July 07, 2006

He never speaks for himself. Whether he speaks for God, I can't say, but certainly Dr. Robertson uses his television platform to preach the evangel of the elite to which he was born. His father, U.S. Senator Absalom Willis Robertson, was the mentor of Senator Prescott Bush. "I am not a 'televangelist,'" he told me. "I am a businessman."

And when he spoke of taking down Hugo Chávez, President of Venezuela, Robertson was all business. The hit the Reverend proposed was calculated for risks and rewards like any investment: "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war, and I don't think any oil shipments will stop. This is a dangerous enemy to our South controlling a huge pool of oil that could hurt us very badly ...
We don't need another $200 billion war ... It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."

When I met with President Chávez in Caracas, in April 2002, he offered to write the introduction to the Spanish translation of my last book. I'm not crazy about politicians endorsing journalists, but I agreed on condition he meet the deadline: He'd have to write it before he's dead. Chávez wasn't overly concerned. "It's a game of chess, Mr. Palast. And I'm a very good chess player."

He's more than that. He is, as Robertson says, a dangerous man. But dangerous to whom? Mr. Beale, the Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity.

In October 2005, Hugo Chávez defied gravity and withdrew $20 billion of Venezuela's petro-dollars from the United States Federal Reserve and deposited the money in an account with the International Bank of Settlements for investment in Latin America. There is no Third World, there are no nations, Mr. Beale, there is only IBM and Exxon. Maybe.

At the beginning of 2001, Venezuela instituted a new "Law of Hydrocarbons." Henceforth, Exxon, British Petroleum and Shell Oil, the major oil extractors in Venezuela, would get to keep only 70% of the sales revenues from the Venezuelan crude they sold.

The oil majors had grown accustomed to their usual take - 84%. The reaction to the reduction in Big Oil's share of the Venezuelan pie was swift. Otto Reich, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemispheric Affairs, met with Venezuelan "dissident" billionaires and shortly thereafter, on April 11, 2002, Chávez was kidnapped. The President of Venezuela's Chamber of Commerce, an oil industry lawyer, declared himself President of the nation - giving a whole new meaning to the term "corporate takeover."

The coup d'état against the elected president, Chávez, was endorsed by The New York Times. On April 12, banking and oil industry chiefs held an inaugural party in Venezuela's Presidential Palace. The U.S. Ambassador rushed down to have his picture taken with his arms around the partying coup leaders. But within twenty-four hours, the party was over.

I learned later that Chávez, geopolitical grandmaster, had expected the coup and planted commandoes inside secret passages of the Presidential Palace. When informed that Chávez had secretly moved his knights into kill position, the partygoers took off their custom-made Presidential sashes and costumes and returned the real President to his desk, without bloodshed, within 48 hours of his capture.

The Times apologized. But not the White House. Bush's spokesman conceded Chávez "was democratically elected," but, he added, "legitimacy is something that is conferred not just by a majority of the voters." I see.

1 comment:

Lazy said...

Bush's spokesman conceded Chávez "was democratically elected," but, he added, "legitimacy is something that is conferred not just by a majority of the voters." I see.

Oh, the grim beauty of that!

(But is it actually irony? I mean, would it be correct to say: oh, the grim irony of that!

I think it wouldn't... I've only recently realised how ubiqiutously the word 'irony' is used in what is, strictly, an incorrect sense...)