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Past U.S. intervention in Venezuela PDF Print E-mail
Written by Anthony Gronowicz   
Saturday, 13 June 2020 07:17

Editors’ Note: The following is an excerpt from "Last Western Empire. A History of the U.S. From Spring to Fall" by Anthony Gronowicz. This includes notes on the current situation.  Published by McGraw-Hill in 2006, it provides valuable background to the current manufactured crisis in Venezuela.

CHAPTER 11: THE ROCKEFELLERS TARGET VENEZUELA AND BRAZIL

The Rockefeller dynasty ranged freely in Latin America. As soon as oil was discovered beneath the waters of Lake Maracaibo in 1922, the Rockefellers set their sights on Venezuela.  Over 100 oil companies descended upon the lake, and by 1928, Venezuela was the world’s largest oil producer. The normal corporate cutthroat competition ensued, and by 1935, just three remained— British-owned Shell, Mellon-owned Gulf, and Creole Oil purchased by Standard Oil of New Jersey with the largest share at 49%.

His father placed the twenty-seven-year-old Republican Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller on Creole’s Board of Directors.  Soon thereafter, Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) appointed young Nelson to be Director of the newly created Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs (CIAA).  Nelson served as Roosevelt’s cabinet minister without portfolio, propelled throughout Latin America by the sheer terror, awe, and money that the family name and history triggered. Nelson’s interest in its indigenous peoples “was expedient. He was primarily concerned with extracting the minerals and natural resources needed by the U.S. war machine”—despite twice owing his life to rescues by a trusting people who lived in harmony with their environment.[1] The coordinating committee that the Rockefeller interests appointed to run CIAA stood for monopoly capital.  A State Department official demurred from this cutthroat policy, noting, “I have very definite ideas as to what our general policy should be and in general their ideas have been the most reactionary.” [2]

 

He was overruled. In just fifteen years of oil drilling, Lake Maracaibo was poisoned. A film of thick sludge choked the formerly pristine waters. In December 1939, for a second time, the oil caught fire and spread to the shacks built on stilts over the water where the oil workers and their families lived. The hovels exploded in flames, burning to death hundreds of families.[3]

Nelson Rockefeller successfully conspired to replace Venezuela’s new President Romulo Betancourt because Betancourt planned to hold Venezuela’s first legitimate election in 1947. Betancourt recognized that without economic democracy there could be no political democracy. He sought popular support by pledging to plough 50% of the nation’s oil revenues into the social infrastructure, something Hugo Chavez would do in the new millennium to nurture national development and democratic values.

Betancourt’s plan was doomed from the start because he forged a fragile alliance with the junior army officers who had been instrumental in overthrowing the previous regime. He promised that a new military mission could advise them. Unfortunately for the Venezuelan people, that mission operated out of the U.S. embassy. The embassy’s military attaché was soon coaching the Venezuelan military on a course of action that would benefit the plutocracy and not the average Venezuelan. When Betancourt’s Accion Democratic Party won the presidency for Romulo Gallegos by a 3 to 1 margin, Brazil’s military began to store arms in the Trujillo-run Dominican Republic for eventual use against the new government. Betancourt discovered that U.S. planes piloted by U.S. pilots would be used to bomb Caracas on the day of his inauguration.

The coup failed.  Later that day, to signal displeasure at its failure, Nelson from a plush Caracas hotel that he owned and used as his command center, ordered a drastic cutback in his Venezuelan philanthropic activities.  Late in 1948, Nelson restored the cuts when these very same military officers succeeded in sending Gallegos into exile. The overthrown leader accused Creole Petroleum and U.S. military attaché Colonel Edward F. Adams of orchestrating his ouster. Coup leaders quickly banned the oil workers’ union and in 1956 auctioned Venezuelan oil to the highest bidder.[4] Forty years later, CIA established a new union with the assistance of the AFL-CIO and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA front.

In the new millennium, Venezuela posed a serious threat to “the 1%” because of the powerful economic example it provided the rest of Latin America. The elections that placed Hugo Chavez in power were more democratic than those conducted in the United States in 2000 and 2004. 

In 2006, at the instigation of Chavez and Castro, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) met to achieve regional integration not solely based on free trade, but on a new vision of social welfare and equity.  Bolivia’s Evo Morales soon joined them. The Associated Press reported that President Morales “has taken giant steps toward ending a centuries-old legacy of what Morales calls endemic mistreatment …by white overlords.” In February 2009, Bolivia’s new constitution established a “plurinational republic.”  Thirty-six ethnic groups, almost two-thirds of the population, now have self-determination rights at the municipal level.[5] ALBA fueled this political and social progress and grew to include eight nations and 70 million people: Antigua & Barbuda, Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, and Venezuela.  Honduras voted to join on August 25, 2008, but a Washington-engineered coup nixed that positive move toward egalitarianism and regional solidarity.

