Why Europe, U.S., China and Russia are not the same for Latin America

June 28 marks the 14th anniversary of the rightwing coup against President Manuel Zelaya In Honduras. The Obama administration and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conspired with the coup makers and backed their violent takeover.

For some time, I have been listening to a sector, supposedly on the left, say that they do not want European, U.S., Chinese, or Russian empires.

And, to this, I reply that I don’t see the relationship between the four of them. We Latin Americans have a very well-documented history of colonization, exploitation, and occupation with Europeans and North Americans, but not with China and Russia.

It was not the Russians or the Chinese who invaded the continent and began the colonization process from 1492 that produced one of the largest genocides of Indigenous peoples in history, but rather the Europeans: Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and others who also joined in the distribution of the spoils.

It was not the Chinese or the Russians, but rather the European colonizers who, starting in the 1600s, established the transatlantic triangle of the slave trade between Africa, Europe and the Americas, through which millions of Black Africans were hunted and transported to our continent in chains, subhuman conditions and true savagery, to sell them as recyclable products throughout our continent.

It was not the Chinese or the Russians who, in 1823, established the Monroe Doctrine, which states that the U.S. will not allow any occupation of American territory by Europeans after its independence and that America is for the Americans; but what it really means is that Latin America and the Caribbean are the backyard of the North Americans and belongs to them by the grace of Manifest Destiny, which is an extension of the Monroe Doctrine.

It wasn’t the Russians or the Chinese who stole half of Mexican territory. It was the U.S.

It was not the Russians or the Chinese who destroyed and economically seized Haiti, but rather the Europeans and the North Americans, since they have never forgiven that dignified country for having been the first Republic of Black slaves to become independent from a powerful empire like the French.

It was not the Russians or the Chinese who imposed the economic, diplomatic, and genocidal blockade against the socialist people of Cuba since 1960.

It was not the Russians or the Chinese who turned our countries into banana republics and who overthrew popular and socialist governments, such as that of President Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala in 1954.

It was not the Russians or the Chinese who implemented Plan Condor in South America, which left more than 30,000 missing, nor was it the KGB that assassinated President Salvador Allende, but rather the CIA.

It was not the Russians or the Chinese who implemented the Contra plan in Central America to put an end to the Sandinista and FMLN revolution.

It was not the Russians or the Chinese who imposed on us the School of the Americas that trained the worst military dictators in history, such as Pinochet, Trujillo, Ríos Montt, and the Honduran coup general.

It is not the Russians or the Chinese who have more than 800 military bases around the world. They do not participate in NATO. Nor are they the ones who control the Southern Command. 

Neither the Chinese nor the Russians imposed on us the Soto Cano or Palmerola air bases in Honduras, which are the largest in Central America, as well as 12 additional military bases scattered throughout the country.

It is not the Russians or the Chinese who practice the doctrine of the stick, who remove constitutionally-elected presidents at their convenience and impose dictatorships on us at will to steal the land and natural resources such as gold, silver, oil, lithium, gas, etc.

It is not the Russians or the Chinese who impose unilateral, coercive, and illegal economic measures, also known as economic sanctions, on sovereign countries and those that resist, such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, and other countries of the world.

It is not the socialist system of the Chinese, and it was not the socialist system of the USSR that turned us into exploited and impoverished countries. Rather it was the capitalist, imperialist, colonialist, and neoliberal system of privatization that favors banks, private companies, transnationals and capital over human beings, their basic needs and nature.

So when you hear someone who calls themself a leftist say nonsense like in Latin America we don’t want empires, neither Europeans, nor North Americans, nor Russians nor Chinese, please send them to review the history and foreign policy of Europe and the United States in our continent and also the foreign policy of Russia and China with Latin America so they can see the difference.

It is time for that part of the left that repeats the media propaganda of the right to learn its history so that it stops playing the enemy’s game.

The writer is coordinator of Partido Libre D19 USA-Canada.

Translated by Melinda Butterfield

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