Category Archives: Latin America

Short Observations II

The predominant idea or movement of the 21st Century has been the movement away from subservience to independence.

The power that is trying to arrest this flow is the US, the status quo power. Dialectics is the enemy of status quo. Dialectic change is a historical process, and is a  threat to US hegemonic position. The US is enlarging NATO, yet NATO is falling apart. Turkey, one of the most significant nations of NATO is moving away from it and the US after the unsuccessful putsch against Erdogan in 2016. Turkey is pursuing an independent policy in the Middle East, which are contrary to the interests of Israel and the US.

The EU is also moving away from unconditional subservience to the US to independence, as recent German elections have demonstrated. Actually, Germany is moving away from remaining an occupied state to being independent. The poor showing of the Christian Democratic Union Party of Angela Merkel and the Social Democratic Party of Martin Schultz is the proof. Alternativa fur Deutschland party scored big. They came from nowhere. They are the third largest party in Germany and they want change. Big change that is an anathema to US interests. Alternative for Germany wants to follow the Bismarck policy of friendship with Russia. Will the EU follow Germany?

Middle East great changes! Alliances are shifting and changing. Overall, huge Islamic alliance is forming in the Middle East and South Asia. Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, possibly Bangla Desh, Malaysia, Indonesia. At the same time that this Alliance is forming, India is drifting West. The lynch pin of this alliance will be Iran and Turkey. Just look at the geographical position of Turkey and Iran. The Saudi King is visiting Moscow. Very interesting…

Israel is in panic mode. Assad is successfully fighting ISIS. Iran is a key player in this game. Iran has strong connections with Hesbollah of Lebanon, as well as Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria have determined that an independent Kurdistan will fail;  Israel wants Kurdistan to succeed. Israel is instructing the US to destroy Iran, thereby assuring Israeli domination of the Middle East, and the fresh water resources which Israel critically needs. Whether the US will oblige remains to be seen.

There is an economic factor involved here as well. The Fed is pushing stocks higher. Some are predicting the DOW at 40,000 within a decade or sooner. Others are predicting total collapse. Foreigners are pouring their money into the US stock market, thereby supporting the dollar and the bond market. The Fed must support the stock market at all costs. If it fails, all hell will break loose. All three will collapse: the dollar, the bond market, and the stock market, and there will be no more free lunch for the US.

The Ukrainian situation is ‘dormant’; a low intensity war. Kiev has no choice but to do that. It must be in the game even though it is losing. Ukraine is slowly dying. Population is decreasing. Wages are decreasing. People are very angry. What is keeping the Kiev afloat are Ukrainian remittances from Russia where over 4,000,000 Ukrainians work. Kiev is selling the Ukraine on the cheap to the West. It is only question of when, not if, the Ukrainians revolt.

Africa and Latin America are two continents where natural wealth is in relative abundance and people are waking up to protect it. Epiphany is rampant in Africa and Latin America. Western corporations are milking them as in colonial times. Globalism is just another name, more modern, for colonialism. Epiphany cannot be stopped. Venezuela will not buckle. In due time, more countries will join Venezuela. That is the flow of History.

North Korea is a thorn in US foreign policy in Asia. US interest is to maintain a Wall of Enmity extending from the Baltic, Poland, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Persian Gulf, India, Straits of Malacca, Philippines, Japan, all the way to South Korea. The idea is to maintain this Wall of Enmity and push it to squeeze the hell out of China, Iran, and Russia.

China has said that if the US attacks North Korea it will automatically be on the North Korean side; a Korean War II would be inevitable and the potential catastrophe would be immense. North and South Korea would be destroyed. If China got involved, then Japan, China, and, possibly, the US would be severely damaged. A Korean crisis is, and will be, lots of thunder and very little, if any, rain.,

All scenarios discussed here could end up in a big war. In my opinion, the most likely scenario would be a US attack on Iran to make the Middle East safe for Israel. All kinds of excuses would be used to justify the attack. But wars never go according to plan. It seems that Iranian strategy is to receive and not give the first blow. After that, all hell would break loose. All of the Middle East, and possibly the world, would be in flames.

