The on-going attempt to overthrow the progressive regime of President Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela has once again brought to the fore the unrelenting attempt of imperialist countries led by the USA to roll back the struggle of the peoples of the South to free themselves of the shackles of capitalism and imperialism. In an article by Stansfield Smith, which initially appeared in the 26 January 2019 issue of Covert Action Magazine and which was subsequently posted on our own blog, Uncensored Opinion on 28 January 2019, the author meticulously details the history of the US involvement in the destabilisation of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
The dissemination of information by authors such as Smith and those of us on our own blog is done not just for the sake of the peddling of information. Rather, we do it, under very difficult circumstances and in the face of never ending ridicule and contempt by our detractors, as our contribution to the cause of internationalism. We write in the face of ridicule and contempt because failure to do so would amount to the abdication of our internationalist duty, a duty which I view as being sacred.
The second issue which I wish to briefly dwell on herein is the fact that the destabilisation of the government of Maduro must not be seen in isolation. As already stated in my introduction, it is a solemn reminder of the threat posed by imperialism to all progressive governments, including our own here in South Africa. It is a call to all of us to remain alert to the covert attempts, directed from Washington, London, Brussels and Paris to capture our state solely in pursuit of the imperialist agenda. While in the case of Venezuela and other Latin American countries the imperialists have used a mix of sanctions, agent provocateurs, local surrogate organisations and the threat of military intervention, in our own country they have resorted to use of right-wing NGOs, a predominantly conservative white owned media which is compliant to the dictates of capitalism and imperialism, and conservative elements who remain active within our broad Tripartite Alliance. More ominously, the latter conservative elements within the Tripartite Alliance have gained a strategic foothold in government in the wake of the ANC National Conference of December 2018.
Although I do not lay claim to being a heroic revolutionary, I have always harboured a strong hostility to capitalism and imperialism. My hostility to both was crystalized during my period of study in London between 1985 and 1988. This was during the difficult days where the British working class were subjected to the brutal regime of Margaret Thatcher. I was therefore witness to the eradication of the human rights of the British people and the crushing, through legislation, of the trade union movement. I was also well-placed to witness the attempt by the Thatcher regime and their close ally in Washington to prop up our racist and colonial oppressors under the guise of their so-called policy of ‘constructive engagement. It is of course a matter of historical record that the attempt of the Thatcher and Reagan regimes to thwart the overthrow of their racist allies failed dismally. With the help of the international community and in particular that of our Soviet and Cuban allies, the racist regime fell in Namibia and eventually here in South Africa.
The fall of the racist regime did not necessarily bring about surrender of the imperialists and capitalists. More covert and subtle means were deployed to thwart our National Democratic Revolution. The attempts by imperialists and their local surrogates to influence the economic and policy direction of our country have been a critical component in sowing the seemingly sharp divisions within the Tripartite Alliance. Tried as hard as they can the propagandists and apologists of imperialism to portray one grouping within the ANC as being corrupt and the other as being champions of clean governance, the fact remains that the latter are the local running boys of imperialists. The attempts to block former president Zuma’s announcement of free education and the recent visit to our shores of IMF head Christine Largade are ominous signs of the grip and chokehold which the imperialists are trying visit on our economic and foreign policy direction. Another ominous sign is the growing indication that there are attempts to subvert the policy of the ANC vis a vis control of State-Owned Companies. The primary goal is to make a case for the privatisation of entities such as our power utility ESKOM and our national carrier SAA .The beneficiaries of such privatisation would inevitably be the powerful corporations and multinationals which champion the pro-capitalist and imperialist elements within the ANC.
Imperialism and capitalism do not function in isolation. They rely on a vast propaganda network comprising the neo-liberal media, foreign-funded NGOs, foundations which were established by former ANC cadres who, having served in government in the period following the democratic transition, were sucked into the board rooms of multinational corporations and have thus undergone a symbiosis wherein they ended up being apologists of the excesses of capitalism. As pointed out in my first article on this blog namely “His Grace Dances With The Devil”, the so-called “mainline churches” grouped under the South African Council of Churches (‘SACC), have through some of their politically conservatives clerics give ideological and moral support to capitalists and imperialists by forever issuing imprimaturs on the programmes of capitalists. Very much like their allies in the board rooms, the clergy have developed a sickening policy of selective morality and double standards which makes them immune to the ills visited on our people by capitalism. At least for those of us who are Catholic, it is quite possible that this dastardly tendency will increasingly come under scrutiny from the Vatican, where for the very first time, a progressive-minded pope keeps a keen eye on political developments on the international stage.
Just as I was about to complete writing of this article , Angelo Abruzzi claimed on national television that my comrade and founder of our blog Pinky Khoabane had received bribes from his company. In the time I have known Cde Khoabane, we have both lamented the fact that we have been experiencing financial distress for a good number of years. We have lamented the fact that we have struggled to carry out effective research in our quest to put out credible articles. I feel personally aggrieved that Agrizzi has sought to humiliate and cast aspersions on Cde Khoabane in this manner. Until Agrizzi supports his statement with credible evidence, his actions must be seen as nothing but a crude and a very cruel attempt to silence a dissenting voice.
As pointed at the beginning of this article, Cde Khoabane, myself and other contributors have strived to create an alternative and progressive platform, one which is not compliant to the harsh dictates of capitalism and imperialism. I stand firm in my conviction that I will not be intimidated by imperialist agents. Hence, being a radical Catholic, I sign off with this statement in Latin :
“In manus tuas Domine . Redemistri me Domine , Deus veritatis “
GREG MASHABA IS A MEMBER OF THE ANC ELLEN KHUZWAYO BRANCH IN EKURHULENI AND A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO UNCENSORED OPINION. HE WRITES IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY.