GUEST: James Jordan, National Co-Coordinator for the Alliance for Global Justice and organizer for its Colombia, labor, and ecological solidarity programs talks about the US interference in Colombia and Venezuela under the cover of international labor solidarity.
As Violence Rises, Can Colombia’s Peace Endure?
James Jordan reviewed the long history of US aggression in Latin America. Maybe we should start with what countries have escaped US backed assassinations or outright US coups over the last century. Looking at recent history obscures that fact that the US has been running most of these countries since the 1850s.
So my challenge is pick a Latin American country and read some history. How many times has the US sent gunboats, mined their harbors, dropped bombs on them, or sent US troops to invade and occupy them?
And the motivation behind this carnage? Why profits for the major US corporations, of course. In the words of Major General Smedley Butler, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history:
I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
More specifically, General Butler identified conflicts in which he "served" the rich elite of his time:
I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
What is missing from this picture is how we citizens of the US can go on believing the lies, generation after generation. James Jordan wants to tell us the specifics about this age. He wants to talk about the role of greedy corporations in destroying the lives of millions of people south of our boarder. But we read the "Alliance for Global Justice" newsletter at our own peril. That is if we dare to learn about Venezuela, Honduras, Nicaragua, Columbia and Haiti. Our tax dollars are a big part of this story. That and our everlasting complacency.