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Paging Arthur Zimmerman

4 May 2019

The “Great Powers” a century ago… as they still do today… have seen Latin American internal struggles not as problems to be resolved by the Latin Americans, but as opportunities for furthering their own geo-political aims.

Arthur Zimmerman, the Imperial German Foreign Secretary, certainly saw the Mexican Revolution as an opportunity during Germany’s war with Britain for access to world markets back in the 19-teens. While Mexico, or what government there was back during the Revolution, was generally pro-German (or… more accurately, anti-US and anti-British, those two powers having been the most egregious exploiters of the Mexican markets) really didn’t … as he later admitted… hope to get Mexico to declare war on the United States (there’s doubt President Carranza ever saw the so-called “Zimmerman Note”, nor that it was ever taken seriously. It was never the point. Having the British and the United States THINK that there could be a war in the United States was simply meant to keep the United States out of an alliance with the British. And, of course, the plan failed spectacularly.

Today we’re reading about United States plans to invade Venezuela… in the spirit of Woodrow Wilson’s “teaching them to elect good men” (though a nut like Leopoldo Lopez hardly strikes us as “good”)… or, perhaps, in the spirit of Arthur Zimmerman, simply to keep geopolitical and economic rivals off balance?

Although the Southern Command dutifully drew up rationales for invading Venezuela , there are reports that both the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. military command thinks… like Carranza did about the German offer for assistance in a war with the United States… the whole idea is loco.

Which it is… proof of which is that, obviously a non-starter, up pops Eric Prince (of Darkness) of Blackwater/Academi infamy, offering to put together a mercenary army to do the job states can’t. Leaving that aside (and one can only imagine the international fallout over a US sponsored, or US based, mercenary attack on another nation), with the US media largely pushing the story that the US MUST do something about Venezuela to counter the Russians, one wonders if whatever happens in Venezuela really even matters. Well, sure, the US multinationals would like to control Venezuelan’s oil, coltan, gold (and coca) exports, and the neo-liberals are certainly concerned (a nice way of saying “freaked out”) by the Bolivarian alternatives represented by Venezuela, but perhaps the real issue is preventing Russians from gaining another foothold in the Latin American market, and, warning off the Chinese.

By keeping the Venezuelan pot boiling, the United States… or John Bolton… hopes to accomplish not just asserting US “rights” to control the affairs in Latin AMerica, but to force the Russians and Europeans to commit more and more economic and military aid to Venezuela, at the expense of any expansion of any other goals. If the Russians are busy in the Caribbean, or have to think about propping up a Caribbean nation, they have to scale back their activities in the Ukraine, and… China being the other major power supporting the present Maduro Administration… distracting the Chinese from pursuing interests in the rest of Latin America.

Though, one suspects, as with the Zimmerman Note, the whole thing will backfire.

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