Cheap Venezuelan oil, for example, is exchanged for Cuban doctors and other healthcare services like “Operation Miracle” that provides free eye operations, plus transportation and accommodation for 600,000 citizens of Latin America and the Caribbean each year.  In return for soybeans and natural gas, Bolivia gets doctors, teachers and technical expertise for its energy industry.  ALBA pledged to replace the dollar as their trade currency with a new currency called the sucre that will play the same role as the euro does for Europe.

CIA worked hard to undermine Chavez to have a regime that would aid privately controlled oil companies to exploit a nation whose proven oil reserves rank #1 in the world at 300 billion barrels. It financed and trained an unsuccessful military coup in April 2002, a petroleum lockout and strike from December 2002 to February 2003, an August 2004 recall referendum, and election turmoil in 2005 and 2006. These failed episodes orchestrated from El Norte only served to increase Chavez support by a coalition of political parties. After Hugo Chavez's death in 2013, the bourgeois opposition took power in Parliament before Nicolas Maduro was elected to succeed Chavez. In 2018, it emerged that the opposition was working with Washington to once again overthrow the government of a sovereign state to steal their resources.[6] By the end of 2018, Maduro had tripled Venezuela’s civil militia to 1.6 million as an armed people is the best defense against imperialist aggression.

Violent, antidemocratic efforts led by Washington have a long history. In 2002, Venezuelan lawyer Robert Carmona-Borjas crafted what became known as the “Carmona decrees” that suspended the Venezuelan Constitution and suppressed all opposition. A day after this coup, the New York Times indulged in premature celebration: “With yesterday’s resignation of President Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator. Mr. Chavez, a ruinous demagogue, stepped down after the military intervened and handed power over to a respected business leader, Pedro Carmona …”[7] When the democratically elected Chavez beat back the coup attempt, Carmona-Borjas found safety in Washington D.C. where George Washington University offered him a professorship to teach a course in “Political Management in Latin America” that featured guest speakers like Colombian President Alvaro Aribe, Elliott Abrams; and Otto Reich, former Senior Bush Assistant Secretary of State for Hemisphere Affairs.  Reich openly defended the CIA-funded terrorists who blew up the Cuban airliner in 1976 killing seventy-three passengers. Coup leader Pedro Carmona fled first to Colombia, and then settled in Miami, Florida. Seven years later, in Honduras, Carmona-Borjas zealously defended the June 2009 military coup. He paved the way for this latest attack on democracy through a well-funded propaganda campaign mounted by his Arcadia Foundation to falsely label Zelaya as a funder of narco-traffickers.[8]

When the 2002 Venezuelan coup erupted, the RCTV network owned and led by the Phelps dynasty actively supported the military overthrow.  RCTV’s roots go back to 1920 when Princeton graduate William H. Phelps set up the Phelps Group with assets from his Harvard father’s fortune.  An interlocking directorate took the name, 1 Broadcasting Caracas (1BC). In 1897, on the advice of Lieutenant William Wirt, Phelps’ New York City born father had immigrated to Venezuela from the United States. Wirt was a Harvard military instructor who recruited officers from among the student body for the Spanish-American War.  Junior Phelps would marry Alicia Tucker, and pass on family ownership to children Johnny Phelps and William Phelps Tucker. The latter’s media inheritance then went to Tucker’s wife Katherine Deery de Phelps, and finally to Johnny’s daughters Dorothy and Patricia.[9]

Principal 1BC stockholders consisted of Peter Bottome, the son of Deery and son-in-law of Phelps Tucker; Alicia Phelps de Tovar, Johnny’s daughter; the son of Alicia, U.S. educated Mayesa grease magnate Alberto Tovar Phelps; and Gillermo Tucker Arismendi who was related through Phelps’ wife Katherine, as well as to one of the heads of the conglomerate controlling Globovision. Marcel Granier was the president of 1BC when RCTV’s broadcasting license expired in May 2007. He was married to Dorothy Phelps.  Johnny Phelps’ other daughter Patricia married Gustavo Cisneros, who owned the largest media conglomerate, Venevision, to serve as 1BC’s “competition.” 

