Latin America Under Attack
What does communism in Latin America mean to you? Beret-clad revolutionaries camping out in the jungle? Che Guevara T-shirts? A historical relic from the Cold War? It’s been decades since the Cold War concluded, yet communism is still alive and well in Central and South America, and is now blooming in Venezuela and Brazil.
Corruption in Caracas
Venezuela was a functioning democracy with a high standard of living from the 1950s through the 2000s. But circumstances started to change in 1999. That was the year leftist strongman Hugo Chávez became president. Venezuela has the world’s largest proven oil reserves, and Chávez promised to give more of that oil wealth to the people. His government took over the oil sector and other key industries and used its wealth to fund expanded social programs. Besides helping to keep him in power, this move corroded representative government and turned Venezuela into an authoritarian state. Still, American liberals praised Venezuela as a model of socialism.
The nation was already experiencing severe economic tremors when Chávez died of cancer in 2013. Over the past decade, circumstances have rapidly deteriorated. Corruption, economic mismanagement, overreliance on the oil industry and falling energy prices have collapsed the nation’s economy.
Chávez died a hero—except to advocates of democracy and other opponents he oppressed. To retain his power, his lieutenant and successor, Nicolás Maduro, has had to rely on more obvious vote rigging, more oppressive authoritarianism, and even intervention from Cuba, China and Russia. He has imported numerous Cuban soldiers and agents to spy on and arrest protesters, and he actually uses these Cuban fighters for his own personal protection. More than 7 million Venezuelan refugees have fled the country in what the United Nations calls “the second-largest external displacement crisis in the world.”
Maduro won the (likely fraudulent) 2018 presidential election. Venezuela’s legislature, controlled by the opposition, declared Maduro illegitimate. They proclaimed Juan Guaidó, president of the National Assembly, the legitimate president. Guaidó had no real political power; however, he was recognized by a number of Western governments, including the United States. The U.S. implemented economic sanctions against the government, state oil company and central bank. Guaidó, meanwhile, was given access to some of Venezuela’s offshore holdings.
But under Joe Biden, the U.S. began normalizing relations with the Maduro regime, culminating in an agreement in November. Oil export restrictions imposed by Donald Trump were removed, American companies were allowed to resume operations again in Venezuela, and Venezuela’s frozen assets were released under UN management.
In December, Venezuela’s interim government voted to dissolve itself. Guaidó and his movement had only the suffering of the Venezuelan people and the support of the U.S. and other foreign governments to keep their cause afloat. Now they have lost the latter. What is left of the opposition leaves their cause and the situation for the average Venezuelan absolutely bleak.
Why is Maduro suddenly being legitimized? His corrupt government has changed nothing. A UN team recently concluded that Venezuela’s intelligence agencies are guilty of crimes against humanity. Another UN report condemned its security forces as being complicit in “widespread sex trafficking and violence against vulnerable women and children” in the Venezuelan state of Bolívar. Venezuela was and is one of the closest nations to Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. Venezuela lets Iran use its oil refineries to process its crude oil. Maduro even lets Iran train terrorists on Venezuelan soil.
With a bit of increased pressure, America could have forced Maduro out. Instead, the Biden administration gave his dictatorship a lifeline and simultaneously torpedoed the opposition movement. It looks like socialism is in Venezuela to stay—because of America.
The Boys From Brazil
In Brazil, the situation is a little more complex. Conservative populist Jair Bolsonaro won the 2018 election. His antiestablishment style made him quick friends with President Trump. Journalists nicknamed him the “tropical Trump.”
But Bolsonaro’s program was unpopular with leftists in Brazil and abroad. They claimed his covid-19 policies were killing Brazilians and his Amazon development policies were killing the planet. Many people, including foreign leaders, wanted Bolsonaro out.
Ahead of Brazil’s October 2022 presidential elections, leftists chose an interesting figure to rally around: former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Lula is a socialist former labor union leader who was inspired to run for office in part by prodding from late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. During his first term as president from 2003 to 2010, he pivoted Brazil to align with Russia and China and to form the anti-America brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) bloc.
