is a great case to talk about because we know because Chiquita pled guilty to paying paramilitary groups 1.7 million dollars over a seven-year period and running them 3,000 Kalashnikov rifles as well according to a very conservative Attorney General under Uribe guy named Mario eager on he said that while Chiquita claimed they were paying the paramilitaries for security in fact they were paying for the subjugation of the Yerba region so that they could grow bananas because of what Chiquita did between four and fourteen thousand people were directly killed by the paramilitaries that they paid and gave guns to but moreover according to this Mario eager on their payments and support the paramilitaries allowed the paramilitaries to take control vast swaths of Colombia that the paramilitaries you see today we can havoc in that country Oh a lot of thanks to the support they got from Chiquita as you noted for a part of the time they were paying the current military's the paramilitaries were a designated terrorist group of the United States no one went to jail in the eighth officials who participated in the payment scheme their names were kept secret from the Colombian government who had some interest in extraditing them for their crimes right we found out from Salvatori Mancuso who is one of the top paramilitary leaders that it was not just Chiquita paying the paramilitaries but also Dolan Delmonte then in fact dole was the tax collector for the paramilitaries he would go around all the companies collect the taxes given to the paramilitary groups and yet Donald Omani had never been prosecuted and there's a number of companies also that have made payments to the paramilitaries according in Salvatori Mancuso an instant department issei's our department he said every company there was paying them and in order to keep Mancuso quiet he will probably be walking the streets of the u.s. very soon he was taken out of Colombia he was going to be tried for his crimes which amounted to killing at least a thousand people in Colombia the CIA helped take him in about 39 other paramilitary leaders out of Colombia so that they would not be tried for those crimes because they were worried he'd start talking about the companies that were helping him carry out his operation this is this is very crazy I want you to elaborate more on this that there are how many people that are 40 paramilitary leaders by the way this is a core in the New York Times credible who did an incredible expose on this in order to get light sentences they were supposed to fully confess to all their crimes Uribe starting to get nervous because they started to confess to their connections with the Congress there with he himself with corporations and he said hey I can't let this happen this is nuts so the u.s. helped him out on what in one evening they took about 40 weeks guys out of Colombian prisons took them to the US have tried them here only for drug-related offenses cut plea deals with all them giving them a short sentence even though again some have murdered thousands of people corn the New York Times one of the paramilitary leaders was known as the drill because of his penchant for molesting girls as young as nine years old he was also one of the paramilitary leaders brought to the United States and he will most likely get out very soon from prison and he is asking to stay in the United States and probably will be allowed to do that in June of this year there was a huge development as you just mentioned FARC disarmed after 52 years of fighting this left-wing guerrilla group in the country the largest guerrilla group if I'm not mistaken laid down their arms what's the significance of the de-escalation and and did it cease the violence so the FARC had its origins in the peasants they actually initially before they were the FARC they were essentially these peasant independent peasant co-ops in Colombia in fact they were viewed by the Colombian US government as a threat not because of violence but because they were seen as these kind of independent states within Colombia in truth Colombia has not even had a central government for the whole country till very very recently so they filled this vacuum and they basically had their own kind of communistic with a small C Society which was a threat not because of violence but because it represented a different alternative economy to to the prevailing capitalist economy and so as is often happens to these burgeoning kind of socialist groups and coops the real beginning of the civil war and of the FARC was a combined us-colombia assault on these independent republics where these peasant communities were bombed but with napalm by the United States and that took place in 1964 that led to the creation the FARC the significance is as you say that it ended the longest running civil war and in the world and one has to give credit to the FARC for being willing to take that chance because they knew it was a chance because we know in the 1980s they also disarmed and people might recall they were allowed to form a political party called the U P and three to five thousand of their leaders were murdered that's what sent them back into the mountains so they knew that this was a huge risk to do this but they did it in the name of peace the problem is as you asked about about the violence now the violence is actually started to increase since the signing of the peace process now people may say well that's kind of weird what we see is that these right-wing paramilitary groups that have their origin in in general Yarborough's plan back in 1962 still exist despite the US and Colombian denial they deny they exist I've sat with the Ambassador from the United States with people that have been victimized by the paramilitaries and he has said looked us in the eye and said the