President Hugo Chavez claims his Bolivarian revolution is all about defending and strengthening the national sovereignty and independence of Venezuela.
But the reality is that Chavez over the past decade has surrendered Venezuela’s national sovereignty to other powers on a scale without precedent in the country’s democratic history.
Start with Cuba, or more accurately, Cubazuela. Chavez has been the Castro regime’s main external economic pillar since the first official bilateral agreements were signed in 2000. Cuba today receives about $5 billion a year in direct financial, energy, trade and other economic support from the Chavez regime.
There are over 50,000 Cubans today in Venezuela, by some estimates, but Chavez plans to import thousands more over the coming year to farm the Orinoco Basin and send 50% of the food grown to Cuba. The Orinoco Basin is Venezuelan territory, and must be developed and farmed by Venezuelans. Development of the Orinoco Basin’s agriculturally productive lands could foster the creation of enw communities providing homes and businesses to millions of Venezuelans in need of decent housing and jobs. But Chavez has decided to give the land away to the Cubans.
In mid-2005 the Chavez regime also embraced Cuba’s national security doctrine and established a mutual defense pact. Thousands of Cubans today are actively involved in the armed forces, military and state intelligence agencies, national security policymaking and implementation, human and electronic surveillance, training urban guerrillas, ideological proselytizing in the barrios, and now even intervening in the public education system.
Two-way trade between Venezuela and China has grown to over $10 billion a year since President Chavez declared in Beijing on 24 December, 2004 that Venezuela’s oil and other natural resources were completely at the service of China’s economic development. Since November 2007 Chavez has borrowed $8 billion from China for the so-called joint infrastructure fund, which is payable in oil shipments with Pdvsa absorbing 100% of the transportation costs.
The recent visit to Caracas by China’s Vice President Xi Jinping secured guarantees from Chavez that Chinese oil companies and other Chinese firms will get preferential treatment in Bolivarian Venezuela. Expect Chinese oil companies to take an important stake in at least one or two of Pdvsa’s planned new production and upgrading joint ventures in the Orinoco oil belt. China also is selling the Chavez regime military radars and K8 trainer jets which have been used very effectively in Sudan as ground support attack aircraft against militants in the Darfur region.
Russia has sold close to $6 billion in weapons to the Chavez regime, including orders placed by Caracas in recent months which have not been formalized yet. However, President Chavez also has offered the Medvedev/Putin regime the possibility of using Venezuelan ports and airports, and even basin Russian troops on Venezuelan soil – though Chavez has denied he made such an offer during his visit to Moscow in September 2008
As for Iran, the Chavez regime is using state-owned Conviasa to help Tehran evade UN controls on the illegal export of missile technology to Syria, a rogue regime which like Iran supports Islamic militant groups like Hezbollah. Chavez also supports Iran’s increasingly aggressive and menacing policy towards Israel, though he continues to insist falsely that he is not anti-Semitic. Hezbollah and Hamas have a strong fund-raising presence in Venezuela. Colombian military intelligence reportedly believes Iran is secretly mining uranium in Venezuela
Over much of the past decade, Tehran also has leveraged its strategic alliance with the Chavez regime as a doorway to develop similar alliances with Cuba, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua. Thanks mainly to Chavez, there is a growing convergence today in Latin America between radical Islamo-fascist groups and the radical leftist governments (Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua) who pitch their populist fascism as socialism to a mainly poor and politically ignorant populace.
Chavez has given away billions of dollars of the Venezuelan people’s oil revenues to these countries. During Xi’s visit he guaranteed China’s oil supplies “for the next 200 years…500 years…for centuries.” Last September in Moscow, besides offering Medvedev/Putin Venezuela’s seaports, airports and territory for Russian military units, Chavez also borrowed $1 billion from the Kremlin to buy more Russian weapons.
Chavez also committed Pdvsa to a long-term strategic partnership with a consortium of Russia’s five largest oil and gas companies. Like China’s oil companies, the Russians also are expected to receive preferential treatment in the April-May bidding for seven Orinoco production ventures and three or four new upgraders.
Since 2005, the Chavez regime has signed hundreds of agreements combined with these four countries, committing Venezuela to billions of dollars in giveaways and preferences to these countries, and giving these countries – particularly Cuba – a degree of direct access and influence over Venezuelan military and state institutions which no other government in Venezuelan history has ever granted to foreign powers.
None of these pacts has been debated publicly. The details are mostly kept secret from the public, which is unconstitutional and illegal, but who cares? The National Assembly routinely rubber stamps its approval of whatever agreements and commitments Chavez decides by himself to make with other countries. And now Chavez even plans to give away Venezuelan farmland to Cuban nationals, while millions of Venezuelans live miserably in barrios, lacking decent jobs and housing for their families.
And how are Venezuela’s current military “leaders” reacting to their president’s treason? Why, they’re bending over for the new imperialist lords of Venezuela and its resources – Cuba, China, Russia and Iran. There are no leaders in Venezuela’s armed forces today worthy of calling themselves heirs to Simon Bolivar and the other founding fathers of the Venezuelan Republic. The generals and admirals commanding the Bolivarian armed forces today are too corrupt, too opportunistic, and too cowardly to defend the Venezuelan republic and its people against a president who is systematically dismantling the nation’s sovereignty, destroying its productive infrastructure and condemning its people to generations of impoverished under-development simply to advance his personal fascist agenda.