The only thing that will prevent wars that may occur anywhere is the collapse of the US stock market. Foreigners would pull their money out. At least, those who would be able. That would lead to the dollar and bond market collapsing. The US would have no choice but to turn inward. We will see.

 

 

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German Election Results?

Mutter Merkel did not do too well. As a senior persona and running for her 4th term , she and her CDU should have gotten at least 40% or more, so she could have formed a coalition with the Free Democratic Party as in the past; a clear majority would have been best. Germans are restless because of migrants and the stern Russophobia of her government.

The German media tried some Russian interference to discredit the AfD, but it did not work. Alternativa fur Duetschland did well, especially in former East Germany. SPD did poorly. Martin Schultz, the leader, said that the party will go into opposition. Smart move. Merkel will have to court the Free Democratic Party (right), Der Linke (left), and the Greens (Environmentalists).

SDP and AfD will be the opposition. They will want change to German economic and foreign policy. Despite being a wealthy country, Germany has 8 million people living in poverty, out of a population of 84 million. The status quo will no longer do. Even coalition partners will want change.

The Germans want change, and change they will get. Change on the migration policy, on Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, and North Korea. The opposition will demand that sanctions against Russia be cancelled. The opposition will demand removal of nuclear weapons from the country and a Modus Vivendi with Russia. Germany will move to neutrality. France, Italy, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece,and Slovenia will join. Later, all of Europe will go neutral a la Switzerland. Britain will stay faithful to the US.

This massive shift will affect the policy of Africa and Latin America. The role of the dollar and the gold will be reversed. It will be very interesting.

The Parasitic System that is Capitalism

 

Capitalism would not be capitalism if it were not parasitic or exploitational. Living off the sweat of others is exploitational. Exploitation of other countries, people, their natural resources is a form of colonialism or imperialism. Capitalism has become global, hence, the term globalization which has been created to endow the large private corporation of the First World  with special rights to exploit the countries of the Second and the Third World. The suction cup of capitalism  is the debt in dollars.

The claim that Capitalism is the engine of jobs creation is like claiming that the King Cobra or Black or Green Mamba are not poisonous. Ask Haitians how many good jobs had been created during the plunder of the last 200 yrs. One does not have to ask only Haitians but people of any other Latin American, African, South East Asian or Eastern European country or the dying cities of the US. Capitalism creates only those jobs that are necessary for exploitation. When exploitation is complete, jobs disappear, whether they be in Africa or the US or anywhere else in the world. A parasite leaves a dying host and attacks a healthier host, and the cycle is repeated. If there are no new hosts, the parasite dies.

The question must be raised whether Capitalism is about to die.

 

The significance of India-Pakistan animosity in the world of geo-politics

When India achieved independence from Britain in 1947, it split along the religious line: the Hindu India and Islamic Pakistan. The split was encouraged by the Anglo-Americans. The British did not like Mahatma  Gandhi or Jawarhal Nehru, and preferred Muhammad Ali Jinna, the founder of modern Pakistan.

When the split occurred, Hindu India, a much bigger country, ended up with Jammu Kashmir, a  beautiful Himalayan valley populated mainly by the Muslims, but ruled by a Hindu who sided with Hindu India. The fight over Kashmir persists to this day and will persist into the future.

Both Pakistan and India are multi-ethnic. In 1971, Pakistan split into West Pakistan, a larger region west of India, and East Pakistan, east of India, the so called Bengal. Its new name is Bangla Desh, land of Bengalis. Bitter war was fought in East Pakistan by West Pakistan to keep  East Pakistan in union with West Pakistan. Three million Bengalis lost their lives. Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, the daughter of Nehru, India helped East Pakistan to become independent. The US sided with West Pakistan, and President Nixon sent the 7th Fleet from the western Pacific into the Bay of Bengal to intimidate the Indians. It did not work, as the Soviet Union sided with India. In December of 1961, Russia sided with India over the annexation of Portuguese Goa, while the US and Britain sided with Portugal. India considered Russia an “all weather friend”. How things change!