This entire extended dynasty controlled “85% of publicity investment, 66% of transmitting capcacity, and 80% of the production of all messages, information, and media content in the country, according to a recent White Paper on RCTV issued by the Ministry of Communications.” They owned radio stations, record stores and an airline. It was a monopoly that from its inception did not question the siphoning of the country’s resources and the successive Rockefeller-supported dictatorships.

Like his father and grandfather, Nelson’s priority was control of the markets and resources of Latin America.  Forrest K. Davis and Ernest L. Lindley, two Washington-based journalists who enjoyed direct access to the Roosevelt White House, reported, “Should England go down, a Hitler-organized Europe would be in a position to apply enormous pressure on the raw materials producing economies of all South America … Much of South America might then be absorbed bloodlessly into the Nazi scheme from a central purchasing bureau in Berlin.” After Hitler swept through France, Nelson’s right-hand man Carl Spaeth wrote to his boss about the need to invest more to meet the German challenge: “To postpone such programs as ours until after the war is to lose an excellent opportunity to get in a substantial position in advance of German commercial interests … in the event Germany wins the war.”[10]

Rockefeller also sniffed oil possibilities in Peru and Bolivia. In 1942, when the Japanese captured the British colony of Malaya and its vital tin resources, Bolivian indigenous peoples became responsible for producing 67% of the Allies’ tin. The speed-up was too much. The tin miners whose average life expectancy was less than forty years went on strike against the major mine at Catavi run by the Patino Company. Since the U.S. Ambassador was pretty much the boss of Bolivia, he took the side of the mine bosses. Bolivian troops slaughtered hundreds of miners and their families.  One of Nelson’s trusted employees, Joseph Rovensky, had been charged with financing the Catavi mine through the Export-Import Bank. The ensuing worldwide outcry was bad for public relations, and Rovensky was retired to Manhattan and Chase National Bank, another Rockefeller property. CIAA deliberately withheld funds to improve working conditions.[11]

In 1940, Roosevelt appointed Rockefeller to the new post of Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. In February 1945, at the Chapultepec Inter-American Conference that became the model for the Organization of American States (OAS), Rockefeller sponsored a regional military treaty. He proceeded with this regional pact in violation of the Dumbarton Oaks Treaty that required the fledgling United Nations to vet regional agreements. Moreover, Rockefeller insisted that fascist-dominated Argentina be a signatory. Mexico’s ex-President Lazero Cardenas protested that Chapultepec signified “the final adoption of the Monroe Doctrine which would leave the Latin American republics at the mercy of the United States.”[12]

Secretary of War Stimson (Bones 1888) ignored the protests of Latin American leaders and immediately implemented U.S. military training programs and arms sales to anti-democratic forces throughout the continent.  FDR acceded to Rockefeller, as he did to most other Rockefeller-inspired initiatives. It was Rockefeller who insisted that Argentina become a founding UN member, after FDR had promised Stalin otherwise at Yalta. In protest, Nicolo Tucci, the head of the Bureau of Latin American Research, resigned. He blamed Rockefeller for “inviting the worst fascists and Nazis to Washington.” Nelson retorted, “Everybody is useful … we’re going to convert these people to friendliness to the United States …Don’t worry… we’ll buy these people.”[13] He also bought the land for the United Nations after having originally proposed to donate either the Pocantico family estate or Rockefeller Center to a world body that hopefully would tailor global needs to Rockefeller tastes.       

At the founding UN conference in San Francisco, Nelson brought a staff of 27—larger than most countries. His bellicose insistence over Soviet objections that Argentina be included as a founding member exasperated Averill Harriman (Bones 1913) who wryly asked, “Nelson, are you the ambassador to the Argentine or the ambassador of the Argentine?”[14] He behaved like his pre-World War I namesake, Nelson Aldrich, who had been nicknamed by the idolatrous yellow press, “the General Manager of the Nation.”  Argentina was seated and the United Nations was off to a rocky start.  But it was Brazil’s Amazon rainforests that remained uppermost in Nelson’s new world order for the Western Hemisphere.

Nelson first journeyed to Brazil in the 1930s where a new de facto slavery replaced the chattel slavery formally abolished in 1888.  Under the reign of U.S. rubber barons Firestone and Goodyear, vast tracts of Amazonian rain forests and thousands of natives were exploited to extract rubber for transport to mainly U.S. shores. After Pearl Harbor, Nelson ordered the Department of Agriculture to spend $100 thousand on army and naval intelligence in Brazil that would not be shared with the Brazilian government. He secured funding in late 1942 to build a trans-Andean highway to carry off rubber and oil extracted from Peru. [15] These development projects routinely paid no attention to meeting social needs unless they could be exploited for their public relations’ value.

