I was in Iran five months ago in October 2012 and in Iraq in April 1998. I believe the death of Chavez is an assassination.
Chavez was a leader who tried to free his people from the grip of people who will do anything to keep the consumer hostage. In the fall of 1998 oil was $15 a barrel and gasoline was 89 cents a gallon. I was called a dupe of Saddam by western media. We posted a video called A War On Children.
Our latest video is What Can You Buy With 5 Trillion Dollars Anything You Want April 2012. The key information in the new video is that $500 billion per year is paid by the United States to oil producing nations. In ten years, five trillion dollars will be paid to oil producing countries for foreign oil. The movement of trillions of American dollars to other countries is a great concern for the security of the United States.
What the world saw about the Iraq wars was the physical attacks but the real target was the economy of Iraq and the Iraqi Dinar. In 1990, prior to the first war the Iraq Dinar was worth three and half American dollars. By the time we got there in 1998, it took 1,450 Iraqi Dinars to buy one American dollar. Saddam Hussein was a homicidal maniac and a perfect foil to carry out an economic war against Iraq.
The current threat of war against Iran is touted as preventing Iran from acquiring the nuclear bomb. The real target however is the Iranian Rial, the currency that must be driven into oblivion in order to try and keep the American dollar safe. The killing of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi affects the value of the Libyan currency. The Arab Spring ensures the American dollar in those countries is wasted on infighting. The deaths in Syria is deliberate.
Last week, I was in South Dakota where we paid $3.85 per gallon of gasoline. Americans are extremely patriotic. President Obama in his Presidential debate with Mitt Romney said that the United States spends as much money on the military as the next ten largest military countries in the world combined. American do not question their government, they are held hostage to fear of the “terrorists”. Fear mongering keeps the world hostage to oil. Forbes just released the current list of the richest people in the world but the trend was well established years earlier.
As of 2007, the top 1% owned 34.6% of all privately held wealth, the next 19% had 50.5%, which means 20% of Americans owned 85% of all wealth in the United States. The bottom 80% of Americans had only 15% of the wealth in their control.
In December 1995, the United Nations released a study finding that 567,000 Iraqi children died in the first five years of economic sanctions. Few cared in the west about half a million dead Iraqi children, we just blamed Saddam. Today, the economic sanctions against Iran is causing untold deaths of Iranian people as Iran is forced to buy pharmaceuticals with cold hard American dollars. The economic sanctions against Iran is working. The target has always been the collapse of the Iranian economy, the fear of the Iranian bomb is just the ruse. Israel has 200 nuclear bombs, 100 of them target Iran. The deaths of millions of Iranians will not bother us here in Canada and United States, anymore than the deaths of millions of children dying in Iraq or in Africa. The death of Hugo Chavez will not cause America any grief, it is acceptable to most Americans.
Since the United States left Vietnam, the Vietnamese who suffered horrendous atrocities during the war have not killed any Americans. Left on their own, Vietnam has not sent terrorists across the ocean to kill Americans. Iran wants to avoid war with the United States. If the goal was peace, the United States would leave Iran alone or partner with them in stabilizing the Middle East. This will not happen anytime soon, the real target is to force Iran and other oil countries to spend their accumulated American currency. Chavez believed in freeing Venezuela from the grip of the IMF and American corporate greed. The death of Chavez is one of a long list of leaders who opposed the west. Democratic election does not ensure the respect of the Americans who feel threatened by leadership in other countries that want to free their people from international economic bondage. Drones are not the only means of assassination.
In the United States, Americans need to wake up, to question their government. The truth is that the Arabs and other oil producing countries are not the ones causing $4 a gallon gasoline in the United States. As long as Americans continue to see the world through the filtered bias of the major US news networks, there will be no sympathy for leaders like Chavez. Chavez is a hero to the people of Venezuela and to other nations wanting to free themselves from being held hostage to greed.
Chavez cannot Rest in Peace unless others take up his cause. As you hand over your money to the cashier for your gasoline, think about where the money you pay for gasoline goes. Think of the price paid by others for our dependency on foreign oil. First Nations in Canada also pay a price for American dependency upon foreign oil. In the Tarsands of Alberta, the environmental devastation of an area the size of France affects not only the land but every aspect of the lifestyle of indigenous people. Chavez sent fuel oil to poor Native Americans in the Dakotas. The same Dakotas today negotiate with the oil companies and governments that covet the Bakken oil fields.
A few years ago, I met with Venezuelan Embassy staff in Ottawa. Two other First Nations leaders bowed out of the meeting, their fear was tangible. One man who was not afraid to travel was American Indian Movement leader Vernon Belcourt. Belcourt not only went to Venezuela and Cuba to meet the leadership of those nations, but he also met with Muammar Gaddafi. Vernon Belcourt died five years ago after traveling to Venezuela. On his death bed, Vernon Belcourt joked by saying, “the CIA finally got me”.
Chavez was a hero. We wish the people of Venezuela peace and in their tears, that they remember Chavez’s death need not only be a matter of grief but a celebration for a man of courage who lived his life to the fullest. God will greet him with open arms.
Terrance Nelson is Vice Chairman of American Indian Movement and Former five term Chief of Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation.