Friday, 1 March 2013

SOME NOTES ON CHAVEZ STRESSING UNITY TO AFRICA-SOUTH AMERICA SUMMIT


African and American self defence in relation to imperialism
Are we going up the river without a paddle?

Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm
01 march 2013

On the one hand those who support independence of the GlobalSouth against the greatest threat to it: imperialism, cannot but welcome the comments made by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez a latter read out by Foreign Minister Elias Jaua to the III Africa-South America Summit (ASA), which is taking place in Equatorial Guinea. Chavez states to the Summit in the letter that: “It’s not by luck or chance…[that] since the Summit in Margarita (Venezuela) the African continent has been the victim of multiple interventions and attacks by Western powers”. (see full article below)

As the article states Venezuelan president argued that one of the objectives of these interventions had been to put a brake on the consolidation of African unity, in turn slowing cooperation between Africa and South America. This is all true. But one has to ask also that considering how close Chavez and other left-nationalist leaders of South America were with Muammar Gaddafi and the Libyan Jamahirya, where was the actual implementation of solidarity and unity with Africa in the case of the nato attack? And furthermore, what are the concrete plans of Chavez and others to develop such effective mechanisms of unity and protection from further imperialist attacks?

While one totall agrees with Brother-Leader Chavez that we must “not to miss the opportunity…to unite the capacities of our nations into a true pole of power”, is there anything discussed at this summit which will develop a meaningful mutual protection strategy in the face of growing war from imperialism against us?

On the agenda of the Summit in terms of building South American and African strategic unity are those of an economic nature, and perhaps there will be some limited cultural and media negotiations and deals too between the two continents.

However, there are two fundamental areas that have to be addressed if these two continents and the GlobalSouth in general are to develop effective concrete measures of self defence and internationalism against imperialism: 1, the media challenge, and 22, the military challenge.

On the media front it is of high priority that the GlobalSouth develop effective international media in the main languages used by the peoples of the world. The nato operation on Libya was only carried out successfully because the entire imperialist media went into brain-washing overdrive, and the resistant GlobalSouth media was left flat footed. The best we had was Russia Today, with Iran's Press TV for the most part (although myself and a few others were on quite often, and were never censored in any way for our anti-nato and even pro-Gaddafi analysis) feeding into the imperialist demonisation campaign against Libya. imperialism admitted itself that it could not have carried out the nato operation on Libya without the support of al-jazeera.

While GlobalSouth media is developing at a snails pace, this is obviously too slow in as much that imperialism is successfully preparing minds for wars against Algeria, Syria, Iran and many others, if not the entire GlobalSouth.

On the military level, and the only real guarantor of independence are three fundamental things:

i) A people-centred social system with a leadership that is has the confidence of the masses and is committed to safeguarding the independence of the country from imperialism

ii) That it has a strong and developing military capability, and

iii) That it develop mutual military defence agreeements with other countries in its region and internationality.

It is not secret, and is mentioned in Martin Sivak's biography of Evo Morales that Gaddafi tried and develop just such a mutual military defence pact with his South American allies, that he tried to develop a South Atlantic Treaty Organisation, to counter the threat from nato imperialism. There seems to be no sign of any similar developments taking place, although the Russian naval fleet have carried out military exercises with the Venezuelans in december 2008, which was itself a positive and historical development in anti-imperialist in the region and for Venezuela specifically.

Economic South-South development is of course very important for raising the capacity of our countries and regions and the well being of our peoples, but all of this development is in a highly precarious situation if the capacity for self defence, ie., military self defence is not matching it and ensuring the imperialists think twice before touching us, just as the imperialists fear the DPRK due to their wise approach to self defence.

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Venezuela’s Chavez to Africa – South America Summit: We Must Unite

Mérida, 22nd February 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez in an open letter has urged countries of the South American and African continents to unite into a “true pole of power”, while railing against recent Western interventions in Africa.

The letter was read out yesterday by Venezuelan foreign minister Elias Jaua to the sixty-three countries at the III Africa – South America Summit (ASA), which is taking place in Equatorial Guinea.

In the letter, Chavez called for “an authentic and permanent link of joint work” between Africa and South America to search for strategies of sustainable development that could benefit both continents.

“It’s in our continents, where enough natural, political and historic resources are found…to save the planet from the chaos it’s been driven towards [by the capitalist system],” he argued.

The Venezuelan president further urged countries of the two continents “not to miss the opportunity…to unite the capacities of our nations into a true pole of power”.

He also wrote that while “in no way do we deny our sovereign relations with Western powers, we must remember that they are not the source of the comprehensive and definitive solution to the problems that our countries share”.

Venezuelan foreign policy during the Chavez presidency has held that greater cooperation between Africa and Latin America is important to the attainment of a “multipolar” world order, to counteract the dominance of the United States and its allies.

Venezuela has been a key nation promoting the ASA Summit initiative, hosting the II ASA Summit in 2009 and taking on the organisation’s secretariat. The first summit was held in Nigeria in 2006.

In his letter Chavez urged that the pace of integration between the two continents be picked up, and argued that priorities for cooperation should be energy, education, agriculture, finance and communications.

He also suggested that Venezuela’s proposals for integration projects be advanced, such as the University of the Peoples of the South, Petrosur, and the Bank of the South. Trade between the two regions has increased from US $7.2 billion in 2002 to $39.4 billion in 2011, Telesur reports.

Representatives of other South American countries also argued for the need to increase cooperation with Africa. Ecuador’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño said that sometimes it had been difficult for the two regions to reach agreements.

He said that this was because “we don’t know each other well, we don’t have experience of joint work…there’s so much we can offer each other, and not only in terms of commerce”. The minister argued that the historic lack of cooperation between the two continents was rooted in the legacy of colonialism by European powers.

Chavez claimed in his letter that modern-day intervention by Western powers had interrupted the path of joint work between Africa and South America set by the ASA summit in 2009.

Referring to Western interventions in Libya and Mali, among others, Chavez wrote, “It’s not by luck or chance…[that] since the Summit in Margarita (Venezuela) the African continent has been the victim of multiple interventions and attacks by Western powers”.

The Venezuelan president argued that one of the objectives of these interventions had been to put a brake on the consolidation of African unity, in turn slowing cooperation between Africa and South America.

As such, Chavez repeated Venezuela’s “total rejection of all interventionist activity by NATO” in Africa and around the world.

The summit continues, with president of Bolivia Evo Morales and summit host and president of Equatorial Guinea, Teodoro Obiang, making speeches today.

Health update

The Venezuelan government released another update on Chavez’s health yesterday as he is recovering from a cancer operation undergone last December.

The official statement informed that “[Chavez’s] respiratory insufficiency, emerging in the course of the post operatory phase, persists and its tendency has not been favourable, due to which it continues to be treated”.

“However, medical treatment for the base illness [cancer] continues, without presenting any significant adverse effects up to now,” the statement added.

Chavez returned to Venezuelan on Monday after spending over two months in Cuba recovering from his operation. He will continue to receive treatment at the Dr. Carlos Arvelo military hospital in Caracas.

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