Kerry's Venezuela Statement Promises Status Quo
Senator Kerry's Venezuela statement does not represent an alternative to the Bush Doctrine. Voters need to demand more from someone who is asking for our support and our votes.
The recent statement (March 19) of John Kerry on Venezuela, including unfounded allegations about President Hugo Chavez, indicates outright ignorance or, more likely, collusion with the reactionary, corporate-driven interests of the so-called "civil society" in Venezuela.
It is also very likely that his motivation to issue such a statement is linked to a notion based on failed logic that somehow it will attract votes from among the a group of exiled Cubans who want to take Cuba and Latin America back to 1958.
A group of registered Democrats here in Oregon has written to the Senator and his campaign.
To quote from the letter: "If this policy statement respresents the official view of your campaign, we must, regrettably, conclude that it impossible for us to cast our vote in November for you. This statement about Venezuela carries many remifications. It clearly means to the informed voter that your foreign policy will be substantially identical to the failed policy of the Bush Administration. It also indicates that, most likely, you would be antagonistic toward the democratically elected governments of Brazil and Argentina, which would be in line with the Bush Doctrine, but it would not provide any reason to vote for you in November."
None of this should surprise those of us who know the way our two parties, and their corporate sponsors, operate internationally.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) receives funding from both the U.S. Congress and the State Department. It is made up of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) - representing the Democratic Party, the International Republican Institute (IRI) - representing the Republican Party, the Center for Internatinal Private Enterprise (CIPE) - a branch of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Free Trade Union Institute (FTUI) - an international branch of the AFL-CIO.
For the purpose of protecting and promoting "U.S. interests" abroad these organizations work in close coordination with each other under the umbrella of the U.S. tax-funded NED. In Venezuela, they have sent over $1,000,000 per year to organizations in Venezuela that use any means necessary, including violence and physical threats, to undermine the democratically elected government.
Venezuela has one of the most advanced, sophisticated, and comprehensive constitutions ever written. It was approved in 1999 by a vast majority of Venezuelan voters. Those involved in drafting the constitution included many of those who are now leaders of the so-called opposition. However, when they participated in the coup d'etat in April 2002, they summarily suspended the constitution and re-instituted the 1960 constitution, and they illegally disbanded the Supreme Court, the National Assembly, and all of the Executive Branch. This was done under the leadership of Pedro Carmona, the head of the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce, who had literally sworn himself in as President of Venezuela. These are the people being supported by the NED, and, therefore, by the U.S. Democratic Party, the U.S. Republican Party, Corporate America (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) and the AFL-CIO.
If the Democrats and Kerry are the "Real Deal", how can they justify supporting such undemocratic and corrupting elements?
If we vote for Kerry and the Democrats, at this point, based on his own statements, the best we can hope for is the maintenance of the status quo. What message would we be sending to the groups represented by NED if we support Kerry? A vote for Kerry, as long as he maintains this stance, is an endorsement of the NED and an endorsement of the Bush Doctrine.
Some people have tried to argue that Kerry's statement was not written by him - that it was planted by reactionary elements within his campaign. Well, regardless of what one may be believe about this, we can be sure that he is aware of it now. He has the opportunity to use multiple means to correct himself.
The American people are looking for an alternative to Bush. Kerry's statement illustrates nothing that would indicate that he is this alternative.
One can only hope that Oregon will send a message to the Democratic Party by voting for Dennis Kucinich in its May 18th Primary.
The Oregon Bolivarian Circle encourages everyone to let the Kerry campaign know that we are not interested in a "real deal" that simply continues the policies of the past which have led to coup's, wars, oppression, and the exploitation of the weak and poor.
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