India is much bigger with a population of over 1.25 billion people and land area of around 1.2 million square miles. Pakistan, on the other hand, is much smaller with a population of over 200 million and a land area of around 300,000 square miles. Strategically speaking, Pakistan is holding more pivotal connections of Asia. Pakistan borders China on the North-East, India on the East, Afghanistan on North-West, Iran on the West, and the Indian Ocean on the South. India is considered a subcontinent of Asia jutting out to the Indian Ocean. Its land borders are Nepal, China in the North, Bangla Desh, Mayanmar to the East, Pakistan to the West.

Pakistan has a strategic relationship with China and a subservient role vis a vis the US. India has a rather cool relationship with China because of its’ border disputes in the Himalayas, a warming relationship with the US, and a geostrategic relationship with Russia.

As China enters the global stage, it is developing trade routes with South-West Asia and Europe via Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, the Balkans and into Europe, and if Turkey achieves rapprochement with Russia, the process will accelerate. Also, Pakistan is a transit country enabling the US to invade Afghanistan, maintain military operations against the Taliban, and control the opium trade, a highly profitable enterprise that helps maintain the dollar as the Reserve Currency of the world. It is self-evident that Pakistan is extremely important, geo -strategically speaking, to US and China; it is also a nuclear power.

As mentioned, India is a large and important country of the Asian Subcontinent and the center of Hindu Civilization. It has had a very independent foreign policy, first as the co- founding member  of the Non-Aligned Movement, and now as the co-founding member of BRICS, { Brazil, Russia, China, India, and the Republic of South Africa.) It is a nuclear power, and the 6th or the 7th economic power of the world.

India is drifting West, buying high tech weapons from Israel, Rafale jet fighters from France. It is entering some sort of military basing arrangements with the US which has never happened before. US wants India to be a keystone in the Wall of Enmity that the US is building from the Baltics, Poland, Ukraine, Black Sea, Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Persian Gulf, India, Philippines, Japan to South Korea. The Wall would hem in Iran, China, North Korea, and Russia. The gate keeper with the keys would be the US.

If India joins the Wall of Enmity though, it would lose its privileged geostrategic relationship with Russia, and its moral influence in the world. It would also lose its influence in BRICS, and would never be able to participate in the Silk Roads that China and other countries are building. India would become the odd man out on the Afro-Eurasian land mass. India, most likely, will not join the Wall of Enmity. However, the only certainty is uncertainty.

Pakistan, on the other hand, would like to break out from US subservience. It has sent feelers to Russia. Russia and Pakistan will hold some kind of military exercises very soon. India is upset, understandably so, but India should understand that if it has the right to choose its partners, then so do other countries.

Afro-Eurasia and Latin America are coalescing, as more and more of its’ countries are abandoning the strict subservience which the US dictates. They are using their own currencies in two way trade, thereby avoiding the dollar and trade is growing amongst them  as a result. India, Pakistan, Iran, and Venezuela want to join the Shanghai Co-operation Organization. Other countries are also trying to re-assert their independence: Turkey, Philippines, Japan, plus France, Germany, and Italy are in the game.

The animosity between India and Pakistan might impede the coalescence of Afro-Eurasia. An India connected to the West would not be interested in Afro-Eurasian coalescence and a geo-strategic relationship with Russia. Pakistan, on the other hand, because of its geo-strategic position would enhance the coalescence of Afro-Eurasia especially if it joins the Shanghai Co-operation Organization and BRICS, minus India, and possibly, Brazil. So history is implying that with or without India, Afro-Eurasia and Latin America are coalescing. Only time will tell.

