The Eagle of An Unalterable Nature

Jorge Arreaza Montserrat

Since its founding, Venezuela has been a country of solidarity, with the conscience of belonging to something greater, an immense nation, a power in the making that, had it consolidated itself legally, economically, and politically, it would have modified the “universal equilibrium”, the balance of power in international relations.  Venezuela’s only military action outside of its borders was inevitably tied to its original right to self-determination as a sovereign people. Our soldiers reached inhospitable landscapes of Our America, always with the intention of expanding the feat of independence, with no aim for profit or glory or nothing different from the liberation from the imperial dominance of those times. Our leaders and armies of then, never aspired to loot or conquer territories for themselves. The only cause was, to share liberty, acquire independence, and simply, being free. 

In contrast, the United States was and is an actor that, since its origin, proposed the imposition of a sole valid system of government: its own. The system of rights and liberties for those who accumulate material resources, and the oppression and exploitation of those with no fortunes or properties. In each political reference and bellicose action, all marked by the halo of divine predetermination, the dominant U.S. elite always began from the infallibility of its own style of life and system of government that is predestined to be mirrored and embraced in the rest of the world. From this reduced, tyrannical and exceptionalist vision, they have carried out, with special cruelty, a permanent exercise over what they consider to be their “back yard”: Latin America.

Although today we witness daily the unilateral practices of Washington’s domination, this is nothing new. It began at the down of its constitution as a State, at the end of the 18th century, when Thomas Jefferson, one of its founding fathers, said with a deep naturalness the following illustrious and fearsome sentence:

“Our confederacy must be viewed as the nest from which all America, North & South is to be peopled. We should take care too, not to think it for the interest of that great continent to press too soon on the Spaniards. Those countries cannot be in better hands. My fear is that they are too feeble to hold them till our population can be sufficiently advanced to gain it from them piece by piece.”

As professor Vladimir Acosta[1] notes, this desire for domination has always been reserved for white Anglo-Saxon protestants, who at no time considered “dirtying” their blood and lineage by mixing with other peoples of this great continent. Two hundred years later, Donald Trump is a clear exemplar of this supremacist theory. In North America, they effectively managed to “gain it from them piece by piece” the territories of indigenous peoples, through massacres and trickery widely cited in historical bibliographies. They bought territories from European powers, as if land was nothing more than merchandise. We cannot forget that they snatched half of Mexico’s territory, all with the sole purpose of extending its dominion from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

In 1823, U.S. president James Monroe, under the ben of John Quincy Adams, drafts and announces the famous “Monroe Doctron”, and its much-feted sentence of “America for Americans” (North Americans, of course). That is how they continued the annexationist project outlined decades before by the Founding Fathers, with its obsessive vocation for continental domination, with the firm intention of completely displacing the European powers that continued to sack and exploit our territories. Nevertheless, for that moment, the Washington elite still had not developed its bellicose capacity with sufficient robustness to face off against the empires of the time.

We insist: the will and ambition of the governing corporate elite of the United States to impose “ITS” model of government, and economic and social organization, was set forth from its origins. In 1839, columnist John O’Sullivan published a fundamental text of the doctrine of U.S. domination: “The Great Nation of the Future.” This is a renowned article that establishes what would be the bases of the doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”, in which, using a rhetoric of exceptionalism and profound religious fervor, unequivocally signaled that the United States is destined by Providence to govern the entire world. Let’s look at a pair of fragments:

“In the long run, the limitless future would be the era of American greatness

The far-reaching, the boundless future will be the era of American greatness. In its magnificent domain of space and time, the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles; to establish on earth the noblest temple ever dedicated to the worship of the Most High—the Sacred and the True. Its floor shall be a hemisphere—its roof the firmament of the star-studded heavens, and its congregation an Union of many Republics, comprising hundreds of happy millions, calling, owning no man master, but governed by God’s natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood (…)

(…)We must onward to the fulfilment of our mission—to the entire development of the principle of our organization—freedom of conscience, freedom of person, freedom of trade and business pursuits, universality of freedom and equality. This is our high destiny, and in nature’s eternal, inevitable decree of cause and effect we must accomplish it. All this will be our future history, to establish on earth the moral dignity and salvation of man—the immutable truth and beneficence of God. For this blessed mission to the nations of the world, which are shut out from the life-giving light of truth, has America been chosen; and her high example shall smite unto death the tyranny of kings, hierarchs, and oligarchs, and carry the glad tidings of peace and good will where myriads now endure an existence scarcely more enviable than that of beasts of the field. Who, then, can doubt that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity?

It was not until the end of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th century that the United States accumulated enough power and war technology to manage to expel Spain from it strongholds of Cuba and Puerto Rico, as well as of its territories in the Pacific. This was the beginning of what was known as the “Roosevelt Corollary”, a sort of amendment to the “Monroe Doctrine” that was presented during Theodore Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address on December 6, 1904, as a response to the naval blockade carried out by Britain, Germany and Italy over Venezuelan coasts during the government of Cipriano Castro. The corollary is about defending U.S. interests in the region and making it clear that if a Latin American or Caribbean country under the influence of the United States threatened or risked the rights or properties of U.S. citizens or companies, they would have the extraterritorial right and obligation to intervene in the “deviant” country to re-order it, to reestablish the rights and patrimony of its citizens and corporations.