paramilitaries don't exist anymore okay which is all according to plan that works out great so these paramilitaries who don't exist anymore I now control 74 of about 250 municipalities they essentially moved in now that the FARC has retreated the paramilitaries have moved in they're taking over land they're taking over towns and in the process they're killing peace activists or killing trade union leaders are killing human rights leaders indigenously those leaders afro-colombians I think it's going to be very difficult because the paramilitaries are wiping out their base is they have always done right the paramilitaries have more targeted civilians that are the potential support for them it's not so much you attack the guerrillas but you tack their potential support and that's why you have 7 million people internally displaced in Colombia largest internally displaced population honor more than even cereal and these are people the poor peasants indigenous and so they are able to act with total impunity throughout Colombia and again there is an irony when every time something bad happens in Venezuela there's a new story about it right but you have these horrible crimes being committed in Colombia I'll just give you one example there's a town called Buenaventura which was supposed to be the model City for the Colombia free trade agreement it's a port town and even before the free trade agreement was finally passed under Obama in 2012 they started to modernize their ports there they spent a lot of money on well the paramilitaries were very interested in having control of those ports you know for money and also drug trafficking and so they have waged a terror campaign in blend of insurer hit which is continued to this day they have killed hundreds of people they forcibly disappeared hundreds of people a la Argentina and they have these chopped houses and I'm not making this up you can read Human Rights Watch you can read Amnesty International they'll tell you they have these chop houses where they chop people up alive with machetes or chainsaws in order to terrorize the population this is happing bun of ensure as we speak and yet when was the last time you heard about blend of insurer in the news it's supposed to be a model sitting right it's now the poster child for the Colombia free trade agreement by the way I mentioned forced disappearances in Colombia have been 92 thousand people disappeared and that's a – of 2015 and that's according to the red cross international red cross ninety-two thousand that's three times more than Argentina which is the forces parents capital the world Dan when we talk about victims here we forgot to mention trade unionists all right this is the most dangerous country in the world for trade unionist as a country you know speaking as an American the history of the labor struggles here have been completely censored from the US history what is going on there I mean I mean why are unionist especially half our teachers right after the Guinea's killed our teachers explain this whole scenario well so all social leaders in Colombia are targets of the paramilitaries betrayed enos are certainly a special case because they represent a challenge to the economic system in Colombia right and into corporate interests because they're trying to get their piece of the pie right and so since 1986 when the coupe was formed the coot is the largest trade union confederation in colombia it's like the afl-cio of Colombia over 4,000 trade union leaders have been murdered in year after year after year Colombia as you say is the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist because more trading mr. killed there each and every year than any other country in the world which is staggering you know given the fact that only 50 million people and so the onslaught has been incredible and it's been very effective at destroying the trade union movement there to the point where less than 1% of workers in Colombia are covered by labor contracts the Paris State and it is it's a paramilitary paramilitary state in Colombia has very deep roots because they've had roots going back to the 1960s and it is part and parcel of that government and of that society and of the military that we're funding in the u.s. noses and again there's certainly sectors of the US government that's happy that that's happening because the paramilitaries are looking out for corporate interests and as long as that happens they will continue to dominate both the economy and and and the politics and Colombian society an astoundingly you have corporate media outlets actually you know of course not only are they censoring the reality in Colombia but then they say Venezuela right is the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world trade unionists are in more danger in Venezuela than anywhere else right so the NPR report actually came out with that I mean talk about the the contradictions right the dichotomy of coverage when it comes to humanitarian issues and violence on these neighboring countries yeah well I think it is very important to point that out because you're these two countries that are saw bayside Columbia which as you know is that is the cop ally the US and the region then you have Venezuela which is since 1999 been trying to go to an independent course right in regards to Colombia which again on numerous factors has the worst I believe the worst human rights in the hemisphere when you look at the number of disappearances greater than any country greatest internally displaced population greatest number of human rights leaders killed greatest number trade unionists killed greatest number of priests killed you can go down the line as the worst human rights by many measures in fact has thousands of political prisoners many more than even the right wing