 

No te rindas, Venezuela

All of Latin America is in trouble but Venezuela stands out in a way that cannot be ignored. What happens in Venezuela will have a profound effect on the rest of Latin America and the world. The Bolivarian Revolution of Hugo Chavez is under vicious attacks by the domestic oligarchy and the oligarchs are willing to destroy the country in order to win; they also have the unconditional support of London and Wall Street bankers.

Venezuela is a beautiful country whose name means little Venice. It was named Venezuela by Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer in the service of Spain. It is claimed that Amerigo saw houses on stilts on Lake Macaraibo as in Venice and thus came about the name. Others claim that it was named for an Indian tribe of similar name. Whichever story is true, Venezuela is a significant country of Latin America and the world. ( Incidentally, the “Americas” were named after Amerigo Vespucci in early 1500.)

Venezuela is a fairly large country with an area of over 900,000 square kilometers and a population of over 33 million people. It is very rich in natural resources, especially oil, minerals, and land with multiple bio-diversity. President Hugo Chavez changed the character of the country. His Bolivarian Revolution enacted programs that benefited the people. The oligarchy went berserk and attempted a coup d’état in 2002 that failed. He nationalized the Venezuelan oil company and returned gold from abroad. Unfortunately, he died in 2012. Nicholas Maduro, a former foreign minister, was elected president.

In 2014, the price of petroleum collapsed, hitting Venezuela very hard. The oligarchs, or the fifth column and their external supporters rejoiced. Shortages occurred of basic consumer goods such as toilet paper, the result of private corporations hoarding them. Revenues of the government collapsed because the price of oil had collapsed. Inflation ensued and shortages of goods worsened. The value of the Venezuelan currency, the Bolivar, collapsed. Opposition of the lower house of the Venezuelan Congress was won by the oligarchs. The oligarchs want privatization, austerity, and the impeachment of President Maduro. External forces are so happy and they are doing all they can to overthrow the Bolivarian Revolution of Hugo Chavez.

Will they succeed? It is difficult to say, because, since the Bolivarian Revolution, the Venezuelan people are politically awake. They will demand and protect their rights, so the Fifth Column must be careful, because a true revolution might arise that will sweep the oligarchs into the dustbin of history. The people know that the economic depression is due to the collapse of the price of oil which may have been engineered by the same forces who want to destroy Russia. Subsequent shortages of goods caused by private corporations in order to destroy the Bolivarian Revolution. The same process is going on in Brazil with the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. The real revolution might just be around the corner, not only in Venezuela, but in Brazil and the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean. Ne te rindas, Venezuela. Only time will tell.

 

 

Quo Vadis, 2016?

2016 may turn out to be a very significant year. Many thought that 2015 would be the year of the stock market crash, but this didn’t happen. Many more negatives than positives occurred in 2015 though. Stock indecis reached new highs in the first half of the year, and now at the end of the year are in correction mode. It is not likely that they will crash in the last few days of trading remaining, although they could, since nobody expects it.

On the world scene, the West and Turkey were exposed as chief supporters of ISIS, in addition to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States. The Paris and San Bernardino tragedies should not have been a surprise. The Russian plane disaster in Egypt was a surprise but the Western press did not moan about it. The Beirut bombing by ISIS did not get much coverage. The Turkish destruction of a Russian bomber over Syria was not really condemned by the West. The hypocrisy of the West was in full bloom in the Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and other places in the world.

Also in 2015, precious metals, oil, and other commodities collapsed. The dollar was strong and Third World economies were in a severe depression. Canada, Australia, and some European states were entering a depression, but Russia just got stronger. China was trying to stabilize its economy. The Yuan became an International Reserve Currency member, and even though only as a junior partner, this is just the beginning.

