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 BlogviewJames Petras Archive

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Introduction: The Financial Times editorial page carries a logo that proclaims: “Without fear and without favour”. Indeed the editors have shown no fear when it comes to. . . fabricating lies, promoting imperial wars decimating countries and impoverishing millions, whether in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and now Venezuela. The fearless “Lies of Our Times”... Read More
Introduction: Why did Obama declare a ‘national emergency’, claim that Venezuela represents a threat to US national security and foreign policy, assume executive prerogatives and decree sanctions against top Venezuelan officials in charge of national security, at this time? Venezuela’s Support of Latin America Integration is Obama’s Great Fear To answer this question it is... Read More
Introduction: Why did Obama declare a ‘national emergency’, claim that Venezuela represents a threat to US national security and foreign policy, assume executive prerogatives and decree sanctions against top Venezuelan officials in charge of national security, at this time? Venezuela’s Support of Latin America Integration is Obama’s Great Fear To answer this question it is... Read More
Cuba?s living example of 45 years of successful resistance to US military aggression and economic boycott is extremely damaging to Washington?s goal of world empire for several reasons. Introduction In the first place Cuba?s success refutes the notion put forth by the ?center-left? that ?small?, ?undeveloped? countries cannot resist imperial powers, or sustain a revolution... Read More
Introduction: US policy toward Venezuela is a microcosm of its larger strategy toward Latin America. The intent is to reverse the region’s independent foreign policy and to restore US dominance; to curtail the diversification of trading and investment partners and re-center economic relations to the US; to replace regional integration pacts with US centered economic... Read More
Introduction: Captain Jose Guillen Araque, of the Venezuelan National Guard, recently gave President Maduro a book on the rise of Nazism, warning that “fascism has to be defeated before it’s too late”! In retaliation for his prophetic warning, the patriotic young captain was shot by a US-backed assassin on the streets of Marcay in the... Read More
Introduction: Protest, dissent and the destructive terror of war are obviously very distinct forms of expressing opposition and bringing about change. The Obama-Kerry regime support the opposition in Venezuela as a ‘protest movement’ composed of ‘peaceful democratic opponents’ expressing their discontent with economic conditions, while they denounce the democratically-elected Maduro Administration as an ‘authoritarian regime’... Read More
Introduction: US relations with Venezuela illustrate the specific mechanisms with which an imperial power seeks to sustain client states and overthrow independent nationalist governments. By examining US strategic goals and its tactical measures, we can set forth severalpropositions about (1) the nature and instruments of imperial politics, (2) the shifting context and contingencies influencing the... Read More
Introduction: Washington has devised a dual strategy toward Latin America. This involves a new set of ambitious imperial initiatives designed to undermine the principal anti-imperialist governments (Venezuela), social movements and armed insurgency (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), while dismantling Latin America-centered integration and regional alliances, such as ALBA, Petro-Caribe, UNASUR and MERCOSUR. At the same... Read More
Introduction: The successful re-election of President Chavez by a resounding 10% margin winning 20 of the 22 states, with a massive 80% turnout provides his government with a clear and decisive mandate to set the political and economic course of the country over the next six years. To understand the opportunities and constraints which the... Read More
Introduction: On October 7th, Venezuelan voters will decide whether to support incumbent President Hugo Chavez or opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. The voters will choose between two polar opposite programs and social systems: Chavez calls for the expansion of public ownership of the means of production and consumption, an increase in social spending for welfare... Read More
Seven Good Reasons to Suspect Sabotage
Only 43 days before the Venezuelan presidential election and with President Chavez leading by a persistent margin of 20 percentage points, an explosion and fire at the Amuay refinery killed at least 48 people - half of those were members of the National Guard – and destroyed oil facilities producing 645,000 barrels of oil per... Read More
Two elections in Latin America this fall will have decisive importance in the direction of economic and foreign policy for the coming decade. Introduction Venezuelan legislative elections on September 26 will determine whether President Chavez can secure the two-thirds majority needed to proceed with his democratic socialist agenda without the procedural obstructionism of an increasingly... Read More
US policy toward Venezuela has taken many tactical turns, but the objective has been the same: to oust President Chavez, reverse the nationalization of big businesses, abolish the mass community and worker based councils and revert the country into a client-state. Introduction US policy toward Venezuela has taken many tactical turns, but the objective has... Read More
Historically Latin America has been of great importance to the United States on numerous counts: the region has in the past, provided the US with a trade surplus; its outflows of licit and ill-begotten funds to US banks, numbers annually in the tens of billions; the US has been, up to recently, the major trading... Read More
On February 15, 2009, Venezuelan voters will go to the polls in order to vote on a constitutional referendum, which would allow for the indefinite re-election of the President. Introduction On February 15, 2009, Venezuelan voters will go to the polls in order to vote on a constitutional referendum, which would allow for the indefinite... Read More
The pro-Chavez United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) won 72% of the governorships in the November 23, 2008 elections and 58% of the popular vote, dumbfounding the predictions of most of the pro-capitalist pollsters and the vast majority of the mass media who favored the opposition. PSUV candidates defeated incumbent opposition governors in three states... Read More