Cubans claim Cuba has and yet there's almost a total media blackout on Colombia when it comes to any of these things or anything at all for that matter I don't remember the last time I do happen listen NPR I don't remember the last time our dating about Colombia meanwhile next door Venezuela anything bad that happens is at the top of the news cycle right as you say you know they have struggled economically there are shortages in Venezuela though there's various reasons for those shortages that we can talk about and you've done some great work on that issue but there is not this mass murder of human rights leaders in Venezuela to the extent trade unionists are being killed there generally Chavez – trade union leaders that are being killed by opposition forces right they're not being killed by government forces and yet this is all obscured in in the mass media in this country and of course you can't look at the crime and chaos in Venezuela without understanding how Colombia fuels it then well there's two ways in which this happens first of all most people don't know the fact that six million Colombian refugees live in Venezuela Venezuelans have been very generous and allowing them to move to Venezuela there's no matter how many yeah there's only 31 Venezuelans 39 it's a lot of people you can imagine what that does to the economy right so that's one way in which the conflict in Colombia is directly affected Venezuela but the other way it's affected is that paramilitaries in Colombia have have gone into Venezuela have killed people in Venezuela have actually targeted Chavez who's in Venezuela all by design and of course very much with a wink and a nod both from the Colombian and us governments who are happy to sow chaos in this country and in Venezuela and so they've also inherited that paramilitary problem as well and it's so anger provoking for me you know when all the problems Venezuela suffering when it's all late at the hands or late at the feet of the Maduro government when in fact you have these externalities like the ones i mentioned which really impact that society it's just incredibly unfair the other thing that had that happened is that Venezuela has tried very hard to provide food for people so they've subsidized their food for poor people right and what happened is um people would take the subsidized food go to Colombia and sell it at a market rate for a profit right and so it made it almost impossible to keep feeding people you're trying to subsidize your own you know people their own food and then the food's just going right out the door or of course you're having also members of the Opposition or hoarding it or even burning it in some in some cases just yesterday there was a another attack right by the right-wing paramilitary forces in Venezuela posing as rebellious soldiers it turned out we're only one of them was actually a soldier the other ones were dressed as soldiers in what ways do you think Colombia is fronting or fueling or funding or training the opposition in Venezuela yeah well certainly first of all we have I've mentioned Alvaro Uribe who deserves a lot of mentioning he was the president of Colombia between 2002 and 2010 he's currently a senator in Colombia and he still has a lot of political power and influence in that country and is the darling of many people in the u.s. George W Bush said he was his closest friend in the hemispheric we got a Presidential Medal of Freedom that's right that's exactly right for GW Bush he got a nice reception at the White House from Obama he got to teach a Georgetown for a while he is the intellectual author or one of the intellectual authors of the paramilitaries in Colombia and he's also very open about the fact that he wants to see regime change in Venezuela and it is very clear that the right-wing paramilitaries are being used consciously as a mechanism for that regime change in Venezuela in a number of ways you mentioned this attack over the weekend there have been attempted assassinations of Chavez by paramilitary forces and again when I look at that fact it's hard for me not to think about the head of the CIA Mike Pompeo who was said about two weeks ago that he would like to see regime change in Venezuela and that he's working with both Colombia and Mexico to bring that about so how much of these paramilitaries figuring in to that plan I have to believe quite a lot you just got back from Caracas you're observing the recent Constituent Assembly election respond to some of the allegations of fraud here of course in the mainstream media and also from what you witnessed was the process more democratic or dictatorial like the corporate media is saying right so first of all I went to the Department of Vargas which is about an hour outside the city center of Caracas and the polling places that I witnessed were inspiring the voting was very orderly and they use very good technology that the Jimmy Carter said amounted to the best election process in the world it's the same technology in the same process he talked about when he made that statement it's the same branch of government that ran these elections to see any which is a very trustworthy institution which is independent from the Maduro government which has gotten a lot of accolades for their election processes so I believe I have to make my starting point has to say that I have a lot of trust in the electoral system there and I was an observer by the way in 2013 as well not only on Election Day but also I was part of I got to witness the auditing process later which brings me to the next point if people have concerns about how things happen that day they can have an audit and I'm sure there will be an on it and it can be audited because there's paper receipts the records are kept there can be an audit in the way you can't have in