Monday, July 12, 2010

ENGLISH EDITION The artillery of ideas
“History, looked at under
the surface, in
the streets and on the farms,
in GI barracks and trailer
camps, in factories and offices,
tells a different story.
Whenever injustices have
been remedied, wars halted,
women and blacks and Native
Americans given their
due, it has been because
“unimportant” people spoke
up, organized, protested, and
brought democracy alive.”
–Howard Zinn
Venezuela today is a nation
of millions who once were invisible
and today are visible.
The before silent now have a
voice, and even more than being
heard, act to change and
build their nation. In Venezuela,
history was once written
and kept by the elite, and
the people were unimportant,
ignored and forgotten.
But today that has changed.
History in Venezuela is actively
being created by the traditionally
marginalized and
excluded, and the difference
is that now, the previously
silenced are the protagonists,
the leaders. Howard Zinn
would be proud.
I say this because often, the
ongoing, constant, non-stop,
severe, exhausting, dangerous
struggle against the
powerful causes us to blink
and ask why. Why do we
fight? Why do we struggle?
The answer is simple. Once
we become visible, once we
are heard, we can never be
silenced again. We must combat
injustice in all its manifestations
and never allow its
deadly face to overshadow us.
Speak up, organize, and make
your democracy, your people,
your conscious mind, live.
….We need writers! If you
are interested in writing and
reporting for this groundbreaking
newspaper, please send a
writing sample to: editor.correoenglish@ Also
feel free to send along your
letters to the editor.
A publication of the Fundacion Correo del Orinoco
Editor-in-Chief | Eva Golinger • Graphic Design | Arturo Cazal, Pablo Valduciel L., Alexander Uzcátegui • Press | Fundación Imprenta de la Cultura
During my tour for my new
book Hoodwinked I’ve been
asked the same question by many
bright university students, “Do
you think the US economic model
is a failure?”
My answer is that I believe our
current model is a mutant form of
capitalism that is indeed a failure. I
refer to it as “predatory capitalism.”
It gained international popularity in
1980 when President Ronald Reagan
and other world leaders embraced
the theories advocated by economist
Milton Friedman. The three
major tenets of this theory are: 1) the
only responsibility of business is to
maximize profits, regardless of the
social and environmental costs, 2)
businesses should not be regulated
because rules interfere with making
profits, and 3) everything should be
run by private businesses.
Every US president since Reagan
–Democrat and Republican
alike– has embraced this mutant
form of capitalism, including President
Obama. The resulting system
has created a very dangerous,
unsustainable world.
The predatory capitalists have
pillaged the most valuable resources
of countries around the
planet and exploited their people
in the name of profit. At the same
time, the primary benefactor, the
US, has followed a course similar
to that of the Spanish Empire – we
have plundered resources to live
excessively materialist lives while
neglecting to develop a solid manufacturing
base at home.
History tells us that empires
do not survive. The US Empire is
no exception. Five percent of the
world’s population lives in the US
and we consume more than 25%
of the world’s resources. The only
conclusion a reasonable person
can reach is that we have created
a failure. This is not a model that
can be replicated in Latin America,
India, or Africa. And today it is collapsing
at home.
With the confirmation that Venezuela
possesses the largest oil
reserves on Earth, the predatory
capitalists are aching to knock the
Venezuelan economy and government
to its knees.
deflected the coup launched
against him in 2002, he showed
the world that David can still beat
down Goliath, that the bully in the
North can be defeated. His actions
gave hope to people and politicians
throughout the hemisphere.
Since then a revolution has
swept Latin America. Ten countries
voted in presidents who
have said “no” to exploitation by
foreign corporations and governments.
It is especially significant
that every one of those countries
was ruled by dictators with close
ties to the CIA for many of the
post-World War II years.
One of the new Latin American
leaders, President Rafael Correa
of Ecuador, has a Ph.D in economics
from the University of
Illinois. He says that he can see
no reason why capitalism should
not permit his country to use its
petroleum resources to help the
poorest of the poor pull themselves
out of poverty. He will,
he says, work with international
oil companies because they have
the necessary technology, but
only if they share a much larger
portion of the revenues with the
people of his country. He also publicly
proclaimed that Ecuador is
not obligated to pay much of its
foreign debt since its loans were
signed by unelected military dictators,
coerced and bribed by the
World Bank, CIA, IMF,
people with my old
(economic hit men).
Today Correa is under
attack; his administration
is accused of collaborating
with international crime
syndicates and drug
traffickers. While I have
inside information to
confirm or deny these accusations,
I can say that
character assassination
is always a risk for those
who oppose predatory
The fact is that we in
the US have acted terribly
irresponsibly. We have
abused the leadership position
we acquired during
have placed sociopathic
CEOs and politicians on false pedestals,
glorifying their excessive
wealth, multiple mansions, megayachts,
and luxurious private jets.
For years, we’ve empowered these
people (almost exclusively men)
to create a system that is scandalously
wasteful, overtly reckless,
and – we now know – ultimately
As we’ve seen in the current economic
crisis, the only guarantee is
that conditions will get worse unless
we insist on change. Today we
have an opportunity to wake up
and assume responsibility for establishing
a world our children will
want to inherit. We must recognize
that for the first time in history we
live on a highly interdependent
planet where people everywhere
communicate by cell phones and
the Internet. The only way our
children can inherit a sustainable
and just world is if every child on
every continent joins them.
So, I tell those students who
question the current economic
model that we must work hard
to transform this predatory form
of capitalism into a more compassionate
and cooperative version.
Profits may be OK, but only if
earned while adhering to socially
and environmentally responsible
guidelines. Private business
is a cornerstone of modern economies,
but business executives
– like the rest of us – need to conform
to rules of conduct. The guidelines
and rules should provide
a foundation for replacing a failed
economic system with one that
can perform successfully for all of
us who are members of a fragile
species living on a tiny spaceship
called Earth. ALL OF US.
We in the US will be well advised
to follow the example of the new
wave of Latin American leaders.
We must get back to the real work
of creating a sustainable economy.
John Perkins
John Perkins is former chief economist at
a major international consulting firm. His
Confessions of an Economic Hit Man spent
70 weeks on the New York Times bestseller
list. His website is
and his Twitter ID is
Is the U.S. economic model a failure?
We recommend
An Economic Hit Man
Reveals Why the World
Financial Markets Imploded
–and What We Need to Do
to Remake Them
John Perkins
Random House 2009.
Perkins pulls back the curtain
on the real cause of the
current global financial meltdown.
He shows the deceit of
the CEOs who run the corporatocracy
and the politicians they
But there is a way out. We can
create a healthy economy that
will encourage businesses to
act responsibly, not only in the
interests of their shareholders
and corporate partners, but in
the interests of their employees,
their customers, the environment,
and society at large. We
can create a society that fosters
a just, sustainable, and safe
world for us and our children.
Each one of us makes these
choices every day, in ways spelled
out in this book.
e When President Hugo Cha-
m tra
isw ca
WWII FRIDAY | February 12, 2010 | No. 0 | Bs. 0 | CARACAS

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