Pandemic: White House and IMF the First to Be Infected

Atilio Boron
https://i2.wp.com/atilioboron.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/IMG-20200319-WA0114.jpgWars, economic crises, natural disasters and pandemics are catastrophic events that bring out the worst and best in people – both leaders and ordinary people – and also in social actors and institutions. It is in such adverse circumstances that beautiful words fade into thin air and give rise to concrete actions and behaviour. Days ago and barely holding back his tears, the President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, denounced before the cameras the great deception of “European solidarity”. There is no such thing, said Vucic, it is a children’s story, a worthless piece of paper. He went on to thank the People’s Republic of China for its collaboration. And he was right in his complaint. From Latin America we have long warned that the European Union was a petty racket designed to benefit Germany more than anything else through its control of the European Central Bank (ECB) and through the Euro to subject the Eurozone countries to the whims – or interests – of Berlin. The ECB’s hesitant initial reaction to Italy’s exceptional request for help in dealing with the pandemic that is devastating the peninsula revealed the same thing that the Serbian leader denounced earlier. An outrageous ”every man for himself”, which demolishes the sweetened rhetoric about a ”Europe of the people”, the ”one and the many Europe” and other such ramblings. A children’s story, as Vucic said.

The same applies, and even more so, to the gang of thugs who have taken up residence in the White House under Donald Trump, who, when confronted with an Iran heavily affected by the pandemic, could only think of escalating the economic sanctions against Tehran. Likewise, he did not show any sign of reconsidering his genocidal policy of blocking Cuba and Venezuela. While Cuba, the international solidarity nation, helps British travellers from the Braemar cruise ship floundering in the Caribbean, Washington sends 30,000 soldiers to Europe and its citizens, encouraged by the “capo” go out to tackle the epidemic by buying firearms! Nothing more to say.

Faithful to its patrons, the International Monetary Fund has shown for the umpteenth time that it is one of the focal points of the planet’s moral rot, that once this pandemic passes, its days will surely be numbered. In a decision that plunges it into the sewers of history, it rejected a request for $5 billion made by the government of Nicolás Maduro by appealing to the Rapid Financing Facility (RFF) specially created to help countries affected by the COVID 19. The reason given for the refusal of the request is beyond any semblance of legality because it states, verbatim, that “the IMF’s commitment to member countries is based on the official recognition of the government by the international community, as reflected in the IMF membership. There is no clarity about recognition at that time”. I have two comments on this miserable outburst: First, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is still listed on the IMF’s website as a member country. So the clarity “about recognition” is utterly blinding. Of course, it is not enough to hide the fact that aid is being denied to Caracas for trivia political reasons. Second, since when does recognition of a government depend on the amorphous opinion of the international community and not on the bodies that institutionalize it, such as the United Nations system? Venezuela is a member of the UN, one of the 51 countries that founded the organization in 1945, and a member of several of its specialized commissions. The famous “international community” mentioned in order to harass Venezuela for the likes of Trump, Piñera, Duke, Lenin Moreno and others of their ilk is a crude fiction, like Juan Guaidó, which does not even number 50 countries out of the 193 that make up the United Nations.

Therefore, the underlying reasons for this denial have nothing to do with what the IMF spokesman said and are the same reasons why the absurd $56 billion loan was granted to the corrupt government of Mauricio Macri that was primarily used to facilitate capital flight to the fiscal dens that the United States and its European partners have scattered around the world. I fervently hope that the pandemic (which is economic too) and the disaster of the Macri loan will become two grim gravediggers for an institution like the IMF which, since its creation in 1944, has plunged hundreds of millions of people into hunger, poverty, disease and death with its recommendations and conditions. These are profound reasons that ultimately point to something very simple: the IMF is nothing more than a docile instrument of the White House and does what the tenant in office orders it to do. They want to suffocate Venezuela and the IMF does the job.

There will be no lack of those who accuse me of interpreting this as the product of a delusional anti-imperialism. That is why I have made a habit of appealing more and more to what my adversaries say in order to defend my views and disarm the semi-illiterate and reactionary right wing that thrives in these latitudes. Let us read what Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote a little over twenty years ago in a classic text and one of my bedside books: “The Grand Chessboard: American Supremacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives” regarding the IMF and the World Bank. Speaking of the international alliances and institutions that emerged after World War II, he said, “In addition, the global network of specialized organizations, particularly the international financial institutions, must also be included as part of the U.S. system. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are considered representatives of “global” and global constituency interests. In reality, however, they are institutions strongly dominated by the United States and their origins date back to American initiatives, particularly the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944″. (pp. 36-37)

Is there anything else to be said? Brzezinski was furiously anti-communist and anti-Marxist. But as a great strategist of the empire he had to recognize the facts of reality, otherwise his advice would be pure nonsense. And what he said and wrote is unquestionable. I conclude by adding that I am confident that Cuba and Venezuela, their peoples and their governments, will emerge victorious from this very hard test to which they are subjected because of the immorality and arrogance of the world dictator, who believes he has the right to tell everyone what to do, think and say, in this case through the IMF. It will not be long before history teaches an unforgettable lesson to him and his regional lackeys.