Tillerson’s Latin America/Caribbean tour

From February 1–7, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is visiting Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica, US-allied countries, serving privileged interests exclusively, exploiting others, the way America operates.

Ahead of his trip, he discussed US engagement in the Western Hemisphere at his alma mater, the University of Texas in Austin, speaking at its Institute of Latin American Studies.

He ignored longstanding US policy treating the region as its backyard, exploiting it, rigging elections, supporting a rogue’s gallery of oppressors, including father and son Duvalier in Haiti, Rios Montt in Guatemala, Pinochet in Chile, an array of Mexican despots, Fujimori and others like him in Peru, Somoza in Nicaragua, and Batista in Cuba, among others.

Tillerson lied claiming America always supported building regional partnerships for “prosperity,” claiming the Trump administration aims “to eliminate tyranny and to further the cause of economic and political freedom throughout our hemisphere.”

Its agenda is polar opposite Tillerson’s disingenuous lofty rhetoric. Washington’s agenda isn’t about fostering regional “economic growth, security, and democratic governance.”

Despots are much easier to control and manipulate than democrats. “The United States has (unfair) free trade agreements with 20 countries—12 . . . in the Western Hemisphere,” Tillerson roared.

US trade deals are crafted to assure corporate America benefits at the expense of its trade partners.

An earlier Global Trade Watch report on the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement, promising improved economic and social conditions in the country, instead created deteriorated environmental and labor conditions.

Other US trade deals turned out the same way—anti-consumer, hugely exploitive, environmentally destructive, corporative interests benefitting at the expense of ordinary people.

Tillerson supports more of the same, wanting to squeeze more US corporate profits out of Latin and Central America and Caribbean nations than already.

He deplorably praised jobs-killing NAFTA as a vitally important economic achievement for “the continent,” adding, US “partnership with nations in the hemisphere is founded on shared values and democratic governance”—most hemispheric countries deplore.

He disgracefully called Venezuela “corrupt and hostile . . . fail[ing] its citizens . . . [not] comport[ing] with the norms of our Latin American, Canadian, or Caribbean partners,” adding, “We will continue to pressure [the Maduro government] to return to the democratic process . . .”

Fact: Venezuelan democracy shames America’s fantasy version.

Fact: US economic and political war on the country bears full responsibility for hardships imposed on its people.

Fact: Valued US hemispheric allies are corrupt, neoliberal and repressive. Venezuelan Bolivarian governance shames them.

Tillerson blamed President Maduro for America’s hostile agenda. He suggested coup d’état change to install governance bowing to Washington’s will, saying, “In the history of Venezuela and South American countries, it is often times that the military is the agent of change when things are so bad and the leadership can no longer serve the people.”

Washington never was able to get key Venezuelan military officials to abandon Bolivarian democracy for US-controlled governance.

Did Tillerson’s remark suggest the Trump administration is trying to go this route again—failing before, hoping for success this time?

Is his 5-nation hemispheric tour about gaining support from their leaders for regime change in Venezuela?

It would be “easiest” if Maduro stepped aside, he said. He’s running for reelection in April, favored to win.

Tillerson called Venezuela and Cuba regional problems. In his State of the Union address, Trump disgracefully called both countries “dictatorships.”

Washington is hostile to them for refusing to bow to its will. Replacing their governments with pro-Western puppet regimes is longstanding US policy.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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