In Washington, Nelson served as chairman of the Special Group and Vice Chairman of the larger Operations Coordinating Board to ensure that Latin America provide safe returns on private investments. Nelson’s most important appointment was West Point graduate Colonel John Caldwell (J.C.) King, vice president of the drug company Johnson and Johnson. He would serve as Nelson’s military overseer. Johnson and Johnson was interested in the pharmaceutical potential of the Amazon’s exotic plants. Colonel King sought out those plants that could be utilized for mind control and homicidal covert actions.

King mapped the Amazon basin to smooth the way for Nelson’s “plan for Brazil”—the Development Corporation. Colonel King’s secret report to Nelson promoted the Amazon basin as a “vast new outlet for industrial America, a giant reservoir of raw materials … No plan for the development … can be successful unless provision is made for an infusion of new blood by selected immigration of a major scale, from impoverished Europe…” [16]

After King submitted his colonizing plan with its racialized agenda, he returned to active military service.  He asked Nelson to recommend him to Secretary of War Stimson (Bones 1888) for assignment.  Soon King would be working for both CIA and Nelson Rockefeller—virtually identical masters. 

The Rockefeller brothers’ base for the International Basic Energy Corporation (IBEC) was Fazenda Badoquena, a 1,030,000-acre ranch—more than five times larger than New York City—situated on Brazil’s western frontier near the Bolivian border. Nelson’s plan for leveling rainforests to graze a quarter of a million head of cattle set a new standard for the destruction of “the lungs of the planet.” His Arkansas Governor brother Winthrop’s prize Arkansas bulls would provide the studs. Nelson secretly acquired control of Petrobras, Brazil’s national oil company. Buoyed by a Rockefeller presence, U.S. Steel bought their own rainforest plot, just north of Fazenda Badoquena, that lay atop one of the world’s richest manganese deposits. Together, these corporate predators accelerated the genocide of native tribal peoples. The Rockefellers further cheated the American taxpayer by ordering their accountants to place IBEC expenses under the category of tax-exempt foundations.[17] After all, the IRS never audits Rockefellers.

In 1960, John R. Camp, the top administrator of the Rockefeller-founded American International Association for Economic and Social Development (AIA), compared Brazil’s prospects to the 19th century Wild West, “Fortunately, Brazil has a great vacant frontier area that offers the prospect of developing a new rural economy ... It should be emphasized that what is contemplated here is a program of opening up this new `west’ in Brazil, in the manner our own "west" was opened up under the Homestead Act after the Civil War.”

What the public read of these enterprises was filtered through CIA mouthpieces like Reader’s Digest, which praised a Rockefeller-dominated company that used “mechanized land-clearing units which clear as much land in five minutes as a farmer can clear in five weeks.” [18] The Brazilian military coup that became possible with Kennedy’s assassination enhanced the relationship between Rockefeller profits and Brazilian social disintegration and ecological holocaust.

Nelson personally appointed a nominal “leadership” for the Development Corporation, because as he put it, “by far the greater part of the funds of the corporation would be advanced by us.” [19] The Development Corporation circumvented Brazilian oversight and led inexorably to the first Cold War military coup that followed on the heels of Japan’s surrender.

U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Adolf Berle, Nelson’s confidante, provided advance justification for a violent government overthrow through a widely disseminated public address. Rio de Janeiro’s media gave Berle’s speech prominent play if only because U.S. corporate advertising financed them. Most of the funding came from Madison Avenue’s J. Walter Thompson advertising agency whose principal client was Nelson’s Cultural Relations Program (CIAA). They freely criticized President Gertulio Vargas while Brazil’s best troops returned from fighting in Italy where U.S. military intelligence had indoctrinated them and provided military tanks for use against a sovereign government. On the evening of October 30, 1945, the tanks rumbled down Brazilian city streets.[20]

The coup was sparked by the formation of the Brazilian Labor Party. It sought under Vargas’s direction to forge 800 separate Brazilian labor unions into a single labor federation like the AFL-CIO, at a time when Brazilian law prohibited unions from doing so. Berle publicly defended the coup leaders because “Brazil, the United States, and the other great nations are now engaged in a titanic attempt to unify the world.” He then listed “freedoms,” one of which was “the right to access to the economic resources of the world.” The following year, Brazil’s military rulers awarded Nelson the Order of the Southern Cross, Brazil’s highest honor for foreigners. By 1949, a secret agreement brokered by Nelson had been reached between the Brazilian military and the Pentagon. It established the organizational infrastructure to topple any government hostile to U.S oil interests.[21]