What will 2016 bring? It will be much more exciting than 2015. It could be the Year of Super Black Swans. The most important event that will most likely take place is the American presidential election in November. There is a lot of anger and discontent in this country that the mainstream media does not show but which will fully manifest itself this Election Year. There is only one candidate that stands out, and that is Donald Trump. He is politically “incorrect” and people love it. All other candidates, Republican and Democratic, are nothing more than cookie cutter “apparachicks”. Powerful people in the country want to resuscitate Senator Ted Cruz, but they will not succeed; Donald Trump, on the Republican side is unstoppable and Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee.

The economy will play a key role in these elections. In an earlier post I stated that the present US economy is based on three pillars of paper: the dollar, the bond market, and the stock market, and all three are supported by debt. This situation cannot be sustained. The presidential election and the economy may turn out to be very ugly and a super bad Black Swan may manifest itself.

There is a war going on between Russia and the US, whether people realize this or not. The US wants to destroy Russia, leave it fragmented, and plundered. The war in the Ukraine may start any moment. The Kiev regime days are numbered. It will lash out and lose. History is on Novorossia’s side. When war starts, the Ukrainian Army will desert. Only Western mercenaries and jihadis will fight on the Kiev Junta side. The Ukrainian People will rebel and chase the Junta out of Kiev. A super Black Swan may develop in the Ukraine.

A super, super bad Black Swan may develop in the Middle East. It is sad that the West, Israel, and Turkey are supporting ISIS. There is a danger of an Israeli- Hesballah war. Hesballah is heavily engaged in operations against ISIS in Syria, so Israel may take the opportunity to attack Hesballah and get the waters of the Litani River. Israel desperately needs water. Hesballah may not be a pushover. Also, Palestanians will join in the fight against Israel. ISIS might lose the war in Iraq and Syria. Turkey has invaded Northern Iraq around Mosul. The Kurds in Turkey are rising up. Saudi Arabia is not doing well in Yemen. The US, Israel, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia may lose because they are on wrong side of History. Nuclear weapons  may be used. A super bad Black swan may develop.

The European Union is in deep crisis; it has no independent foreign policy  Economically, many of its’ countries are in a deep depression.The Baltic States, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria are in a depression. France, Italy, Greece, Spain, and Portugal are no better. Germany and Scandinavia are also suffering. The Russian sanctions have boomeranged. A super Black Swan here is not likely in 2016. A shifting of Europe from the North Atlantic to Russia is likely though, and migration will be a big problem.

Africa is waking up and wants to control its natural resources. It is shifting East. A super bad Black Swan here is not likely. Latin America is somewhat less stable. The governments of Venezuela, Brasil, and other Latin American republics will be under attack but will survive. The collapse of commodity prices and dollar debt will be a big problem for Africa and Latin America. The shift to the East will continue in this coming year.

The Indian Subcontinent will be fairly stable. The Taliban will gain strength and possibly gain power. The TAPI pipeline is being built from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to India. The Taliban will not oppose it. Iran is developing a very strong strategic partnership with Russia. This Iran-Russia partnership is one of the most natural partnerships to develop in the world. India is developing a strong relationship with Russia and Iran as well. This will continue in 2016. Putin  made a visit to Iran this year, and Prime Minister Modi of India visited Russia this week confirming the desire for this relationship.

China is developing a strong relationship with Russia. China and Russia realize they have to stick together or they will hang separately. South East Asia, despite the TPP, will move closer to China. It will develop Modus Vivendi with China. Its prosperity depends on close co-operation with China. China is the magnet that is pulling the world away from the US. A confrontation in the South China Sea is just one example. But the chances of a Black Swan in South East Asia is not very likely in 2016.

In Summary, 2016 will see increased confrontation between Russia and the US. The dollar will be under attack and gold will rise. Events occurring this year in the US will confirm that the US is in pre-revolutionary state. If powerful individuals try to eliminate Donald Trump, people will rebel. If one of the three paper pillars of the economy cracks, the whole system will collapse. The chances of nuclear war will increase. 2016 will be the beginning of the end of tall buildings, the most wasteful symbols of the system based on waste, arrogance, and greed. People will be returning to simpler things, a respect for natural things, like respect for Mother Earth. It is the only home we’ve got. Happy New Year!

