Joe Stalin wasn't just an ordinary dictator, he was a very savvy one. He had to
have been to have held on to power for over 30 years, succeed in outfoxing his
rivals, and even be able to break the back of the vaunted Nazi Wehrmacht that
turned the tide of the war in Europe and led to Hitler's demise. His political
control at home and over his allied Warsaw Pact countries was best explained by
the philosophy he reportedly once expressed: "It's not the people who vote
that count; it's the people who count the votes."
That Stalinist wisdom and modus operandi surely applies to the elections just
concluded in Colombia and Peru. Both nations have a majority of poor and indigenous
people who want no part of a US imposed neoliberal "free market" way
of doing things, and in a free and open election would never elect any candidate
who did. So how come that's exactly what happened? On May 28, we're
supposed to believe the Colombian people rejected a more moderate or democratic
alternative and instead chose to reelect right wing hard-liner and close Bush
ally Alvaro Uribe Velez who had to arrange for the constitution to be changed
to allow him to run in the first place. And on June 4, lightning seemed to strike
twice in one week as the people of Peru for some unexplained reason elected
former disgraced president and economy-wrecker while he held office Alan Garcia
who also happens to support the Washington Consensus and will dutifully surrender
his nation's sovereignty to the Bush administration.
I hope readers of this web site don't buy any of this and are savvy enough
to understand how smart Joe Stalin was. I'd also like to add my own strong view
to what the former Soviet dictator may have said. It's not just who counts the
votes that determines an election outcome, it's also who decides who's allowed
to vote and who isn't. For many weeks before the Colombian and Peruvian elections,
CIA, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), US Agency for International Development
(USAID) and International Republican Institute (IRI) operatives were all over
both countries setting in place the process needed to assure both their candidates
won regardless of whether the majority of people wanted them. They clearly did
not, and had they been allowed to vote and do it fairly would have defeated
both Washington allied candidates who will do everything they can to support
the interests of the US, its giant transnational corporations and their own
elite and virtually nothing whatever to serve the needs of their own people.
So what may lie ahead in both countries as two oppressive regimes pursue their
Washington-friendly policies and continue to harm the great majority in their
own countries. Yesterday on the VHeadline.com web site, Alfredo Bremont wrote
that Hugo Chavez "has every reason to be happy that Alan Garcia won in
Peru." He went on to explain that "there is no nation on this planet
that will succeed as long (as) it follows Washington D.C.'s dictum" as
Colombia and Peru have done. Alfredo says they got what they have "chosen."
My own view is those in charge of the electoral process, with lots of help from
US experts, arranged for and got the outcome they wanted. This is nothing new
as the US has a long history of staging "demonstration elections"
(as Edward S. Herman brilliantly documented in his book by that title), particularly
in Latin America.
But Alfredo and I see a similar future and not just in Colombia and Peru. The
spirit and strength of Hugo Chavez's Bolivarian Revolution will one day spread
throughout the region and eventually displace those alternatives that only serve
wealth and power and do it at the expense of the people. The June 6 headline
on a page 4 Wall Street Journal story that "In Peru Vote, Biggest Loser
is Chavez" will one day prove embarrassingly wrong. But when today's WSJ
gloat fades, you won't find that reported on its pages.
No system as corrupted as the US model that needs repression, imperial
expansion and militarism to make it work can possibly survive. It's already
in decline and will eventually crumble under its own weight. That's the fate
of all houses made only of cards and not substance. In the case of Colombia
and Peru, justice has only been delayed, not denied. A glorious, shinning day
is ahead for all peoples in the Americas and beyond, and when it comes the spirit
and legacy of Hugo Chavez and his glorious Bolivarian Revolution will have been
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.