In 1951, Vargas returned to power in an election run under the slogan, “O petroleo e nosso” (“the oil is ours”).  With the backing of a near-unanimous Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, he set up Petrobas, the government-owned oil company.  It would be only a matter of time before Standard Oil and the other U.S. companies would be shut out of the oil business in Brazil.  In response, the U.S. froze all loans, and set off an economic crisis.  A U.S. trained military demanded that Vargas take a temporary leave of absence.  When he learned that his absence was to be permanent, he took his own life.

His successors put U.S. corporate interests first until Joao Goulart came to power. Goulart’s overthrow four months after Kennedy’s assassination, resulted in more damage to “the lungs of the planet” than all prior devastation of these vast rain forests.  Marshal Castelo Branco secretly worked with U.S. military attaché, Vernon Walters who worked out of the Rio de Janeiro U.S. embassy. 

Nelson’s IBEC branched out into all sorts of Brazilian enterprises after the military ravaged the country. Everything from nuclear reactor valves and missile components to plywood became cash cows for the Rockefeller Family Trust. Upper-class CIA cronies like J. Richard Dilworth and John Hay “Jock” Whitney eagerly volunteered to serve on various boards of the myriad companies that proliferated under Rockefeller control and throughout Latin America in the wake of military coups.[22]

Nelson’s private contempt for the common people led him to envision a better “racial stock” for Brazil through the importation of Japanese settlers. In February 1959, he requested assistance from his brother John who headed the Japan Society, another CIA-run cultural front. Their cousin, Richard Aldrich, served as overseer of the Brazilian branch of IBEC.[23]

CIA continued to assist the U.S. military high command in coordinating state terrorism against civilians through a vast covert operation code-named Operation Condor that encompassed Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. This secret half-century war of attrition supervised training, installation, and arming of military dictatorships that arrested, kidnapped, tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of labor union organizers, political democrats and dissidents. Only in 1993 were five tons of secret documents discovered in Paraguay that exposed the vast extent of these war crimes.  These “archives of terror” had been under the safekeeping of General Alfredo Stroessner during his thirty-five-year dictatorship. They were used to develop a criminal case against Chilean General and CIA-installed President Augusto Pinochet and Bolivian General and CIA-installed President Hugo Banzer who ran Bolivia as a military dictatorship from 1971 to 1978.

The children of Latin America suffered especially from the brutality of the CIA-trained military. From Honduras to Brazil, the military, police and corporate-sponsored bounty hunters, routinely tortured and killed children. It is part of their ongoing struggle on behalf of foreign companies to rid the jungles of native peoples so that these companies could exploit the natural resources to the point of exhaustion and degradation of the planet.

One Brazilian Amazonian tribe, the Cintas Larga, had eluded their exterminators for a long time by retreating into the dense jungles, only to be tracked by rogue bounty hunters since it is against Brazilian law to harm indigenous tribes. At dawn of their final day, armed whites stormed the village subjecting its inhabitants to a withering onslaught of gunfire. Only a young girl, and an even younger boy who had fled to her for safety were left. He was “yelling his head off.” Chico, one of the killers, shot him through the head. He then “tied the Indian girl up and hung her head downward from a tree, legs apart, and chopped her in half right down the middle with his machete. Almost with a single stroke I’d say. The village was like a slaughterhouse.” After all their huts had been burned, and the bodies of the men, women, and children had been thrown in the river, the hired killers returned with the ore “to keep the company pleased.”[24] This was at the height of the Vietnam War when U.S. soldiers were committing similar atrocities on the other side of the world.   

In Latin America, living conditions remained bad until the new millennium brought a growing trend of leftist governments that sought to redress the massive human rights violations perpetrated by their right-wing counterparts under Washington’s covert and overt sponsorship. Into the new millennium, homeless Brazilian adolescents and teenagers engaged in self-mutilation as a form of self-defense. One nineteen-year old, Elide da Pinha Alves, slashed her arm each time she underwent a traumatic experience in Recife where a growing population of children slept on park benches or fell drugged or drunk on the curbs outside the bars that cater to a brisk trade in sex tourism. The first time she did so was when she was seven and left home orphaned and abused by her brothers. Another slashing scar marks her rape on the streets at age twelve, and a third at seventeen when a shack she was trying to make into a home collapsed. Another girl, eighteen-year old Janaina Raindo Mar Pimenteo said, “On the street, we’re each on our own. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t do anything. I cut myself.” [25]

In 2003, the United Nation’s High Commissioner concluded that Brazilian police killings of children remained “widespread and systematic.”[26] Nonetheless, the United States and Somalia remain the only two countries that have yet to ratify the United Nations’ International Agreement on the Rights of the Child, while the United States and Iran were the only countries in the world that permitted the execution of juveniles until 2005 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against this barbarism.