 

QUO VADIS? AMERICA LATINA

 

Latin America is a huge region, extending from the Rio Grande in the North to Tierra del Fuego in the South. Historical Spanish America extends from the Straits of Juan de Fuca to las Islas de Malvinas (otherwise known as the Falkland Islands, presently under British control). Ibero-America or Latin America is the appropriate term, because it includes Portuguese and Spanish parts. It is a region of over seven million square miles and over seven hundred million people. It will have a great future and great influence in the world provided there is no nuclear war, but we know that some kind of war is in the making…

The first thing Latin America wants and needs to do is to achieve total geo-economic independence; this goes without saying. Latin America has been perpetually dominated by foreigners, first, Spain and Portugal as its’ original colonizing  “Mother Countries”, and then since its independence from them in 1821, by the US. As a matter of fact, around 1800, President John Adams sent a naval squadron to Rio de la Plata to demonstrate that Latin America was to be a vassal in the American sphere of influence. In 1823, President James Monroe in his seventh State of the Union address proclaimed that the US would not tolerate European Powers in Latin America, a proclamation that came to be known as ” the Monroe Doctrine”. And thus the exploitation of Latin America began and continues on to this day. In 1966, US economic entities extracted 44 billion dollars from Latin America. Gold at that time was convertible at 35 dollars an ounce. This exploitation has been very profitable although presently, it has somewhat lessened. In 1966, converting 44 billion dollars into ounces of gold at 35 dollars an ounce was equal to 1. 257,142,800 billion ounces of gold. These gold ounces converted into dollars at today’s gold price in dollars would be over one trillion three hundred billion dollars.

To maintain its position in Latin America, the US established the Organization of American States, officially as a bulwark against Communism, but in reality, an instrument to control Latin America. Canada joined this organization several years ago, but has less and less relevance to it, if it ever had any. The policy of the US towards Latin America was straightforward, and is in keeping with its general foreign policy throughout the world today:  overthrow governments which oppose US policy. First they were demonized and economically squeezed, and, if that didn’t work, they  were overthrown. Some examples of these erstwhile leaders: President Arbenz of Guatemala for opposing the United Fruit Company, aka United Brands; the attempted overthrow of the Cuban Revolution and Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs in 1972;  the tragedy of President Allende of Chile on September 11,1973 (the first 911), and there are many others…

Most Latin American regimes are oligarchical, but even they realize they must preserve and protect the natural resources of their countries, and they are no longer willing to submit to the US. They formed MERCOSUR in 1991 (the common Market of the South, or Southern Common Market ( in Spanish, Mercado Comun del Sur, in Portuguese, Mercado Comum do Sul). Member states are: Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Associate members are: Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Suriname. Observer countries are Mexico, and an outsider country, New Zealand; the US and Canada do not participate. There are other fraternal organizations as well. The great leaders of Latin America are deeply respected and provide unity and inspiration to these nations, everyone from Simon Bolivar of Gran Colombia, Jose De La San Martin of Argentina to recent and present leaders such as Fidel Castro, Che Guevara of Cuba, Allende of Chile, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Nestor Kichner and his wife, Cristina Fernandes  of Argentina. One must not forget the great leader of Bolivia, President Evo Morales, President Mujica of Uruguay, and ex-President Lula da Silva of Brasil. Also present-day Presidents Guttierez of Ecuador, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, Dilma Roussef of Brasil, and Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela. The latter leaders are under attack but they will survive, and there are others…

Whether the leaders be oligarchical or progressive, they know they must protect their independence. They can only do that through the unity of Latin America and now joining forces with Afro-Euro-Asia. Only time will tell.