A look at the world, the empire’s machinations in Latin America, Syria and other regions, and the dim prospects for any solution within the US political matrix.
Excerpts from a recent interview (translated from Spanish). The chief interviewers/moderators are Hernán Salinas (HS) Diego Martínez (DM), and María de los Ángeles Balparda (MAB)
Hernán Salina: Petras, in Bolivia after the agreement of the Evo Morales government with the OAS to audit the outcome of the elections, spokesmen from the extreme right appear to be giving Morales an ultimatum until yesterday to resign. People have taken to the streets, especially in Santa Cruz [an upper class stronghold] and maintain a more violent attitude against the reelected government.
JP: Yes, it is a campaign for a coup. They create political, media conditions to mobilize some sectors of the middle class, lúmpen sectors, sectors that are for violence and not for defending the electoral process. Evo Morales got almost 50% of the votes and the right has no chance of winning the elections. They are campaigning for new elections, but they lack the electoral force. Now, what is unknown is the penetration of the CIA and the Pentagon, with the military and capitalist sectors, the so-called businessmen, who are looking for a combination between gangs, capitalists, some military sector and the US. So far they have not been successful, but Evo has to apply a hard hand in defense of the Constitution and the will of the people.
The OAS is not very reliable. Obviously it is difficult for them to manipulate the elections, Luis Almagro – the Secretary General of the OAS – is not reliable [put very charitably], so he is liable to use any trick to avoid the victory of Evo Morales. I don’t know why Evo went with the OAS as a way to solve the problem. Only the people can defend Evo and the OAS is not reliable. [It proved that amply with Venezuela].
HS: And will there be some kind of force on the right among the military for a coup attempt?
JP: It’s possible, but so far they haven’t shown any direct influence. In these things one has to have a very clear and very reliable knowledge; and so far the Armed Forces remain with Evo defending the Constitution, but secretly one does not know, the CIA always works under the covers.
DM: We go to Chile, where the protests continue, some ministers have changed but the people are still mobilized in demand of a constitutional reform. Can you expect a change in Chile?
JP: It is very possible that the popular forces [will] continue to gain strength, they have grown to more than a million and a half people in the marches and do not stop, the cosmetic changes made by Piñera have not had any impact. With Piñera in the government, the transformation process that the people are asking for is unable to find a solution. The struggle now is not for reforms, but for a structural transformation of government, economy, politics and social. It is one of the most significant struggles of our time. And I think that in this sense, Piñera doesn’t have much of a future. The people in Chile are looking for a new direction and the traditional leftist parties continue to negotiate with the government with the idea that they could make some reforms.
Piñera is willing to make concessions because he is shaking and I think there is a division between three forces: one is Piñera and the Armed Forces; second, the traditional parties and those of the center left; and the third is the people in struggle. How will this triangle fight end? It is hard to know. The danger is that the traditional left divides the movement and pacts with Piñera.
MAB: Petras, do you want to add some other topic?
JP: Yes, we have several things we could consider. First, the US in Syria continues to invade the territory where Syria needs the oil. There are the US armed forces blocking any access of the people and the Syrian government. It is not known when we are going to see a serious conflict between the US armed forces and the Syrian government. Russia is working with Turkey at the moment to share some influence in the Syrian north. It’s complicated. The Kurds are on the sidelines but still have a presence on the border. How the situation is going to be resolved is difficult to know, there are three forces operating there: the Syrian government, the governments of Turkey and Russia; and there is the American presence. Besides, aside from all that, the Kurds—as mentioned— are there, too as a factor. Here in the US, we must recognize that at the moment there is no resolution to the key problems, such as the National Health Plan, or the problem of Education, which is very expensive with each student ending up with debts of 20 to 40 thousand dollars to pay, and without much prospect of getting a job, much less with good salaries.
Finally, we have a situation where Democrats continue to pressure the Trump administration to launch new campaigns against the Russians, against the Chinese, against any Iranian policy; and it is a very dramatic situation because if Trump is reactionary and continues to pursue the goals of the right, the Democrats try to compete with Trump over more rightist, more warlike programs. [Instead of attacking him from the left, they attack him from the right!] Thus it is difficult to see any positive solution. The only possibility is a shift towards the National Health Program with Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Remember that Bernie Sanders has lost ground, because he suffered a heart attack and people trust Warren’s candidacy more than his, right now. And finally, China continues to grow; it still has problems in Hong Kong, but the Chinese road to infrastructure construction in several countries in Asia, in Africa, etc., has strengthened its economic and diplomatic policy. The future is moving towards a solution to the Hong Kong problem accompanied by economic, political and diplomatic advances for China.
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