Many prominent Latin American torturers and murderers were trained at the Panamanian School of the Americas. This “school” subsequently moved to Georgia when a regime less friendly to U.S. interests briefly took power. The School of the Americas was aided by the AFL-CIO, which spent more money after World War II undermining labor unions all over the world than it did in organizing American workers.

It was in this global political context that Nelson Rockefeller took the Congressional stage in 1951 to make his case for U.S. military intervention abroad to take control of raw materials required for U.S. industry. He asked the congressmen, “The question is from where do we get the raw material we import? The answer is that 73% of our needs for strategic and critical material comes from the underdeveloped areas.”[27] They would be secured by any means necessary. In a June 1947 editorial in his Fortune magazine, entitled, “The U.S. Opportunity,” Henry Luce (Bones 1920) argued that Americans must become “missionaries of capitalism and democracy.”  Luce singled out Nelson as most suited for such a role because he stood for “the traditional internationalism of the oil business.” [28]

In 1954, Eisenhower ordered General James Doolittle, a director of the Shell Oil Company, to tour Latin America and conduct an inventory of CIA’s covert operations and personnel. These assets included U.S. missionaries.[29] Doolittle submitted his findings to the President who relayed them to Allen Dulles for a list of specific recommendations.  Two months later, Eisenhower acted on Doolittle’s “Anticommunist Manifesto,” as it was termed.

The President of the United States surrendered foreign policy authority to four men. They consisted of chair Nelson Rockefeller, the new Special Assistant to the President for Cold War Affairs; CIA Director Allen Dulles; Undersecretary of State Herbert Hoover, Jr., and Undersecretary of Defense Roger Kyes.[30] Rockefeller would chair this omnipotent secret committee.  A report prepared by ex-President Herbert Hoover specified the methods they would employ:

Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the United States is to survive, long-standing American concepts of “fair play” must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated, and more effective methods than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant [my bold] philosophy.

Rockefeller would, in presidential press secretary James Hagerty’s words, “coordinate work of all government agencies towards the President’s program for peace.”  Integral to this “peace” offensive was misleading the public into believing that atomic radiation was not dangerous, and “the willingness to engage in nuclear war, when necessary … One of Nelson’s tasks as chair of the Special Group was supervision of CIA’s Domestic Operations Division. It coordinated covert operations against US citizens on US soil, as in infiltrating the National Student Association with government agents.[31]

The creation of a supra-agency that reported only to the President pleased Rockefeller. It was not obliged to inform the Cabinet nor the American people before taking military action, thereby violating the War Powers Act of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8). Nelson initiated this concept of the pre-emptive strike when working on the 1945 drafting of the Rio de Janeiro Treaty.[32] It contradicted a central tenet of the  father of the US Constitution, James Madison, who had written, “In no part of the constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confided the question of war and peace to the legislature, and not to the executive.”

In 1955, Nelson had his staff produce a forty-one-page report, Quantico II, that called for a new “world economic policy.” It would invest $18 billion in the military to transform the social and political infrastructure of nations resistant to penetration by U.S. corporate interests. This racist position paper noted, “The American national conviction that `colonialism’ is bad under all circumstances …overlooks the fact that many people are incapable of self-government.”  It called for an arms race with the USSR that would lead to “the prospect of inducing strains in the Soviet economy,” by providing “the added virtue of offering the type of production competition [high technology, capital intensive] that is comparatively most costly for the USSR to match.”[33] While it worked in the long run, and only because presidents Carter and Reagan built up Islamic fundamentalism, this opportunistic policy unleashed much war, and did not remove the Russians as a world power.

