Refresher Course: From Panama (1989) to Venezuela (2019)
Ed. note: Listen carefully to then President George H.W. Bush in the Oval Office in May, 1989 on the Panamanian elections just prior to US military intervention later that same year in December. The language used in this footage is almost precisely the same language coming out of the US government today on Venezuela. Bush states that “despite massive irregularities in poles the opposition has won a clear cut overwhelming victory.” Bush’s statement on the voting in Panama in 1989 is almost verbatim the same argument being used today to describe the circumstances with the Venezuelan opposition under the Random Guy™ Juan. We all know now General Noriega was a case of a bad drug deal going down with the Bush criminal syndicate in which Noriega had to be removed. Well, if there is one comforting thought it is that Bush and Noriega are now chained together in hell.
Gorge H.W. Bush goes on to say, “the voice of the Panamanian people have spoken and I call on General Noriega to respect the voice of the people.” Just as in Panama in 1989 as it is with the circumstances in Venezuela today in 2019, the US neoliberal financial cabal could care less about the people of both Panama and Venezuela. Bush claims “there has been a voice so loud and so clear for democracy that perhaps even General Noriega will listen.” What George H.W. Bush was doing with his language in this press clip in 1989 in the video clip posted below, was lying his way into war with Panama just as the present US corporate financial regime are lying their way into a war with Venezuela.
The syntax used by Bush in 1989 describing the circumstances in Panama, is EXACTLY the same old tried and proven true verbal war that goes on when removing the leaders of countries targeted by the US corporate global empire. In fact, the language used by Bush is so precise, that if “Panama” and “General Noriega” were replaced with “Venezuela” and “President Maduro”, it would be the precise same syntax used for Venezuela today. The White House journalist at the time, Helen Thomas asks Bush, “what his options are on Panama”, and Bush responds with, “Helen, I’m not going to say what our options are”. Later that year in 1989 the US invades Panama to remove General Noriega.
Bush refers to the President of Venezuela in 1989 Carlos Andrés Pérez who was a very unpopular president who held office during the Caracazo riots. The Cracazo riots involved looting, shootings and massacres that began on 27 February 1989 in Caracus, Venezuela. This was several months before George H.W. Bush gave the press conference on Panama in the clip below. The violence lasted one week resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people, thousands by some estimates, mostly at the hands of the Venezuelan security forces and the military under Pérez.
The riots were touched off when Pérez proposed a major shift in policy by implementing neoliberal (onerous debt and theft of resources) economic reforms by accepting International Monetary Fund (IMF) loans contrary to his campaign promises to the Venezuelan people. This is precisely what is going on now with the Random Guy™ Juan being given access to Venezuelan assets to be used by the opposition. Look who appeared with the Random Guy™ Juan for the opposition to make them more acceptable to the peasants as international trade unions condemn the recognition of the Random Guy™ Juan.
Updated March 25, 2019 (US Treasury [Steven Mnuchin] in the application of economic war on Venezuela):