Likewise, Washington assumed the capacity to determine if a government fits, or not, with its model of civilization, and whether it does, it allows it to exist or overthrows it by force. This U.S. vision for Latin America had its first manifestation in 1905 with the invasion and intervention of the customs houses of the Dominican Republic. During these years, they employed their “big stick” policy. Through military and economic force they began controlling the principal strategic points in Central America and the Caribbean.

Another Roosevelt, in this case Franklin Delano, changed the policy during the VII Pan-American Conference in Montevideo. That is what established the foundations of Pan-Americanism – integration subordinated to U.S. interests – under the ruse of the “good neighbor” policy. This was nothing but a way of softening the common practice of violence in the continent that has continued through the present day. From Pan-Americanism came Inter-Americanism and all the institutionalism around the nefarious Organization of American States, the OAS.

Latin America and the Caribbean have always been intervened militarily, economically and politically by the United States. John Dower gives a detailed compilation of this through information contained in declassified documents, as well as through rigorous research from intellectuals that are not exactly leftists.[2] His analysis shows the role played by different U.S. government in post-World War II conflicts and it presents striking data. Dower cites a study by John Coastword, who concludes that between 1948 and 1990, the U.S. government “procured the overthrow of at least twenty-four government in Latin America: four by directly using its military forces, three through riots or assassinations orchestrated by the CIA, and seventeen by instigating armies or local police forces to intervene and carry out coups without the direct participation of the U.S.” These are policies that never stopped and was the principal operating force behind the so-called School of the Americas, founding in 1963 by John F. Kennedy as the instructional body for the assassination, torture and disappearance of hundreds of thousands of people in Our America. Coastword himself estimated that during the Cold War, Central America witnessed and suffered nearly three hundred thousand assassinations in a population of thirty million people.

But its dominion was not limited to Latin America. During the Cold War, conflicts were carried out in the peripheries: Vietnam, Korea, Laos, Cambodia. After the fall of the Soviet bloc, in the final decade of the 20th century, the United States carried out a violent campaign to taking over the energy resources of the Middle East. The war apparatus has never stopped. To reach the amounts of money spent annually by the U.S. in its war machine, you would have to add up the first eight countries that follow it in military spending.

In a world in which the progressive dismantling of nuclear arsenals has almost reached levels of consensus – following the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where over 140,000 deaths – in 2017,the country of the stars and stripes invested 90 million dollars a day, 4 million dollars an hour, just in the program to modernize its nuclear arsenal. In the same year, the country’s military budget was about 2.74 billion dollars a day, 114 million an hour, to oil their machines of death and intimidation against the rest of the world.

In a new stage of global aggression, the U.S. elite exercises a new modality of war against countries that do not bend to its designs: so-called economic sanctions, or coercive, unilateral measures. Inspired by medieval sieges, in which the aggressors surrounded castles to deprive them of the most elemental means of sustenance for survival, the U.S. government demonstrates its hegemony over the financial system to asphyxiate countries, to reduce their capacity to see to the needs of their populations and to attempt to bend their wills. It is not a minor point; it is a formula for war that has been applied since time immemorial. Nevertheless, the so-called “international community” averts its eyes and hides its head when the White House applies political coercion through arbitrary measures that run contrary to international law and all norms of civilized coexistence.

Through this tradition of supremacist and racist beliefs and schemes, entrenched doctrines of domination, ideological arrogance and intolerance, the governments of the United States has attempted to control the world, to impose its model and to abort the alternative paths of free and sovereign peoples. Two hundred years ago, the Spanish Empire was rejected in these lands. Today, it is up to us to emulate the feats of the men and women of Simón Bolívar, against a different empire, one that is even more grotesque and ambitious. We will lift our swords and lift our voices, not just for our self-defense, but also for all those peoples who have been historically oppressed and vexed by the arrogance of the military, industrial, financial and technological complex instituted in the heard of power in Washington. The Imperial Eagle will crash against the protective shield of the sovereign will of the peoples of the South whose intrinsic desire for freedom has and always will be inexorably unalterable.

Sooner rather than later, Our Latin America and Caribbean will become a great power, it will occupy the role that history has granted and imperialism has denied, we will be a solid hub of power that will check and neutralize any foreign attempt at domination. Until that time, from Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and other places within Our America, we will stay strong, in resistance – yes – but also in an offensive for human dignity, for the right to be free, to be independent, the right to build, without interference, the system that gives us the greatest sum of happiness possible; the right to walk on our own feet, the right to Overcome.

[1]     Acosta, Vladimir. “El Monstruo y sus Entrañas”. Editorial Galac. Caracas. 2017

[2]     Dower, John. “El Violento Siglo Americano”. Editorial Planeta. Barcelona, España. 2018