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President Chavez defies U.S. 'Out of Love for All People'

Chavez, President of Venezuela, is offering cheap oil to Caribbean nations to lessen the burden of high oil costs. He is performing this act in defiance of those he calls: "imperialist capitalists giants up north." The article contrasts the merciless and mercenary behavior of a Carib freemarketeer, Godfrey, with the behavior of Chavez and others who care about what happens to people.
President Chavez defies U.S. 'Out of Love for All People'

In this ode to the selflessness of the Venezuelan President, the writer praises Hugo Chavez' recent initiative offering the Caribbean nations subsidized oil, and his fearless opposition to the 'imperialist capitalist giants up north.'
EDITORIAL

July 7, 2005

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Belize: Two weeks ago, in the second part of a two-part editorial, I compared the philosophies of a true Belizean Hero, the late great Odinga Lumumba, and the poster child for Belize's new wave of imperialist capitalists, Glenn Godfrey.

[Editor's Note: Odinga Lumumba was a major player in the "Heads of Agreement" uprising of 1981, which led to the recognition by Guatemala - at the instigation of former colonial master Britain - of Belize as an independent State. Until that time, Guatemala had claimed much of Belize was Guatemalan.

Glenn Godfrey is an industrialist, one of Belize's wealthiest men and clearly a proponent of the free market system].

Odinga was a man who sacrificed his personal interests to forward those of our world's disadvantaged people, while Godfrey is a man who has no qualms about sacrificing the interests of the hard working women and men of Belize in order to further his.

And now, regionally, we are again provided with another clear contrast of this type, between men of substance and imperialist capitalists. President Hugo Chavez went against all forms of capitalist ideology when he offered the Caribbean countries oil security with subsidized pricing and offering to help countries with potential reserves develop their own oil industries. With the advent of PETROCARIBE, President Chavez has put his offer into action, despite protests from the capitalist-influenced opposition in his own country and from other developed countries up North [the United States].

While Venezuela may eventually stand to benefit financially, at this point it is taking all the risks. This could hurt them, should the Caribbean countries try to exploit Venezuela's goodwill. Chavez' move flies in the face of all that is taught in U.S. and Europe's premiere business schools, and will no doubt arouse the ire of these established imperialist capitalist nations.

In the face of all this, President Chavez is pressing forward, as he recognizes the benefits of having the poorer countries band together to share resources, rather than enter into individual arrangements or so-called free trade pacts with the capitalist giants that seek only to exploit the disadvantaged nations.

In the long run, the only real way for President Chavez' plan to succeed is if participating nations recognize the long-term benefits of his ideology and make all efforts to see it through. There is already enough incentive for this to happen. Consider Belize, which is similar to many other Caribbean Nations. Our Government has serious problems servicing external debt, from the availability of hard cash to the availability of foreign exchange.

Presently, oil is one of our biggest imports and it is paid for in U.S. dollars. If we are able to defer 40% of the cost of our oil, we can use the freed up foreign exchange to instead repay debt or for other external expenses, and use the excess liquidity that results to increase local investment or ease tax increases on our already suffering people. These are useful alternatives to incurring more costly debt and constantly re-negotiating existing debt.

Venezuela has even offered to accept payment in kind, and at preferential rates, while the U.S. seeks to remove all preferences afforded our agricultural products around the world while it protects and subsidizes its own agricultural interests.

In stark contrast, consider the hell that American and British imperialist capitalists are currently putting BTL [Belize Telecommunications Limited], its workers, and in fact all of our citizens through.

Here we have a company built on the backs of all Belizeans, whether as employees or ratepayers. This company was privatized and all its shareholders have benefited from dividends or management fees in multiples of what they paid for their shares.

Now that the people of Belize, including the workers and - excluding Musa and his band of PUP pirates [the current prime minister and ruling party] - are committed to returning BTL to Belizean hands for the benefit of Belize and her citizens, American Jeffery Prosser and Brit Michael Ashcroft are doing all in their power to wrest control of BTL from its rightful benefactors, 280,000 Belizeans, in order that each may individually rape us. Just as President Chavez claims that developed countries have taken all of Venezuela's oil riches, so too have individuals from these countries started to take all of our riches, although not yet from oil.

This is just the type of behavior that President Chavez is trying to defeat with his plans for regional integration. The only way we Belizeans can fight against Ashcroft and Prosser, which have the backing of the imperialist capitalist establishment - with all of its financial resources - is through local (and perhaps regional) integration. Just as I advised in last week's editorial, only by combining our resources, particularly financial resources, will we ever gain the strength necessary to fight off these devils. Just as with President Chavez' plan, the solution offered in last week's editorial is a long-term plan that will work only if the players are truly committed to it. There is no real immediate solution to the local and global problems that disadvantaged peoples face from imperialist capitalists.

As an aside, PETROCARIBE may well explain the Mexican President's recent visit to Belize, particularly in light of the seemingly impromptu decision to announce some new kind of oil deal with Belize. While I will not condemn President Vicente Fox, I must consider the possibility that President Chavez' plan may have prompted his visit and his and Musa's announcement of Pemex [Mexico's State oil company] in Belize. In any event, President Chavez' plan deserves serious consideration, and it may yet signal the coming of a new world order. Come to think of it, the difference between one extreme and the other may simply be explained as a love of money as opposed to a love of people. It is clear who loves what.

President Chavez is placing his legacy and his political survival in jeopardy to show our region how to share resources and fight against the capitalist giants of the world. Even if eventually successful, he may not live long enough to see the fruits of his labor. Clearly he is not doing it for money; if that were the case he would simply play ball and reap all the profits of the current oil regime. Instead, he is obviously acting out of love; love not only for his people, but for all the people of this world. Nuff respect, Hugo.

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