While briefly heading up the Psychological Warfare bureau in the Eisenhower administration, the United States Information Agency (USIA) came up with the concept of “People’s Capitalism.”  Corporations would be portrayed as controlled by the people and engaged in activities that improved their lives. The CIA-financed American Municipal Association’s Committee on International Municipal Cooperation sponsored “Sister City” ties between U.S. cities and those abroad that were near the natural resources that big business coveted.[34]

More upsetting to Rockefeller interests in the long term was the inspirational impact that both the Soviet military victory over Nazism and the Chinese communist revolution had on most of the world's peoples. Victims of western imperialism now zealously sought to nationalize their major foreign holdings by declaring formal political independence from the British, French, Dutch, Belgian and U.S. imperialists. Their expropriations prompted CIA-sponsored invasions and insurrections in Korea (1950), Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Tibet (1950s), Vietnam (1954), Congo (1960), Laos (1960), Cuba (1961), Peru (1962), Brazil (1964), Bolivia (1964), the Dominican Republic (1965), Indonesia (1965), Ghana (1966), Guyana (1968), Cambodia (1970), Chile (1973), East Timor (1975), Argentina (1976), El Salvador (1980s), Nicaragua (1980s), Panama (1989), Yugoslavia (1999), Ecuador (2000, 2010), Iraq (2003), Honduras (2009), Libya (2011) and Egypt (2014).[35]

CIA succeeded in establishing regimes subservient to big business in all these areas except Cuba, Tibet that remained part of China, and Vietnam. The latter, after soundly beating U.S. forces and their military puppets swiftly capitulated to capitalist values in the 1980s.[36] In most cases though, CIA supported the military overthrow of popular leaders. Switzerland, Barbados, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands became safe havens from the IRS for multi-billion dollar fortunes that dramatically accelerated in the new millennium. By 2012, the rich offshored $21 trillion to avoid paying taxes, up from $2 trillion in 2001.[37]

Nelson’s brother, John D. Rockefeller III, sat on the State-War-Navy Coordinating Committee (SWNCC), the forerunner of the National Security Council (NSC).  SWNCC focused on the strategic needs of the upper class to secure Latin American oil reserves, “diverting their [Latin American governments] attention from the general tendency to nationalize their present petroleum industries,” specifically, “… along the fringe of the Amazon jungle and western Savanna of Venezuela and includes areas in Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela.”[38]

The Rockefellers were assisted by their Baptist missionary allies led by William C. Townsend who provided spiritual justification. Townsend understood the role he was to play. He wrote a former Tennessee governor, “Close ties of friendship with Latin America, and especially cooperative enterprises such as our Government’s participation in Peru and elsewhere open the doors for more American citizens … not only as businessmen …” Townsend’s generosity depended upon the resources of the U.S. Peruvian Embassy. His ties with the Peruvian military were so close that Townsend routinely blessed their gas tanks because they supplied his ministry with free gasoline.[39]

 


[1] Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 107-108.

[2] Laurence Duggan to Sumner Welles, December 29, 1942. Quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 115.

[3] Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 91.

[4] Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 218-219.

[5] Frank Bajak, “Bolivian Indians see rocky exodus from serfdom,” Associated Press, January 2, 2010.

[6]U.S. Met Rebels from Venezuela about Coup Plot,New York Times, September 9, 2018. It was the lead story that day.

[7] New York Times editorial, April 13, 2002.

[8] Conn Hallinan, “Honduran Coup: The U.S. Connection,” Foreign Policy in Focus, August 6, 2009.

[9] Bart Jones, “Hugo Chavez versus RCTV: Venezuela’s oldest private TV network played a major role in a failed 2002 coup,”  Los Angeles Times, May 30, 2007.  For information on the Phelps dynasty I am indebted to the research of George Ciccariello-Maher, “Zero Hour for Venezuela’s RCTV,MR Magazine, May 26, 2007. Quoted material is taken from his on-line article.

[10] How War Came (New York, 1942), 126-127. Quoted in Creation of the American Empire, 406. Carl Spaeth to Nelson Rockefeller, September 19, 1940, in Compania de Fomento Venezuela file, Office of the Messrs. Rockefeller, Business Files, Rockefeller Family Archives, Rockefeller Archive Center, Tarrytown, New York, as quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 91.

[11] See memorandum to Jean Pajus from Board of Economic Warfare, December 1, 1942, RG 229, Box 411, U.S. Section of Inter-American Indian Institute folder, National Archives. Cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 153-154.

[12] William A. Wieland to Berle, November 13, 1945, in Berle Papers. Quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 170.

[13] Quoted in Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Rockefellers (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1976), 236. Cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 172.

[14] W. Averell Harriman and Eli Abel, Special Envoy to Churchill and Stalin, 1941-1946 (New York: Random House, 1975), 455.  Quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 174.

[15] Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 120.

[16] J.C. King to Nelson Rockefeller, June 17, 1942, RG 229, Box, 76, “Amazon Basin Project I” file, National Archives. Quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 143.

