‘Xenophobic’ Latin America?

Reply to Al Jazeera’s Megan Janetsky on ‘Xenophobia’

by Serban V.C. Enache

In this article, Megan Janetsky claims that “Venezuelans have faced increased xenophobic attacks and attitudes,” but doesn’t invoke a single example of such an attack. The fact that countries in Latin America have begun to take measures to stem immigration is not a sign of xenophobia, it’s the inevitable consequence of the reality on the ground. It’s simply impractical for these countries to accommodate higher and higher inflows of people from Venezuela. There’s only so much space, facilities, job offers, and money [foreign funds on which these countries are largely dependent] to go around. Instead of playing the xenophobia card, lecturing countries and governments about how bad they are for not being xenophiles, the author should lay the blame on Washington’s foreign policy, not just on Maduro’s Government. By the way, Megan Janetsky doesn’t mention the trade sanctions, doesn’t mention the West’s hostile policy toward the country at all. This fact alone betrays the article as being nothing more than propaganda, a liberal’s virtue signalling, false humanitarianism, and promotion of the ‘no-borders’ and ‘limitless immigration’ mentality.

Crippling Western sanctions and theft of Venezuelan assets held abroad, on top of efforts to foment civil unrest and treason within the country’s law enforcement and military, are the major factors – but Maduro’s Government certainly has its share of the blame, and it goes back to Chavez’s administration as well.

And, yes, it’s also a failure of Venezuelan type of socialism. Take Cuba, for instance. Cuba has lived under US trade sanctions for more than half a century [plus US-sponsored terrorism]; and despite the odds, living on the hegemon’s doorstep, it managed to retain socio-economic and political stability. Cuba doesn’t have a fraction of Venezuela’s natural wealth; but it does have 1/3 of Venezuela’s population. Since the 1960s, Venezuela’s birth rate, measured per 1000 people, has fallen dramatically as you can see in the graph below.

In order to move away from the ‘resource exporter’ model, a country requires an increase in population size in order to diversify production, without depriving its traditional sectors of manpower. Simply put, if you want to diversify without causing shortages elsewhere, you need a bigger labor force. Chavez and Maduro didn’t even try to diversify, nor would they have succeeded without promoting population growth. The fact that a country the size of Venezuela has only three times the population of Cuba is a statistic worthy of national shame. The same goes for my country of Romania, which has only two times Cuba’s population. The fact that there are stores, filled with produce while people face severe malnutrition, that gasoline basically has no price in Venezuela, but electricity is rationed and public transportation is curtailed or paralyzed, points to the fact that Bolivarianism, or more accurately Chavism, was carried out with a total disregard for true economic and geopolitical planning. While hostile state actors and domestic renegade forces do offer the ruling political class in Venezuela a degree of extenuating circumstances, such adversity doesn’t wash away the complacency and criminal incompetence of the country’s Left wing governing parties and leaders. All decision factors across the hierarchical chain, who place ideology or their own status above the Nation must be ejected and their designs carefully examined and purged of any ideological adventurism and self-seeking schemes. Maduro and his crew aren’t fit for office, and Guaido should be arrested and condemned for high treason.

The Duran: US-China Trade War Heralds New World System

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the economic and political divorce unfolding between the US and China. President Trump announced last week he would add 10 percent tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods starting on September 1st. The move covers all goods the US buys from China. In response, Beijing allowed its currency, the yuan, to weaken to more than 7 per 1 USD, a level many analysts considered important. Trump called the slide in the Chinese yuan “a major violation.” For the first time in 15 years, the US Treasury Department proceeded to name China a currency manipulator.

My comment: Alexander Mercouris is right on the benefits inherent to mutually assured deterrence. I believe the divorce between the two super-powers is inevitable as well. And just to be clear, even though the process kicked off under Trump’s term, it was taught out well before he took office. That’s why US trade sanctions and military escalation have bipartisan support; and why pro-peace voices are labeled as “Putin stooges.” I’m also disappointed by the Chinese… they continue to put the exports sector ahead of domestic consumption. What’s the point in another devaluation of the yuan vs the USD? You retain your chunk of the US market. For what purpose? All dollars owned by the Chinese as checking and saving accounts at the US central bank are at risk, given the geopolitical situation between the two. It’s high time China recycled some of its trade surpluses in other countries, to the benefit of foreign exporters and their own citizens.

With regard to the European Union. I’m highly skeptical of any major divergence from Washington’s dictates. Western Europe is US military occupied territory. The US can strangle Europe in more ways than one – and its propaganda outlets are stronger than ever. National intelligence services of EU member states are in the USA’s pockets. A military switch of allegiance would result in economic warfare, sabotage, and widespread unrest. Regardless of who’s in the right or wrong, those who control the propaganda machine control the narrative. And unless there’s a massive economic crisis, no significant geopolitical shift will occur. The unipolar moment is gone; and new alliances are shaping the world…

Hong Kong Protests & the CIA

My comment: Even if the protests have CIA money behind them, the central grievance is shared by many people in HK. They don’t wish to be extradited to the mainland to face trial and sentence; and their motivations are completely reasonable, given the oppressiveness and lack of transparency of the Chinese state. The Communist Party will have to make serious reforms before the people of HK will trust their law enforcement, their magistrates, and prison conditions. I’d like to praise the people of HK for their civic spirit, which far surpasses anything in the West. That same civic spirit [principle and discipline] was displayed a few years ago in South Korea and it was called the ‘candlelight struggle.’

I find it interesting that Trump didn’t have much to say about the protests, other than deeming them “very sad to see.” I also disagree with Rick Sanchez on trade with China. Trump didn’t lose with Xi, neither did Xi lose with Trump. Huawei received some space to maneuver in commercial operations, and so did US farmers. The fact that the trade war between China and the US did not escalate after the G20 summit is a victory for both countries.