the United States so I have a lot like unlike the faux vote referendum from the opposition weeks prior they didn't have an audit you could vote several times as people from tell us or approved with their investigation and they come in as well they bring us about this but there was no question from the media about how many you know that that number was taken just right that's right that was taken at its face and right now everyone's questioning you know whether these numbers are right again in the fullness of time I'm sure certain they will have an audit in any case I think what we know is that a very strong turnout happened in Venezuela much larger than then the US government thought would happen much larger than the opposition thought would happen maybe even more than frankly the Shah Vista's thought would happen they seemed a bit surprised themselves happily surprised which to me shows that there is still a very strong core of support for the revolutionary process there when I say revolutionary I guess I need to be clear I mean the shabbos Maduro revolution not the opposition revolution which is really a counter-revolution I think that's a word that isn't even used much anymore at least when I was growing up with like the Nicaraguan Contras you know they were called Contras counter revolutionaries at least they had the decency to call them what they were right so I think there is still a lot of support for the revolutionary process I think that they deserve the support of progressives in this country and I think we need to support that process and what I can guarantee for sure 100% is if that opposition gets into power and they are able to ask Maduro you will see some type of penikett like regime in Venezuela I mean if we go back to Chile in the 1970s again as President Salvador Allende was ousted by penikett after about being in power for three years and you saw the thousands of people killed thousands of people tortured by penikett here you have a revolutionary process that has been very successful since 1999 right that's about 18 years or so can you imagine the bloodletting that will have to happen to overturn that process it will be it will be incredible I think people need to think about that when they think about their relationship with the venezuelan process by the way i'll note in 2002 when the same people who are running the opposition now were successful in the coup against chavez they just threw out the constitution they didn't bother having the nicety of the Constituent Assembly which people have to remember when they hear them you know complain about democracy and that's worth it I don't know what the Constituent Assembly is going to come up with but again given the nature of the people on it I have some confidence that will be something good all of this talk about democracy really doesn't have any leg to stand on then when you look at how democratic the system really is and it's just they don't want democracy I mean we're talking about the same opposition that has been fighting for so-called democracy that has only tried to take control through undemocratic means and Chavez took power right correct I mean it's exactly like again in opposition that supported a military coup d'etat against President Chavez the elected leader of the country and when they had the chance to lead for about the three days they did until the poor came down from the hills and ousted them they got rid of the Constitution they disbanded the Supreme Court they just and the National Assembly they showed their hand pretty quickly that these are not Democrats these are people that want to have power back so that the rich will be able to dominate in that society again but also I do believe with per any that revolutions have the right to defend themselves they don't have to lay down and just capitulate which is really what's being demanded of Maduro people are saying he should step down he was duly elected it's a struggle you know and it's a struggle for a little country like Venezuela in a sea of opposition including its next-door neighbour Colombia and including of course the colossus to the north the united states it's hard to survive and i give a credit for surviving as long as it has i think it's a process that that deserves defending again especially when you look at the history of the u.s. towards Latin America which was has been a history of coup d'etats of support for right-wing dictatorships support for death squads it's not a pretty picture you know and and I think we need to defend Latin America from from the United States from our own country Americans may not realize that Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world surpassing Saudi Arabia with Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson at the helm of the u.s. Empire and of course the xenophobic fervor in the country right now this uber capitalist administration what do you think this means not only for Venezuela but just the region well again I think that you really have a pretty monumental showdown between the US on the one hand as you said being led by Big Oil against a very grassroots process not just in Venezuela but throughout Latin America and if Venezuela goes backwards you know towards the time of the Oleg arks and towards the time that really it was an appendage of the United States I think something great will be lost and there's no question that the US has designs on Venezuela soil and it's coltan you just see that now it looks like they have the largest coltan reserves in the world which is used for cell phones for example so the stakes are pretty high you know I mean so here is a country that if it can use its resources for its people will do good things for them you know in the u.s. is dead set against that happening there's no question about that you