[17] Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 300-305.

[18] Willard Price, “The Amazing Amazon,” Reader’s Digest, September 1952, 6. Quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 307.

[19] Earl Bressman (Department of Agriculture) to Nelson A. Rockefeller, December 12, 1941, RG 229, Box 270, Strategic Materials folder, National Archives.  Cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 136.  Quote from Nelson Rockefeller to Sumner Welles, March 7, 1942, in RG 229, Box 172, Rubber file in National Archives, as cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 139. 

[20] Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 186.

[21] “Address of Ambassador Adolf Berle before the Journalists Syndicate,” Hotel Quitandinha, September 29, 1945 in Berle Papers. Quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 185, 260.

[22]IBEC Annual Report,” 1959 (see reference to Fluid Power Division), 1961 (see Bellows-Valvair division description), and 1963. Cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 371.

[23] Richard Aldrich to John D. Rockefeller 3rd, February 27, 1959, Japan Society File, Rockefeller Family Archives, cited in Collier and Horowitz, The Rockefellers, 706-707.  Quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 308.

[24] Norman Lewis, “Genocide: From Fire and Sword to Arsenic and Bullets—Civilization Has Sent Six Million Indians to Extinction,” Sunday Times (London), February 23, 1969. Quoted in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 3.

[25] Diana Jean Schemo, “Recife Journal; The Decorated Veterans of Brazil’s Stark Streets,” New York Times, May 21, 1996.

[26] BBC World News on National Public Radio, October 9, 2003.

[27] House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Hearings on the Mutual Security Program (Washington DC Printing office, 1951), 354-356.  Cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 230.

[28] Fortune, June 1947.

[29] Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 284.

[30] Dwight D. Eisenhower, Memorandum for the Files, October 1954, Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle file, Ann Whitman file, Administrative Series, Box 13, DDE—Papers of the President of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower Library. Cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 251.  

[31] Rockefeller Brothers Fund, 1958, as cited in Rarick, "Bilderberg: The Cold War Internationale," Congressional Record, September 15, 1971, E9619. William R. Corson, The Armies of Ignorance (New York: Dial Press, 1977), 347, cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 251. Ibid., 263. The most exhaustive study of this government subversion of student organizations is Karen M. Paget, Patriotic Betrayal. The Inside Story of the CIA's Secret Campaing to Enroll American Students in the Crusade Against Communism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015).

[32] Adolf Berle, diary entry, October 29, 1962, cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 400.

[33] “Psychological Aspects of United States Strategy,” Quantico II Final Report to Nelson Rockefeller, November 1955, 22; White House Central Files (Confidential File), 1953-1961, Box 61, Nelson Rockefeller (4). Declassified through a Freedom of Information Act Review requested by Colby and Dennett. Second quote if from Stacy May, “Thresholds of Armament Effort—U.S. and USSR” (Paper 14), C.D. Jackson Papers, Box 73, Quantico Meetings (5) folder, November 1955, Eisenhower Library. The foregoing cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 273-274.

[34] Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 275.

[35] For an extensive catalogue of CIA atrocities see William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2004).  In Tibet, for instance, CIA paid the Dalai Lama $15 thousand per month.  In an interview, the Dalai Lama, said, "Yes, that is true.  Once the American policy toward China changed, they stopped their help.  Otherwise our struggle could have gone on.  Many Tibetans had great expectations of CIA [air] drops, but then the Chinese army came and destroyed them.  The Americans had a different agenda than the Tibetans."  New York Review of Books, June 10, 1999.  

[36] Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a Peace (New York: Routledge, 1997).

[37] Heather Stewart, business editor,"L13tn hoard hidden from taxman by global elite. Study estimates staggering size of offshore economy.  Private banks help wealthiest to move cash into havens," The Guardian, July 21, 2012

[38] SWNCC quote from Captain Bart W. Gillespie, Memorandum, “Suggested Plan for Assuring Navy of Sufficient Petroleum in the Event of Another War,” 5, Appendix, SWNCC, 289, and “Petroleum Reserves in South America,” April 17, 1946, RG 218, Records of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, CCS 463.7 South America (4-17-46), National Archives. Cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 192. 

[39] W.C. Townsend to Prentice Cooper, October 24, 1946, Townsend Archives. Cited in Colby and Dennett, Thy Will Be Done, 200. 

Source: https://www.gp.org/past_u_s_intervention_in_venezuela

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Last Updated on Saturday, 13 June 2020 08:05
 
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