After serving 19 months in jail for corruption, Lula was freed in 2019 and won 2022 presidential elections by an official tally of 50.9 to 49.1 percent over Bolsonaro. Lula took office January 1 this year.
Bolsonaro claimed that electoral fraud was involved, particularly by those controlling the voting machines. Valdemar Costa (leader of Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party) and a party-hired auditor claimed that most of the voting machines lacked individual identification numbers in their internal logs. Experts dispute how this would have swayed the vote. Yet if these machines’ votes were discounted, Bolsonaro would have won the election.
It is noteworthy that in 2012, when Lula’s protégé and former chief of staff Dilma Rousseff was president, Brazil hired voting software firm Smartmatic to maintain and test its voting machines. Smartmatic also provided Brazil with voting technologies for various elections up to 2016. The same firm has been accused of altering votes in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Another concern is manipulation of social media. In 2020, Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered Twitter to block 16 Bolsonaro-linked accounts on allegations of spreading “false information.” The recent revelations of the Twitter Files prove U.S. intelligence agencies actively controlled Twitter’s “moderation” to silence support for Donald Trump. After Elon Musk acquired Twitter in October 2022, he fired Twitter’s Brazilian “misinformation” moderators. Part of Musk’s motivation for buying Twitter was to promote transparency and free speech by curbing moderator censorship. If the recent revelations of Twitter censoring American conservatives is any sign, its staff in Brazil was probably doing similar things. Given Bolsonaro’s reputation with leftists, it would be surprising if leftists were not manipulating Twitter.
Circumstances took a more violent turn on January 8 this year. Thousands of Bolsonaro supporters protesting election fraud stormed the plaza where Brazil’s National Congress, presidential palace and supreme court are located. Bolsonaro, who had fled to Florida a few days prior, condemned protests that were unlawful or violent. Brazilian authorities arrested more than 1,200 protesters. Brazil’s supreme court in January announced it would investigate Bolsonaro over allegedly encouraging the “anti-democratic” protests.
Compared to Venezuela, the Biden regime’s involvement in Brazil is less clear, but there is enough evidence to raise eyebrows. Similarities with the leftist overthrow in America—and particularly between the Jan. 6, 2020, riots in the United States (since proved to have been orchestrated by the fbi) and the January 8 riots in Brasilia—are unmistakable: gradual socialist takeover of government, conservatives rallying around a strong leader, that leader losing an election through apparent voter fraud, courts ignoring the fraud, riots protesting the leftist takeover being used to strengthen the leftists, declarations of states of emergency, and pretexts for ongoing persecution of conservatives. It all smells of foul play.
Latin America Under Attack
In decades prior, the Soviet Union exported communism to Latin America against the United States. But in a bizarre turn of events, it is the current regime in America that is now sponsoring communism in the region.
Maduro and Lula are not the only anti-American figures propped up by the American left. During President Barack Obama’s presidency, he made a controversial deal with Cuba in 2014. The island’s Communist regime was in danger of economic and political collapse. Through the Vatican, Obama reversed decades of U.S. policy and opened up relations to a stridently anti-U.S. regime that once tried to position nuclear missiles minutes away from American cities.
Recent events in Brazil and Venezuela follow the pattern of the Cuba deal: an anti-American strongman consolidating power to the detriment of U.S. interests.
The current U.S. government’s economic policies have jacked up inflation and national debt. Its immigration policies have erased America’s southern border. Its moves in Brazil and Venezuela show that these “America-last” policies also extend to foreign affairs. Consistent, coordinated, aggressive moves, all in the same direction, reveal that there is an agenda at work.
“This nation is committing suicide at the hands of certain powerful people in government and in society,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry writes in his free book America Under Attack. “They are actively, intentionally sabotaging this special nation from the inside. These radical elites have rapidly and fundamentally transformed American politics, governance, diplomacy, policing, morality, race, sex, tradition and culture.”
Such a “fundamental transformation” of America is unprecedented. Why a government would go out of its way to destroy the country it governs is puzzling. It can be confusing trying to make sense of it all. But there is a specific agenda at work at the hands of unseen actors. When this agenda—and its actors—are exposed, events in South America and elsewhere make perfect sense.