Correction and Addendum to
The US Attack on Venezuela
In my recent article on “The US Attack on Venezuela,” I incorrectly named the president of Guatemala who was overthrown by the US in 1954 as Jacobo Timmerman. His name actually was Jacobo Arbenz. It was Arbenz who was then President of Guatemala and led the program for redistributing land to starving peasants in his country, a policy just as unacceptable to the overlords in Washington, DC, then as it is now.
Timmerman was a Jewish-Russian born intellectual in Argentina who lived from 1923 to 1999. He was a journalist and publisher who wrote about the Argentine’s “Dirty War” of repression in which thousands of people were “disappeared,” tortured, and often executed (los desaparecidos). Timmerman himself was arrested and wrote a well-known book called Prisoner Without a Name, Cell Without a Number about his experience of being imprisoned and tortured by the military junta. He survived the ordeal and was exiled in 1979 to Israel. His book was published in 1981.
My wife and I were in Buenos Aires last year and made a point of visiting the “Plaza de Mayo” where the offices of the “Mothers of the Disappeared” are located. The Mothers remain organized to this date and continue to protest and demand accountability for the disappearance of their sons and daughters. It is said that the subsequent Argentine governments have long resisted thorough investigations or transparency. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 people were disappeared. Many of the cases remain unsolved and the perpetrators have not been held accountable. The military junta took power from 1976 to 1983, claiming that it had to save the state from the leftist guerrillas who had been operating in Argentina since the 1960s. They closed the Argentine Congress, imposed strict curfews, media censorship, and took military control of state and municipal governments.
Declassified documents testify to the significant U.S. role in the Dirty War. They detail U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s support and applause for the carnage. At the time, the U.S. was conducting “Operation Condor,” a program that coordinated attacks on the left among many Latin American countries. It was a continent-wide program to eliminate leftist opposition to the many U.S. supported dictatorships in Latin America. The U.S. used its intelligence capabilities to track outspoken leftists between countries so that they could not escape from one country to another. Many were arrested, tortured, and killed.
Many of these torturers and assassins working for the dictatorships were trained in the training programs run by the U.S. Army’s “School of the Americas,” first located in Panama, but then moved to a top secret setting at Fort Benning, Georgia. It is said that the people of Panama demanded that the school be moved when they noticed the regular disappearances of homeless people from the streets of Panama City. It was suspected that these homeless people were being disappeared and used as living specimens to teach techniques of torture to the Latin American students of the school.
We should reject the notion that the U.S. is, or was ever, the “leader of the free world.” There never has been a free world. The only world that has ever been is one of domination, exploitation, and violence. The 16th century was dominated by the Spanish Empire, the subsequent centuries by the race for spoils and slaves between the French, Dutch, Spanish, British and Portuguese (and some other European nations), the 19th and early 20th centuries were dominated by a British Empire of vast violence, and by an American Empire over Latin America. And the 20th century (since World War II) has witnessed the globalized American Empire of immense violence, torture, and murder.
Jacobo Arbenz and Jacobo Timmerman have this much in common. Both were victims of the empire and its murderous minions: the drive of the rich and powerful of the Earth to dominate, exploit, and coerce obedience in their quest for ever-greater accumulation and power. This is a fundamental reason why we need to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. There can be no democracy or freedom on the Earth until the planet is in the hands of the truly democratic representatives of the people of Earth. The Earth Constitution represents the quest to establish global freedom and democracy for the first time in human history. If we want a decent future for the Earth, we need to love it, support it, and promote it.