The United States and its closest allies have attempted to isolate Russia and President Vladimir Putin from the world stage. As a result of Western support for the Ukrainian regime that came to power through violence in Kiev, actions taken by Western powers against Russia have included expelling Russia from the G-8 of capitalist powers, the freezing of the assets of Russian government officials and Russian banks, and imposing travel bands on Russian citizens.
However, Putin has check-mated U.S. President Barack Obama in the American president’s own backyard. Obama’s defenders fancy their president as a master of «11-dimensional chess». However, what is transpiring in Brazil at the summit of the BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa has shown the world that it is Putin, not Obama, who is the master of 11-dimensional chess. In fact, Obama could never even make it to the chess board.
Putin is visiting Brazil where he is participating in the 2014 summit in the city of Fortaleza. The BRICS summit comes as members of the Obama administration, including neo-cons like Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, have instituted plans for increased sanctions against Russia, bringing them to the level as those directed against Iran, Syria, and Cuba.
Putin and his BRICS colleagues will sign an agreement in Fortaleza on establishing a BRICS development bank that will help bypass the neo-cons’ attempt to isolate Russia from international banking networks. Any strengthening of sanctions in the same manner that U.S. sanctions have been imposed by Washington on Iran, Syria, and Cuba runs the risk of punishing Brazilian, Indian, Chinese, and South African banks and other corporations, something that could land the Obama administration in hot water before the World Trade Organization court that rules against trade practices that violate WTO regulations.
The legacy of the Obama administration is that its Cold War-era policies directed against Latin America have permanently ended America’s long-standing political and economic domination of the Western Hemisphere. Obama put the final nail in the arcane Monroe Doctrine that stipulated the United States would bar non-Western Hemisphere nations, including the powers of Europe, from intervention in the Americas.
The interventionist policies in countries like Venezuela and Honduras carried out by Nuland’s fellow neocon ideologue Roberta Jacobson, the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, have resulted in a large contingent of Latin American leaders in joining Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the other BRICS leaders in Brazil for a summit where the United States will not have a seat at the table.
In fact, the United States and its imperialistic policies will be a major subject in Brazil, a country that has seen its telecommunications, including the private calls and e-mail of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff routinely spied upon by the U.S. National Security Agency.
Putin is making the most of his six-day visit to Latin America. He forgave Cuba’s debt to Russia while visiting Havana and also stopped in Nicaragua and Rio de Janeiro. While in Cuba, Putin met with former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and his brother, Raul Castro, Cuba’s president, two leaders who continue to infuriate the neo-con and right-wing power centers of Washington.
Putin also attended the final game of the World Cup in Rio. Russia is the host of 2018 World Cup. Putin also visited Argentina where he signed a deal on nuclear energy. The interest of Iran, Argentina, Nigeria, Syria, and Egypt in joining BRICS may soon see the group’s acronym become «BRICSIANSE».
Such a development would triumph the nations of the world that refuse to take orders from Washington and the presence of Syria would spell ultimate defeat of the Obama doctrine of «R2P», or «Responsibility to Protect» pro-U.S. and Western intelligence agency-financed opposition leaders intent on replacing anti-American governments with pro-U.S. regimes. Syria joining BRICS as a full or associate member would drive a stake through the heart of R2P.
The Obama administration could not convince a single South American leader to avoid the BRICS summit in Brazil. In fact, two of the South American leaders sitting down with Putin, Xi, Rousseff, and the other leaders in Brazil, Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro and Suriname’s President Desi Bouterse, have been the subject of CIA- and State Department-linked destabilization efforts and sanctions threats.
Also in attendance at BRICS are Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos, Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa, Guyana’s President Donald Ramotar, Paraguay’s President Horacio Cartes, Peru’s President Ollanta Humala, and Uruguay’s President José Mujica.
America’s sanctions against Russia and its saber-rattling against China on behalf of Japan and the Philippines have fallen on deaf ears in South America. The teenager-like antics of Nuland, Jacobson, along with those of U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice and U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, are sure to be discussed in sideline gossip by the leaders gathered in Fortaleza.
The presence of President Santos of Colombia is particularly noteworthy. Santos recently defeated a right-wing candidate supported by the same Obama administration’s interventionists who have helped disrupt the economy of Venezuela. The losing candidate, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, had the full support of Santos’s right-wing and pro-Israeli/pro-U.S. predecessor Alvaro Uribe.
Recent disclosures have shown that Uribe instituted an NSA-like national communications surveillance system aimed at his opponents. Zuluaga’s ties with the same elements who are trying to depose Maduro in Venezuela have not been lost on Santos. He continues to engage in peace negotiations in Havana with left-wing DARC guerrillas and improve ties with Venezuela much to the chagrin of the CIA operatives who live in splendor in the Miami area of Florida.
While in Rio, Putin managed to cast off U.S. efforts to isolate him internationally by meeting with Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne, in addition to Hungary’s Prime Minister Victor Orban, Namibian President Hage Geingob, Gabon’s President Ali Bongo, and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. Merkel and Rousseff have much in common as both had their personal cell phone conversations monitored by NSA, a fact that Putin, who has provided asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, was likely sure to have mentioned in passing.
The only attempt the United States could make to have any Latin American officials criticize contact between Western Hemisphere leaders and Putin was to arrange for Trinidad opposition leader Keith Rowley to condemn his country’s prime minister’s private trip to Brazil. Rowley criticized Persad-Bissessar and her grandson for meeting with Putin and other leaders in Rio because the trip was made during a labor dispute involving Trinidad’s immigration department. The power of Washington to influence events in the Western Hemisphere has truly plummeted to new depths.
The agenda of the BRICS nations is as diversified as that of any G-7 meeting, no longer called G8 after Russia was expelled. On the BRICS summit agenda are trade, development, macroeconomic policy, energy, finance, terrorism, climate change, regional security, drug smuggling and trans-border crime, industrialization of Africa, and, kin what should serve as a wake-up call to Wall Street, the World Bank, European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other tools of western capitalism, international financial institution (IFI) reform.
The security operations by BRICS in Afghanistan stand to replace those of the United State after the withdrawal of its troops from that country. Russia has led BRICS efforts on dealing with money laundering and cross-border crime and it has drawn the participation of Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in its efforts. Observers from Mongolia and Armenia also joined the talks.
In the area of security, synergism is apparent between the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that brings Russia and China into a common security policy with central Asian states like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Russia and China appear determined that Ukraine and Georgia will be the «line in the sand» for any further encroachments by George Soros- and CIA-led «R2P» revolutions in the Eurasian space. It is also clear that Putin outsmarted Obama in his own backyard.
Wayne MADSEN | Strategic Culture Foundation