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Column 022315 Brewer

Monday, February 23, 2015

Self-Inflicted Misery and Tyranny
among Latin America's Left
By Jerry Brewer
It is astonishing that with so much focus and
dialogue on demands for world freedom, selfexpression and human rights, many tend to
ignore or simply fail to do their homework on
repressive dictatorial-like regimes floundering
throughout Latin America and oppressing their
citizens.
It was certainly no secret that the late
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s 14 years in
office was a tired precursor to a near failed state
in Venezuela today. Chavez spent his entire rule
in office working to recruit and support leftist
presidential candidates throughout the
hemisphere, touting his Bolivarian Revolution –
that is quite simply the more exhausted Cuban
Revolution that remains in Venezuelan to this
very day.
Chavez demolished independence in Venezuela’s
institutions, seized control of the economy,
militarized the government, and virtually
destroyed private enterprise. Death, destruction
and insufficiencies in Venezuela remain
rampant.
If there was even a modicum of value to add to
the history of Venezuela from the presidency of
the late Hugo Chavez in his iron-fisted rule, one
could argue that it was not a total failure. Yet,
the truth is that Chavez probably inflicted more
lasting structural damage on the economy and

people than any other president in the history of
the nation with his Revolutions.
Even in death a vast world media negatively
exploited the Chavez legacy, describing a
systematically corrupt administration that
squandered billions of dollars of Venezuelan
revenues, much of it still unaccounted for.
As many in the world profess to support the U.S.
lifting of sanctions against Cuba's communist
government, one needs to simply look back at
the last decade, compare it to the current, and
assess what is real and what is not.
Fidel Castro, a Marxist-Leninist, converted Cuba
into a one-party state, with state ownership and
nationalization of industry and socialist reforms
in virtually all areas of Cuban society. And he
has worked long and hard to spread his
Revolution.
In a revolutionary sort of rite-of-passage, Castro
adopted Chavez as his protégé. Both travelled, in
July 2006, to Argentina to the boyhood home of
Castro’s fallen comrade and legendary guerrilla
“Che” Guevara, where Chavez revelled at this
dubious, sinister and blood-laced honor. And
Chavez proclaimed Castro and the murderous
revolutionary Guevara his mentors
Even earlier, Castro had begun to forge support
alliances with other leftist regimes associated
with the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas
(ALBA), conceived by Chavez and joined by
Castro in 2004. A "new" reign of leftist
authoritarian and unscrupulous tried-and-failed
style of government that continued to manifest
itself in human rights abuses, attacks on media
and journalists, and increasing poverty and
misery for the suffering people.
Fidel Castro also helped to politically
reinvigorate former guerrilla leader Daniel
Ortega, who was elected President of Nicaragua
in 2007, and both began to express the usual
leftist anti-US and democracy diatribes. Media
shy Ortega is the long-term leader of Nicaragua's

Sandinista National Liberation Front.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, who had
previously served his country as Minister of
Economy, resigned after an unauthorized visit to
Venezuela to meet with Chavez shortly after the
Che Guevara home visit in Argentina. Correa
soon thereafter visited then-President Nestor
Kirchner of Argentina.
Correa’s presidential campaign plan was
virtually a carbon copy of Chavez’s Bolivarian
Revolution. Much of Correa’s rhetoric was, and
remains, in line with Bolivia’s President Evo
Morales, who was also openly courted by
Chavez.
Correa threatened to “trash the capitalists,”
destroy the private sector, control dissent, and
rewrite Ecuador’s Constitution. This was to
become a popular theme as Chavez and other
leftist leaders, including Nicaragua’s President
Ortega, sought to extend presidential term limits
in an almost unified manner.
Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner followed her
husband, Nestor Kirchner, as President of
Argentina in December 2007. She also became a
willing recruit of Chavez’s mentorship.
Chavez came under media scrutiny in Argentina
following a 2007 scandal in which a Venezuelan
official was caught with nearly US$800,000 in a
suitcase at a Buenos Aires airport. Money
reported and believed to be destined for the
presidential campaign of Cristina
Fernandez. Chavez was questioned by the media
about bribes and “illegal commissions” of 15-20
percent to do business with Venezuela.
The Castro brothers, Fidel and Raul, and many
of their leftist-bloc of followers, openly endorsed
and voice support for Iran, North Korea, Russia,
China, and Syria's assault and murder of
protesters. Moreover, head of state Raul Castro
has steadfastly stated that Cuba’s Communist
ideology will remain.

With the death of Chavez, on March 5, 2013 Vice
President Nicolas Maduro took over the duties
of president. A former bus driver and trade
union leader, Maduro served as acting president
until April 19, 2013, when he assumed the
presidency of Venezuela following a special
election, the constitutionality of which was
questioned by many.
Venezuela remains a rogue state due to
continuing and systematic violations of the
Constitution, and ongoing failures of
institutional checks and balances. Venezuela's
budget remains a secret, oil earnings are secret,
and its electoral mechanisms are secret, plus its
media are largely under government control. A
UK non-government organization, Tax Justice
Network, has reported "that about US$400
billion in Venezuelan capital fled to offshore
banks.”
Furthermore, the Cuban government’s presence
in Venezuela is described as massive.
Fidel Castro’s glittering revolutionary stage,
laced with smoke and mirrors, remains as
Cuba’s repressive laws, sinister state security
apparatus and silencing of government
opponents continues. This as many of the Castro
and Chavez political recruits are failing
miserably.
As well, Argentina President Cristina Kirchner is
being accused of covering up Iran's role in the
1994 bombing that killed 85 people in Buenos
Aires. ——————————
Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice
International Associates, a global threat
mitigation firm headquartered in northern
Virginia. His website is located at
www.cjiausa.org. TWITTER: CJIAUSA
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