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019



  3. Oh! my god! this is exactly the reason that many leader are being killer… and human rights knows, and what the media is trying to do, is keep focusing in the Venezuela crisis. During the campain elections in Colombia 2018, all the publicity in the campain to the new president of Colombia they talked about the Venezuela crisis. They make statements telling all the human rights violation the current goverment has made, extrajudicial killing and staff, but how ironic is the goverment owning the media then Colombian people stop getting the attention into their own homeland and focus for what the media was telling, they spread fear….

  4. The U.S. needs to stay off Latin America's business for good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You guys have no business been there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have no right been there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don't have the right been there at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ✅✔✋💯

  5. I think Latin America should form an alliance against the evil of the U.S. Empire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ✅✔✋💯

  6. Bananas, damn do I buy bananas or support thuggish thugs doing thuggish shhh? Damn conscience get off my case

  7. Rev. 11:18 But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time came … to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.

  8. A This is how the evil Empire acts in Latin America in order to control and rob their natural resources.
    If only Americans took the time to understand what we have done historically around the world to kill and maim for corporate profit.
    Maybe then we wouldn’t be so arrogant and would understand why we are hated around the world.
    Yes, many would love to come and live a better life in the US, why not, when it was their resources that we stole to make our country what it is today.

  9. Very interesting, hearing another angle of what's happening in Venezuela – as well as the brief history of american collusion in Colombia. I've known for a while that the US has had a strong presence in post- WW2 latin-america, and that they've greatly contributed towards the destabilization of the region… but for it to be to this degree, is shocking. The US foreign policy and the (frankly) monstrous organizations that enforce these policies (like the CIA) has created or supported such unrest in multiple countries in the world, throughout the decades, seems almost too large to stop. It looks like these tactics are a fundemental part of how they operate. Short sighted goals, which are the acquisition of resources (mainly oil, it seems) or power in these regions, looks to be more important than the safety and welfare of the local population.

    I wonder what it would take to change this selfish and destructive way of operating? On one hand, I think the american people, in general, cares greatly whether or not their actions are just or unjust. But I also believe there is an unwillingness to face reality: that the US is not a shining symbol of justice and democracy, but a source of fear and hatred in many parts of the world. Feelings that seem, quite frankly, justified. It's not like the US are alone in using underhanded tactics to gain influence (pretty much every country does it, to some degree), but the way they're doing it under the guise of something as vague as "fighting for freedom" or "fighting terrorism", is disgusting. If the truth is so horribly that you have to lie to your own people as to why you are killing people around the globe, perhaps that in itself is an indication of how wrong you are. The truth is a great place to start: in order to change something, you must first know what to change

  10. I dunno Abby, can't really back you on the anti-Columbia stuff, never been but I know one Columbian well, my "step" brother exchange student in USA, extraordinarily kind studying to be doctor, but! I will go with you on the Anti Chiquita Campaign! this name may be insulting to some girls! This Banana Operation needs to be ShutDown! Also people eat way too much banana in USA & Canada! with no tropical family background many of these people may be somewhat allergic to banana, also overuse may in fact lead to mineral imbalances! that then lead to: cancer! mental illness & contagion! As well as devastating cases of Alzheimers brain-rotting disease!!

  11. God even if Venezuela were brining to the ground Telesur would still say hurr durr Colombia is a song for the imperialist while Venezuela is a paradise long live socialism ! Long live our “great leader” Chavez,

  12. Love how these Gringos love to talk about commies in SA or our indigenous when they once upon a time had indigenous too they don't have anymore because they killed them all. Yet, over here there's plenty of indigenous in Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Uruguai, Peru…. Indigenous can be crazy commies too, I mean look at the MST movement in Brazil. Yes, USA always influences to the worst, but these Gringos act as if we didn't had any power over our actions, our minds and etc. Whatever USA has offered the ones killing are still Colombians, Brazil's filthy Government is made of Brazilians, so is the Argentinian filthy Government. As if we didn't had our own garbage to clean before being able to kick USA out. Colombians need to put down their puppet Government and give the middle finger to USA. It's ridiculous Colombia not being part of Mercosur

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