The Future For Latin America Hangs By A Thread

 By William Butler Salazar

(Published October 20, 2002 by the San Juan Star)

            Nero fiddled as Rome burned. Fires in Latin America burn on every corner while top leaders of the western world fiddle around picking a scrap with Sadaam Hussein.

Before all hollows eve dawns, the remaining days in October shape up as decisive for all in Latin America. What the future holds for our children’s children hangs by the thinnest of threads as events that threaten the stability of this hemisphere come to a head in Brazil and in Venezuela. Should the thread pop, millions more will plunge into the same dark dismal oblivion that engulfs the ten million souls within Cuba.

          Lula da Silva, the Brazilian demagogue who will soon lead Brazil, follows closely in the footsteps of Fidel Castro in Cuba and Hugo Chavez in Venezuela. Lula has managed to hoodwink the masses into the belief that he is no longer a die-hard socialist, a man against market freedoms and in favor of strict regulation; a man totally against foreign investment; a man against Brazil’s incorporation in global markets; a man utterly convinced that capital and labor are eternal antagonistic forces. Lula, the re-born patriot, claims to know the path that leads to the eternal well being of all in Brazil. Baloney!!

          Three time loser Lula, made over by Hollywood type pr-man Duda Mendonça, has been transformed into a product that the higher income, hard working voters have tasted and swallowed. Gone is his factory worker attire. In a well tailored suit, neatly trimmed beard and totally overhauled centrist rhetoric, Lula hugs everyone in sight, cries on TV, and appears totally presidential. The demon has been costumed as a nice guy to lure opposition votes. The suckers chomped on his lure at electoral round one. In the runoff slated for late October the electorate will swallow Lula’s re-fashioned lure and his tailored line, and will be on the way to learn, as the Venezuelan’s have, what tricks are all about.

          Once in power Lula will lead Brazil into total disaster. An old style unionist, he is convinced that the only reason people are poor is because of the greed of the millions of people who have found acceptable means of existence. He considers the medium and high income citizens as the devil incarnate who must be dealt with, much in the same manner as Fidel did in Cuba, where the middle class became poor. In the process, the poor became much poorer.

 October will prove to be a critical month in Venezuela as well. The October 10 protest march brought out more than one million people in Caracas from all walks of life who protested peacefully against the course maintained by the government of President Hugo Chavez. Labor leader Carlos Ortega has taken the bull by the horns and leads the opposition coalition’s tactic in carrying out work stoppages.

The coalition has given President Chavez one week to either resign or call for new elections. Otherwise a nationwide work stoppage will be called later in October, which will stay in effect until the President abides by their conditions. Chavez remains firm: his legitimate presidency cannot be intimidated. He WILL remain. And to be sure, he WILL retaliate.

The fine thread that holds Venezuela intact is stretched to its limit. Something must give… and will give… and the fly in the ointment… the undisputed director of the show… he who has most to lose… the devil incarnate… Fidel Castro… will be calling the shots from Havana aimed to keep Hugo Chavez in power.

Fidel cannot afford to lose Venezuela. Fidel’s has sent his best agents to Venezuela. They are tenacious, deadly, well trained, with a single focus: to keep Hugo Chavez in power. It’s a fight to the death for Fidel, and when it comes to a scrap, he’s the world heavyweight champion. He can’t afford to lose all that low cost oil shipped to him on open account and he is prepared to fight to maintain the status quo..

          A democratically elected president has the power to impose legal restraints when the stability of his country is threatened. As Halloween approaches he could dig into his bag of tricks and with one quick wave of his wand will declare a state of emergency, relieving his opposition of all of their legal prerogatives. His killer thugs will clamp down tightly. With a nod from Chavez, planeloads of loyal Cuban troops will flood in, armed to the teeth. Together with members of the Colombian FARC guerilla movement, they will be licensed to kill. And this action will all be done to ensure democracy. The totally unarmed public will be killed, chained, run off or forced to crawl under their beds. One unknown remains. the armed forces. How will they react??

The third leg of this perilous triangle, the undisputed leader of the band, laughs loudly as he lays his head down each night. Things couldn’t be going better. Like a chameleon, he has a new suit for each situation. In recent weeks his game has spun wildly. His tricks are endless. Supposedly knowledgeable people continue to walk into his web and leave, spun tightly by the master spider, to expand and spread Cuba’s revolutionary agenda throughout the world. The likes of Barbara Walters, Former Kennedy aides Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Richard Goodwin and Ted Sorensen, former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, and a host of Congressmen. Ironically, the anointing of Jimmy Carter caused Fidel to explode with glee with his nomination for the Peace Prize. Not withstanding his ever present smile and plain good intentions, Carter has brought not one second of peace to Cuba, or for that matter, to any other country where he has lugged his white dove.

Three devils stir the witches brew. Before all hollows eve sets, their shadows will darken the lives of millions of unsuspecting hard working people. Their brew will scorch much of the Americas Many years from now, fearless men and women will shed their blood to do away with these most wicked and deceitful of men.


William Butler Salazar


William Butler Salazar is an engineer, author and ocean navigator.

October 14, 2002