The Venezuelan gubernatorial and municipal elections, taking place on November 23 of this year, are the most polarized and significant in the country’s history. Introduction A great deal has changed for the better since my first teaching invitation at the Central University over 40 years ago: The Chavez government has build hundreds of medical and... Read More
Human Rights Watch, a US-based group claiming to be a non-governmental organization, but which is in fact funded by government-linked quasi-private foundations and a Congressional funded political propaganda organization, the National Endowment for Democracy, has issued a report “A Decade Under Chavez: Political Intolerance and Lost Opportunities for Advancing Human Rights in Venezuela” (9/21/2008 Read More
When President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela called on the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, to end their armed struggle and declared the ‘guerrilla war is history’, he was following a path taken by many revolutionary leaders in the past. As far back as the early 1920’s, Lenin urged the nascent Turkish communist to... Read More
Similarities and Differences on the “National Road to Socialism”
I have known and advised three left wing president including President Papandreou (Greece 1981-85), President Salvador Allende of Chile (1970-73) and President Hugo Chavez. Both Allende and Chavez share many strategic goals and embrace policies favoring the working class, peasantry and the urban poor. They also pursued programs regaining national control over the strategic sectors... Read More
Venezuela ’s President Hugo Chavez remains the world’s leading secular, democratically elected political leader who has consistently and publicly opposed imperialist wars in the Middle East , attacked extra-territorial intervention and US and European Union complicity in kidnapping and torture. Venezuela plays the major role in sharply reducing the price of oil for the poorest... Read More
The Venezuelan political process in the post-referendum period (after December 2, 2007) has experienced a wide-ranging debate, in which both critics and supporters of the Venezuelan road to socialism have participated. Introduction The extreme right-wing and the US State Department have focused exclusively on what they call the popular reaction against President Chavez’ ‘authoritarianism’, ‘radical... Read More
Venezuela’s constitutional reforms supporting President Chavez’s socialist project were defeated by the narrowest of margins: 1.4% of 9 million voters. The result however was severely compromised by the fact that 45% of the electorate abstained, meaning that only 28% of the electorate voted against the progressive changes proposed by President Chavez. While the vote was... Read More
Is CIA Fomenting Unrest to Challenge Referendum?
Democracy Now! In Venezuela , tens of thousands of protesters marched through Caracas Thursday to oppose constitutional changes proposed by President Chavez that come to a vote on Sunday. Citing a confidential memo, the Venezuelan government is claiming the CIA is fomenting unrest to challenge the referendum. [includes rush transcript] Guest: James Petras. Professor Emeritus... Read More
On November 26, 2007 the Venezuelan government broadcast and circulated a confidential memo from the US embassy to the CIA which is devastatingly revealing of US clandestine operations and which will influence the referendum this Sunday (December 2, 2007). The memo sent by an embassy official, Michael Middleton Steere, was addressed to the head of... Read More
Venezuela’s democratically elected Present Chavez faces the most serious threat since the April 11, 2002 military coup. Violent street demonstrations by privileged middle and upper middle class university students have led to major street battles in and around the center of Caracas. Introduction More seriously, the former Minister of Defense, General Raul Isaias Baduel, who... Read More
Chavez wins, US loses (again)!
The Venezuelan congressional elections of December 4, 2005 mark a turning point in domestic politics and US-Venezuelan relations. President Chavez’s party, the Movement of the Fifth Republic, won approximately 68% of the congressional seats and with other pro-government parties , elected all the representatives. The turnout for the congressional elections without a presidential campaign was... Read More
Evidence is piling up of the Bush administration’s role in last month’s coup attempt against Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez. In the latest twist, two former National Security Agency officers told British newspapers that the Pentagon had forces on standby to provide “logistical support” to the coup makers. The operation almost worked. Following an oil industry... Read More
James Petras
About James Petras

James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York.

He is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet.

His publishers have included Random House, John Wiley, Westview, Routledge, Macmillan, Verso, Zed Books and Pluto Books. He is winner of the Career of Distinguished Service Award from the American Sociological Association’s Marxist Sociology Section, the Robert Kenny Award for Best Book, 2002, and the Best Dissertation, Western Political Science Association in 1968. His most recent titles include Unmasking Globalization: Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century (2001); co-author The Dynamics of Social Change in Latin America (2000), System in Crisis (2003), co-author Social Movements and State Power (2003), co-author Empire With Imperialism (2005), co-author)Multinationals on Trial (2006).

He has a long history of commitment to social justice, working in particular with the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement for 11 years. In 1973-76 he was a member of the Bertrand Russell Tribunal on Repression in Latin America. He writes a monthly column for the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, and previously, for the Spanish daily, El Mundo. He received his B.A. from Boston University and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

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The evidence is clear — but often ignored
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?