We have no problem with most of the things the Sowetan columnist, Xolela Mangcu, wrote in his 11 March 2013 column published under the headline, “When communist find themselves tongue-tied”. But the statement that in the American system of government the president is held in check by all sorts of countervailing institutions and that Hugo Chavez’s government was the personalised one-man rule that prevailed in Venezuela cannot and should not go unchallenged.
Are your readers familiar with the US government’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) whose true purpose is to assume complete control of the national government at a moment’s notice. FEMA is so constituted that if the President of the United States declares a state of national emergency, FEMA is becomes the de facto power in control of all governmental resources?
In the US there is an unelected, faceless group of the ruling elite that literally runs that country. To buttress my point, I refer your readers to a book by James Perloff titled The Shadows of Power. There are several other books that I can cite but this one will suffice. This information should not be dismissed as a conspiracy theory, it is real.
It was reported in the alternative media that on April 11, 2002, President Hugo Chavez was kidnapped at gunpoint and flown to an island prison in the Caribbean Sea. On April 12, Pedro Carmona, a business partner of the US oil companies and president of the nation’s Chamber of Commerce, declared himself President of Venezuela – giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘corporate takeover’. US Ambassador Charles Shapiro immediately rushed down from his hilltop embassy to have his picture taken grinning with the self-proclaimed “President” and the leaders of the coup d’état. Bush’s White House spokesman admitted that Chavez was, “democratically elected”, but, he added, “Legitimacy is something that is conferred not by just the majority of voters”.
The people of Venezuela rose against this illegitimate toppling of their popularly elected leader and the US abandoned their mission and Hugo Chavez was restored to power. To the best of my recollection this information was neither reported in this country’s media nor the western media.
One may ask Xolela Mangcu where were those “countervailing institutions” that keep US presidents in check when George Bush staged a coup against Chavez? And are there no regular elections in Venezuela? The announcement of fresh elections has been announced following Chavez’s death. Where is this “personalised one-man rule that prevailed in Venezuela” that Mangcu refers to in his column? Where are those countervailing institutions when innocent people are detained without trial in Guantanamo Bay?
According to other alternative media sources the US is set to dispatch a hundred troops to Niger with hundreds more to follow. This is tied to the deal signed in February between Washington and the Niger government allowing the US military to set up a drone base on the country’s territory, creating the conditions for spreading the Obama administration’s remote-control killing spree throughout the region. Where are those “countervailing institutions”? Why is it that it is only Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe who speaks against the re-conquest of Africa by the US, France, Britain and other western countries? Institutions of higher learning’s reticence on this matter, (to use this trite phrase), is conspicuous by its absence.
Furthermore, when the US ruling elite in the early 1960’s disagreed with JF Kennedy’s policy positions, they assassinated him in cold blood on November 22, 1963. Where were those countervailing institutions? This year will mark half-a-century since Kennedy had been assassinated, yet those “countervaling institutions” have failed to resolve Kennedy’s assassination which was carried out in broad-day light. Why is this so? It is because those unelected, faceless ruling elite are responsible for Kennedy’s death and they call the shots in the US.
Finally, the problem I have with university lecturers writing unsubstantiated and untested opinions, propaganda and half-truths is that their students are going to imbibe and regurgitate those unsubstantiated views. The minds of our youth are going to be poisoned and would become receptacles of false information. Consequently, the youth are going to look up to the US as a paragon of democracy and the rule of law when it is clearly not.
By Sam Ditshego
The writer is a Senior Researcher at the Pan Africanist Research Institute (PARI).