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US-VENEZUELA RELATIONS AND THE PUNTO FIJO PACT By Jesús Rojas

posted 8 Sep 2014, 06:44 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 9 Sep 2014, 03:41 ]

Jesus Rojas, a citizen and resident of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has been an English teacher for over 10 years. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Universidad Pedagógica Experimental Libertador- Instituto Pedagógico de Barquisimeto. (UPEL-IPB).

. His teaching experience has been in the rural area. Jesus describes his approach to teaching as eclectic. “I believe all of my students come to me with their own unique set of knowledge, skills, and talent. My goal as a teacher is to meet them where they are and help them be successful as they define it.” He has also been involved in teacher training

His bi-cultural background and focus on community work in conformity with the communal councils that exist in his community. As a social worker he wants to use his professional knowledge and skills to help people make the most of their own abilities and empower them to be the best they can be.

He wants to assist people in solving their own problems as well as empowering them to develop skills so that they can do so themselves.
The political dismantling of the “democratic security doctrine” applied from 1959-1998 in Venezuela began when Commander
Hugo Chávez became President and started a new era of relations between the State and Venezuelan society.

The systematic application of repressive methods designed by the State Department of the United States based on Hemispheric Security Doctrine that was applied in Venezuela and Latin America came to an end.

The understanding of these doctrines, their origins, the ways in which state resources, including the use of force, were used to dominate the people, and violate human rights, illustrates how these methods were and still are the materialization of colonization processes. Today the circumstances and methods are different, but the goals of the United States remain the same as during the Cold War.

There are some documents showing the relationship of Romulo Betancourt with CIA and U.S. State Department to discuss issues relating to the situation in Venezuela before 1958.It is said that in December 1957, Betancourt met
Serafino Romualdi, head of the Labour Relations Office for Latin America and member of the AFL (American Federation of Labour), CIA official and South American Affairs Coordinator at the State Department.

What was discussed at that meeting is not documented but it is believed that they planned the New York Pact between Betancourt, Rafael Caldera and Jovito Villalba that began a process of political interference by the U.S. in Venezuela.

The political practice after signing the New York Pact of Punto Fijo and the management of the Betancourt Government of 1959-1963 and successive governments until 1998 provide insights into what may have been said at that December 1957 meeting.

On the political level Venezuela`s stability was cemented in 1958 with the Pact of Punto Fijo a pact that was signed by the three main political parties of the time, the social-democratic Acción Democrática (AD Democratic Action), the Christian Democratic Comité de Organización Política Electoral Independiente (COPEI) and the small leftist Union Repúblicana Democrática (URD).

The essence of the pact was to share power and resources among the pact`s signatories and to exclude any challengers. Part of the reasoning for the pact was, first to ensure political stability by excluding more radical groups. Second, AD which was almost certain to win the 1958 presidential election, realized that it had to share with at least some of the other parties, if it wanted to avoid a repeat of 1948 coup that overthrew its democratically elected president Romulo Gallegos.

In 1948 AD governed alone and dominated all branches of governments, excluding all challengers, which then led them to support a military coup against Gallegos, which eventually led to the Marcos Pérez Jiménez dictatorship. The stable Punto Fijo arrangement though rapidly led to rigidity (Crisp, 2000, 173) and political apathy. 

Chávez would later rail against the arrangement, blaming the pact for practically everything that was wrong with Venezuela during those years. It is important to highlight the New York Pact of Punto Fijo provide its background and allude to the damage it`s done to Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

President Chávez, in 2004, ended the neo-colonial relationship between the U.S. and Venezuela by ending the training of Venezuelan military and police with the Institute for Security Cooperation in the Western Hemisphere, former School of the Americas. History has vindicated “el comandante” Chávez and the Commission for Justice and Truth - which along with the Ministry of Popular Power for Communication and Information - have the important responsibility of spreading information on these documents.

It should be noted that on Monday November 19, 2012, the Vatican`s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had ruled on October 4, 2012 that Father Roy Bourgeois, founder of School of The Americas Watch (SOA Watch), had been canonically dismissed from the Catholic Church as a result of his decision of not recanting his support for the ordination of women as priests (November 2012).

This fragment is just a sample of a tenacious fight for the American people which has carried out against the atrocities committed during dozens of years by the governments of the United States against the peoples of Latin America in implementing security policies that lackey governments have assumed as their own.

Father Roy Bourgeois and other promoters advocated for removal of this instrument of terror where over 70,000 Latin American officers were trained in the methods of terrorism and violation of human rights from the 50s to today. The above note referred is just a sample of how repressive state institutions to subsume individuals within the cloisters of injustice are articulated.

Father Bourgeois was a goal of the Department of State since the 90s when he began his crusade against the School of the Americas with social justice movements and defending human rights in the United States. That is the reserve with which Venezuela and other countries of the hemisphere intend to carry out, socially, politically, economically, culturally engaged actions.

Thanks to the work of SOA Watch in use of the right to Freedom of Information Act, some newspapers in USA have echoed the calls of these organizations defending human rights. Today Venezuela is also raising the banners of justice and democratic rule of law, especially through the Commission for Truth and Justice, which is the continuation of years of struggle for human rights.

Comments may be sent to kangaz@workersunion.org.tt  
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