Fidel Castro, Muammar Gaddafi and Hugo Chavez are three men of different eras who have lived a similar desire to defend the rights of the nations they represent and to network with other struggling regions over international trade and political representation. The nations and regions they have championed all have suffered greatly at the hands of the United States. These leaders have confronted political realities that simply are not acknowledged in the mainstream western press. Chavez recently spoke again about Libya and of the danger of the predatory US taking advantage of his current illness, for which he is being treated in Cuba.
These leaders survived the oil shocks and forged 3rd World Alliances
Castro came to power in 1959 and only recently stepped down in favour of his brother.
Gaddafi came to power in 1969 and led the formation of OPEC, which supported the rights of 'developing' Arab countries, most of them colonies, and their independence from oppressive and exploitative western powers. [Read about the history and future of OPEC here.]
Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela has been at the forefront of attempts to form associations with other 'developing' countries, particularly oil and mineral producers, since he won government in December 1998. He personally visited many of the leaders of oil producing nations around the world, and hosted the first summit of heads of state of OPEC in 25 years, and the second ever held.[Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Venezuelan_oil_industry#cite_note-Wilpert-1] The impact of this is that South American, African, Chinese and other powers might take precedence over the usual dominant countries - the UK, the US and their European allies. These previously dominant countries need to negotiate in good spirit and to downsize their demands for oil in line with depletion protocols - not bomb the daylights out of any country that stands up to them - which is what is happening in Libya.
"Libya: Chavez denounces the European and US massacre"
Translation follows from "Libye : Chavez dénonce le massacre européen et américain"(Wednesday 24 August 2011)
Hugo Chavez is furious about the bombing by NATO forces and rebel forces which daily kill innocent people in Libya: "We pray to God for the peole of Libya. Innocent people must be spared; peace must reign over the world! Since the beginning of the war which began last March, the Venezuelan President has called for a cease-fire to stop the butchery.
Because, for Chavez, the US and European military attacks are causing a veritable massacre among Libya's population. Chavez has nil approval for support by a part of Europe and by the United States for the rebel forces opposed to Colonel Gaddafi. In one of his famously passionate speeches, Chavez described how appalled he felt: "These false-democracy proselytisers are bombing Tripoly and destroying schools, hospitals, houses and factories." Over last weekend, conflicts caused 1300 dead and 5000 wounded. For Chavez, the USA and its allies are creating a true precedent by attacking an "independent country in order to steal its natural resources."
For this reason, Chavez is asking his supporters to remain vigilant in the face of a possible attempt to destabilise Venezuela [itself] at a time when its President [Chavez is undergoing treatment for cancer] seems diminished by illness. "Obama and the Americans spread violence everywhere they go. The destroy and cause death in the name of peace. But the only thing that really interests them is to get hold of oil."
"Remember that Venezuela has the biggest oil reserve in the world, with 296 billion barrels." [Editorial: This last statement fails to articulate the fact that most of these reserves are in the form of tar sands - which are very energy-intensive to mine and environmentally costly. "Based on data from BP at the end of 2009 the highest proved oil reserves including non-conventional oil deposits are in Saudi Arabia (18 per cent of global reserves), Canada (12 %, mostly oil sands), Venezuela (12 %, mostly tar sands), Iran (9 %), Iraq (8 %), Kuwait (7 %), UAE (7 %) and Russia (5 %). Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_reserves#cite_note-TI2011-1]]
Where does Australia fit in?
Postscript: What does this all have to do with Australia? Well, in the early 1970s Whitlam, with Rex Connor, attempted to make Australia nationally self-sufficient in energy - including gas and oil. This was a step towards Australian independence and we might just have become another independent oil and gas producer. As many Australians may still remember, however, Primeminister Whitlam was removed from office by an agent of the Queen of England. Shortly after Primeminister Fraser began policies to sell off assets in exchange for equity, in order to develop Australia's mineral and fuel resources. Thus our country, which at the time of Whitlam had the lowest foreign ownership, became a largely foreign-owned country with only token democracy. Was this fate preferable to the one that Libya now faces or is the shock-doctrine treatment we are currently being dosed with by our Treasury just a foretaste of much worse to come, with local oil depletion well in train and overpopulation causing dispossession, displacement through migrant-worker schemes in the context of detoothed labour laws, and Saudi-like desalination projects where elites engineer water costs that will ultimately rise beyond the reach of ordinary people, along with food. On the history of oil policies pre-Oil Shock and after, and the details of the Khemlani loan and Whitlam's removal, and cabinet papers on Rex Connor's project see Chapter 7 of The Growth Lobby in Australia and its Absence in France
Hugo Chavez est outré par les bombardements de l’OTAN et des forces rebelles qui tuent chaque jour des innocents en Libye : « nous prions Dieu pour le peuple de Libye. Epargnons les innocents, il faut la paix dans le monde ! » Depuis le début du conflit qui a démarré en Mars dernier, le chef de l’état du Venezuela s’empresse de demander un cessez-le-feu pour arrêter la boucherie.
Car pour Chavez, les frappes militaires américaines et européennes provoquent un véritable massacre parmi la population. Chavez n’approuve pas du tout le soutien d’une partie de l’Europe et des Etats-Unis aux forces rebelles opposées au colonel Kadhafi. Dans une diatribe dont il a le secret, Chavez exprime son désarroi : » ces faux démocrates sont en train de bombarder Tripoli et détruisent des écoles, des hôpitaux, des maisons et des usines." Lors du dernier week-end, les affrontements ont fait 1300 morts et plus de 5000 blessés. Pour Chavez, les Etats-Unis et ses alliés créent un véritable précédent en s’attaquant à « un pays indépendant afin de lui piquer ses ressources naturelles. »
Pour cette raison, Chavez demande à ses supporters de rester vigileant face à une possible tentative de déstabilisation du Venezuela, au moment même où le chef de l’état semble diminuer par la maladie. « Obama et les américains étendent la violence partout où ils passent. Ils détruisent et provoquent la mort au nom de la paix. Mais ce qui les intéresse, c’est de prendre le pétrole. »
Rappelons que le Venezuela a la plus grande réserve de pétrole au monde, avec 296 milliards de barils.